EDITORIAL: Big Time Out version 2.0

The blame game is on after Cumberland council voted for the second time to deny permission for The Big Time Out to happen at Village Park.

The blame game is on after Cumberland council voted for the second time to deny permission for The Big Time Out to happen at Village Park.

Council is the easiest target for TBTO fans and businesses that profit from it.

Yet it is unfair to blame councillors who denied permission for Cumberland Village Works to hold the music festival at the park.

Without RCMP support, the Village of Cumberland would be legally vulnerable should something tragic happen at a council-sanctioned Big Time Out.

Council, which has allowed the festival to proceed at the park in previous years in spite of misgivings from some residents, responded to a public outcry by reconsidering its denial.

That demonstrates an appreciation of the festival’s upside.

The RCMP is catching its share of flak for not sanctioning the event at Village Park, leaving council in a difficult position.

There have always been concerns with an element of the TBTO crowd and the upset and damage it causes outside the venue. Although it seems like an overreaction, RCMP denied TBTO approval due to safety concerns after a 16-year-old fatally stabbed a 19-year-old after the recent Rhythm on the Rock event in Courtenay — outside the festival site.

The timing so close to TBTO was unfair to promoter vig Schulman, but that’s more the fault of the 16-year-old than the RCMP or council.

Schulman admits he missed deadlines to submit a security plan, so he bears some responsibility, although people who love and depend on his festival are pointing fingers elsewhere.

Schulman, who pours his heart and soul into bringing great music into the Comox Valley and who is understandably distraught by the 11th-hour rejection, was nonetheless off base when he criticized the media for its coverage.

Having said that, Schulman deserves support and we wish him the best in staging the fest at Ash Berry Farm. Good on farm owners Don and Louisa McLellan for coming to the rescue.


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