Music festival ‘a big step forward’ for Sylvan Lake: promoter

Two days of hot weather, live music and fun made it a memorable weekend in Sylvan Lake — and a few bands even took advantage of the lake to cool off.

Two days of hot weather, live music and fun made it a memorable weekend in Sylvan Lake — and a few bands even took advantage of the lake to cool off.

“I know a lot of the bands and artists were going for a dip in the lake because it was only 15 feet from the backstage area,” said Quan Diep, event promoter and president and manager of True Channel Entertainment. “They all did that to cool off.”

Headlined by Our Lady Peace, Matthew Good and Hedley, the Summer Sensation Beach Music Festival took over the Central Alberta town on Friday and Saturday.

Cpl. Kevin Halwa of the Sylvan Lake RCMP said 92 violation tickets were issued and 28 people spent some time in police custody.

“There were numerous people and performers that approached me and expressed their appreciation for the police presence,” said Halwa. “They said they felt some safety as a result.”

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said they are still awaiting a full report on how the festival went from the town’s perspective, but his first impressions were that it was handled well.

“It seemed to have run smoothly,” said McIntyre. “We owe a lot of thanks to our residents for their patience and dealing with the extra crowds and road closures that came with the festival.”

McIntyre noted there were some noise complaints about the festival, but those were expected.

Diep said the event went smoothly and the feedback has been tremendous.

“I think the comments, reviews and feedback we have from everybody is beyond our expectations,” said Diep. “The event went smoothly for the first year, and that’s rare.

“It was a big step forward for this community.”

An incident on Friday evening during the Our Lady Peace show, where a crowd surfer injured a security guard, did not slow down the party.

Diep said the security guard, who was doing his job, was back to work the following day.

The crowd surfer in the incident posted to the festival’s event page saying he landed on his back but he was not severely hurt.

Ten people were ejected from the festival grounds over the two nights, which Halwa said was a relatively low number.

“The security staff was fantastic,” said Halwa.

Two possession for the purpose of trafficking charges were laid, one for ecstasy and one for cocaine. There were several other charges laid for possession of a controlled substances.

Exact attendance numbers were not available on Monday.

“Our initial plan when we envisioned this whole concept of the festival brand and property was a long-term partnership and commitment with that location in the Town of Sylvan Lake,” said Diep.

“Hopefully we can do it every year. We’ll be in to apply for next year shortly and go from there.”

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