Illegally Organized Music Festival Sucks County Landowners Fines, Tickets

Organizers failed to obtain permits and violated Mountain View County regulations

MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY – County officials were forced to shut down an outdoor music festival over the Labor Day long weekend, which violated city regulations and fined event organizers.

The Follow Your Heart Music Festival – featured on the event website as an inaugural, private, invitation-only festival that spanned over two years to provide an experience for ‘those who choose to live their lives under the ‘spur of the moment’ – has been announced to run from Friday September 3 through Sunday September 5.

“They had offered to host the event in early August, and we indicated that they were not allowed to host an event on farm property,” said Jeff Holmes, county administrative director.

“And then they finally decided to proceed with the event over the September long weekend, even though we had informed them that they would not be able to legally host this event,” Holmes explained on the 10th. September during a telephone interview.

The municipal land use bylaw, he explained, describes what people can and cannot do on properties in different areas, whether residential, agricultural or recreational.

In this case, the organizers were planning to hold a music festival on farmland, which is not allowed, he said.

“We imposed fines under the commercial section of the land use planning bylaw. So it’s considered a commercial violation and it’s $ 4,000 per violation, ”he said, adding that a ticket had been issued for each of the three days of the festival.

“We have issued tickets for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “

Further, he said the organizers were also breaking county bylaws on public events.

“We therefore also intend to issue tickets under this settlement. We are still issuing these tickets, ”he said. The Albertan.

Quotes issued under the Public Events Regulation are another type of ticket, he said.

“Under the public events regulation, this indicates that a ticket under the Provincial Offenses Act must be issued,” he said. “There is no specified fine with that one. This would require a court appearance and would be resolved through legal process. “

The tickets were issued to the landowner, whose name was withheld for confidentiality reasons, he said.

Prior to the event, Holmes said officials had been in contact with the owner of the property.

“And between Mountain View County and the RCMP, we continued to inform him that he did not have a license to organize his event and that he cannot legally organize the event,” he said. he declares.

“The landowner chose to disregard RCMP and Mountain View County guidelines. “

Authorities subsequently issued a temporary closure of the Twp road. Rd. 334 between Rge. Rd. 50 and 51.

“We temporarily closed this road and we had barricades at the east end of this road, so we could still allow landowners and local traffic only,” he said.

The County Administrator expressed his gratitude for the law enforcement assistance provided by the Acting Commander of the Sundre RCMP Detachment, Cpl. Resus Organ, which Holmes described as “a great asset to us”.

The Commissionaires – described on the organization’s website as Canada’s largest employer of private-sector veterans and the only national non-profit security company – were also called on short notice to hold the barricades that have been put in place.

“They were able to provide us with 24/7 assistance to manage our roadblocks,” said Holmes.

The road remained closed from 8 a.m. on Friday, September 3 until 5 p.m. on Monday, September 6, he said.

Three county peace officers, assisted by a community peace officer from Carstairs, also provided assistance “to help keep the peace,” he said.

When asked if any music fans tried to get around the barricades, Holmes said: “Friday night got a little out of hand with some of the music festival attendees breaking into private property and trying to get around our roadblocks and caused a lot of disruption in the community for neighbors, but beyond that Saturday night and Sunday night were much quieter.

The closure of the event had absolutely nothing to do with the COVID-19 measures that went into effect at 8 a.m. on Saturday, September 4 following the provincial government’s announcement on Friday, September 3.

“All of the enforcement provisions implemented by Mountain View County were tied to our Land Use By-law and our Public Events By-law,” Holmes said.

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