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‘Bikes, babes & beer’: Sicamous council puts foot down over planned Son of Stomp event

‘So they’re just looking for a big place to drink beer and camp. Let’s call it what it is’
Sicamous’ Main Street is lined with bikes during the 2018 Summer Stomp Show and Shine. There are no Main Street events proposed with the Son of Stomp event being planned for Sicamous’ dog park on July 15/16. (File photo)

Advertising for an adults-only weekend of “bikes, babes and beer” at the public dog park didn’t sit well with Sicamous council.

At a special meeting held April 6, councillors spoke in opposition to the Son of Stomp planned for July 15 and 16. The event’s website, viewed by council during its discussion, already has tickets on sale for the event, along with an announcement Sicamous would be hosting it. However, district community services manager Jason Freund explained he’d met with the event’s organizers and only informed them the dog park was available that weekend.

“I have a report prepared that’s coming to council on the 13th to ask for permission for this event,” said Freund. “They have not yet actually submitted a facility use permit request, they’ve only spoken to us about this. The only question they asked us is, is there anything stopping them from advertising?”

Freund said the district can’t stop them from advertising. However, he said the organizers understand council needs to approve the event and that a number of things are required by the district, including a special event permit, a damage deposit, a copy of the insurance, a request to the district regarding its Good Neighbour Bylaw for noise, etc.

“It’s a much… toned-down version of the Stomp; it’s basically just a camp, bike games and some canned music most of the time, and one band they’ve hired for the entire week that will play both evenings from the back of a pickup truck basically,” said Freund, adding attendance would likely be from 240 to 500 people, though it could go as high as 1,000.

From the way it was described, Coun. Colleen Anderson offered her take on the event.

“So they’re just looking for a big place to drink beer and camp. Let’s call it what it is,” said Anderson.

Town manager Evan Parliament asked if council wanted to meet with the organizers at its April 13 meeting. He then offered his thoughts, comparing it to the Monashee Music Festival planned for the following weekend, July 22/23, also at the dog park.

“On their website, they’ve got down at the bottom, ‘Bikes, Babes and Beers.’ I think we’re all asking the question, is that what we are as a community?” said Parliament. “And I emphatically support what Monashee is trying to do. I’ve read their proposal. I think they raise some questions, but when I look at their lineup and the work they’ve done with their proposal, versus the… comments I received with the previous Stomp – It’s an interesting question. Is that our morality; is that our ethics?”

Mayor Terry Rysz was supportive of meeting with Stomp organizers, but councillors differed.

“I wouldn’t be supporting it – I’m not going to support a bunch of people getting drunk in the dog park… It’s a nothing event except a big old beer up,” commented Anderson.

Read more: Son of Stomp planned for July in Silver Creek

Read more: Rockers 54-40 to headline in new Shuswap music festival coming next summer

Coun. Malcolm Makeyev joked about not wanting his dog losing access to the dog park for two weeks, which was likely with the two events and the time needed for setting up and take down. He also noted Sicamous has grown, with an increasing number of seniors and young families now calling the community home.

“None of those groups would appreciate this in my opinion,” said Makeyev.

Coun. Ryan Airey said he’d been to a previous Stomp event and referred to it as “dated” and “sexist,” and he didn’t expect the July 15/16 event would be any different.

Coun. Bob Evans agreed with Airey’s description of the Stomp and suggested letting the event’s organizers know council isn’t interested.

“I don’t know what council thinks but it’s almost, in my mind, a waste of time for those guys to come next week,” said Evans. “If you want to give them a hearing, that’s fine. I’d like to nip it in the bud, that’s just my opinion.”

Asked if the organizers had requested anything from the district, Freund said the district’s portable wash car, to use the showers. Asked if they wanted it for free, Freund said he’d be surprised if that wasn’t requested.

Reflecting on the website, Makeyev became more irate with the event organizers’ putting the cart before the horse.

“They’re not breaking any laws but they’re insulting our intelligence and, in my opinion, blackmailing us because look at the screen here, ‘at last we have got a location,’” said Makeyev. “No, they don’t have a location. Sure they’re allowed to pre-sell tickets, but at extreme risk to themselves. I find this site insulting to staff and council. If that’s the approach they’re going to take, no thank you.”

Freund was asked to share council’s comments with the event organizers. However, he said if they do submit an application, council will have to respond.
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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor of the Salmon Arm Observer, Shuswap Market, and Eagle Valley News. I'm always looking for new and exciting ways to keep our readers informed and engaged.
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