65,000 expected at Boonstock Festival

About 65,000 people are expected to attend Boonstock, an electronic and rock music festival near Gibbons that gets underway Friday and runs until Sunday.

The event takes place on property owned by festival founder and organizer Colin Kobza and his parents. He says he does his best to maintain good relations with his neighbours.

"Sturgeon County's a pretty tight-knitted community," he said. "So you can run but you can't hide so you got to do your job correctly and positively."

Organizers of large music events have recently run into trouble with municipal officials in Edmonton and St. Albert.

Promoters of the Elements Music Festival in April claimed they were unfairly targeted by the city of Edmonton and local police after having to meet security requirements they felt were more stringent than those faced by organizers of other events.

A concert on July 20th featuring Grammy-award winner Skrillex was cancelled because St. Albert city officials said they couldn't get police and ambulance services ready in time.

However, Boonstock has the support of the town of Gibbons. Mayor Bill Nimmo says the festival causes few problems and boosts the local economy.

"I can't find too much fault except it'd be nicer if they played classical jazz," he joked. "I'd go myself."

However, the event hasn't been problem-free. Several years ago Boonstock faced complaints about garbage but Kobza says the festival now has a plan to deal with it.

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