Music festival plan sounds sour note; county denies proposal

Lacombe County has pulled the plug on a proposed outdoor music festival just north of Sylvan Lake.

Lacombe County has pulled the plug on a proposed outdoor music festival just north of Sylvan Lake.

The Sylvan Summer Fest was billed as an old time rock ’n’ roll festival and organizers hoped to attract upwards of 4,000 people on July 25.

It was to be located on a site near Jarvis Bay just west of Hwy 20.

However, the concert did not sit well with Town of Sylvan Lake officials, said the county’s planning department.

“The Town of Sylvan Lake raised concerns about the impact of the proposed event might have on their community. They have mentioned how the event could be taxing on their police resources,” says a report from assistant planner Jolene Tejkl.

A letter from town protective services director Dennis Krill said the concert would occur the day before the community’s Half Ironman Triathlon, which is expected to attract 150 to 300 athletes, plus family and friends.

“This date will have our enhanced policing heavily taxed even without the proposed event,” says Krill’s letter. The town was also concerned that a beer gardens was proposed for the concert site.

“The event being for one day ending at 10 p.m. will have a huge impact on (the) rural policing component and if necessary, our normal policing needs.”

County staff also met with senior RCMP officers in Sylvan Lake, who expressed similar misgivings about the strain on police resources.

County Reeve Terry Engen said given the RCMP reaction, the county needs to get more information on police resources and the sizes of events that could be accommodated in the county.

But one of the biggest problems for the concert promoters is that county land-use bylaws do not allow for outdoor concerts or other similar events. Permanent outdoor recreation facilities can be considered, but under the bylaw other events are not permitted or discretionary, said planner Amanda Brea-Watson.

Councillor Ken Wigmore predicted the event would create traffic problems because it uses the same road as the Jarvis Bay Provincial Park campground.

Council unanimously turned down the concert application. However, it was also recommended staff look at how large commercial ventures, such as concerts, could be included in the bylaw.

Concert promoter Randy Safronovich could not be reached for comment on Monday.

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