Big-name music festival touted for Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake town council is entertaining the idea of a family-friendly music festival taking place in town this summer

Sylvan Lake town council is entertaining the idea of a family-friendly music festival taking place in town this summer featuring both nationally and internationally renowned acts.

Representatives from Red Deer-based True Channel Entertainment attended council’s regular meeting Monday night to present information in support of their application for the proposed festival.

The two-day event would take place the weekend of July 10, and would run either Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday.

The Sam Roberts Band, the Trews, the Sheepdogs, Tegan and Sara, Down with Webster, Mother Mother and Walk off the Earth are among the talents promoters could pursue upon the event’s final approval.

Councillors voted in support of a motion that approved the festival in principle, and subject to a number of conditions being met.

But while they were generally in support of seeing the event move forward, they outlined a number of concerns they’d like to see addressed prior to giving final approval.

“Bringing in festivals like these … it’s good for Sylvan Lake and it has a proven economic impact. It’s going to benefit the local economy in a positive way,” said Mayor Sean McIntyre. “But our chief concern is for residents first.”

Councillors discussed stage placement within the festival’s proposed Centennial Park location, and requested that organizers prepare a map of the event site. They were also interested in seeing where beer gardens would be located relative to the stage, with potential alcohol-fuelled incidents among their chief concerns.

Sylvan Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. Gary Rhodes told council he was concerned about policing issues that could arise in light of the roughly 4,000 people that would be expected to attend the event.

He also felt the sale of alcohol along the lakefront would be something of a step backward for the town.

“With beer gardens, there will be hundreds, if not thousands, of people exiting that site in various stages of intoxications,” he said. “This is what we’ve been trying to prevent for years in Sylvan Lake. We don’t have that problem right now.”

Council responded to Rhodes’ concerns by amending their motion to require improved security provisions in the application.

They also added a prohibition of the use of profanity on the stage, with McIntyre acknowledging that people in some areas near the event site will hear the festival taking place whether they’re attending or not.

“There should be no reason for any resident to shut their windows or bring their kids inside,” he said.