Metal concert too heavy for county

Red Deer County has pulled the plug on a proposed heavy metal music festival because of security concerns.

Red Deer County has pulled the plug on a proposed heavy metal music festival because of security concerns.

Council unanimously rejected approving a permit Tuesday for the three-day Labour Day weekend event being considered for the Benalto Fair Grounds.

Bob Dixon, the county’s senior patrol officer, had a long list of concerns with the inaugural event organized by Edmonton’s BCT Productions and Gunrunner International Independent Music Network.

Dixon said the county has been unable to determine if the group has any experience running an event of this kind on one of the busiest weekends of the year.

“For this reason, there are concerns about the availability of RCMP if problems arise, as they are usually busy, particularly at night, during long weekends,” Dixon told council.

As part of a submission, concert backers said they planned to hire two off-duty Sylvan Lake RCMP officers to help keep an eye on the crowd.

However, when Dixon checked that out with police the Sylvan Lake detachment commander said no officers would be allowed to work security at the event.

Dixon said he was also unable to confirm that other promised security personnel, St. John’s Ambulance staff and volunteer firefighters would be coming.

In a report to council, Dixon notes that the heavy metal-focused Coors Lite Trauma Tour event in Sylvan Lake drew many clients who “exhibited extremely negative behaviour which resulted in a high police presence and response.

“It is reasonable to assume that some of these same elements may be drawn to the proposed event in Benalto, given the similarities in genre.”

Cameron Noyes, one of the Edmonton organizers of the Harvesting Hell — Metal Open Air event, was disappointed with the county’s adversarial approach to the event, which has already been moved to Bent River Ranch near Drayton Valley.

Noyes, who regularly organizes festivals, said security was to be handled by professional firms with experience in major events such as the Big Valley Jamboree and a large group of volunteers. While off-duty Sylvan Lake officers were not available, police could have been hired from elsewhere.

Noyes said he can’t believe that concerns over some “yahoos” in Sylvan Lake would sink a professionally organized music event.

But when it became clear that the county was not supportive, organizers found another venue for the event. It is expected to attract up to 1,200 heavy metal and hard rock fans to a lineup including Atheist, Gnostic, Dayglo Abortions and Dead Jesus. Event information can be found at www.harvestinghell.com

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Bowden baby in need of surgery

“Help for Alexis” Go Fund Me account

PHOTO: First Rider bus safety in Red Deer

Central Alberta students learned bus safety in the Notre Dame High School… Continue reading

Red Deer dancer attends national summer school

Dancers with others from across Canada and beyond

Innisfail Airport to host convention

2019 Canadian Owners and Pilots Association’s event

WATCH: Annual Family Picnic at Central Spray and Play

Blue Grass Sod Farms Ltd. held the Annual Family Picnic at the… Continue reading

Updated:Italian bridge collapse sends cars plunging, killing 26

MILAN — A 51-year-old highway bridge in the Italian port city of… Continue reading

Saudi Arabia spat affecting Canadians embarking on hajj, community members say

TORONTO — Members of Canada’s Muslim community say recent tensions between Ottawa… Continue reading

Tug carrying up to 22,000 litres of fuel capsizes in Fraser River off Vancouver

VANCOUVER — The smell of diesel filled the air as crews worked… Continue reading

Woman has finger ripped off at West Edmonton Mall waterslide

SASKATOON — A Saskatchewan woman says she lost a finger after her… Continue reading

Nebraska executes first inmate using fentanyl

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska carried out its first execution in more than… Continue reading

Canadian train travellers narrowly avoid deadly Italian bridge collapse

TORONTO — A pair of Canadian student travellers bemoaning what appeared to… Continue reading

Keep bribes quiet for 10 years, FIFA won’t punish you

LONDON — FIFA has officially eradicated corruption. All it took was pressing… Continue reading

Beyoncé honours ailing Aretha Franklin at Detroit concert

DETROIT — Queen Bey dedicated her performance with husband, Jay Z, to… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month