A review of last weekend’s Legends Valley Music Festival and Bio Cup Festival published by Abort Magazine draws attention to issues with the first annual event programmed by Donnelly & Associates.
The writer, Stormy Ent (who attended the event as part of the Mota Cannabis Products team), draws attention to problems previously highlighted at the Cowichan Lake area promotion including the cannabis competition and the removal of most of the Great Canadian Canna Mall staff from the festival.
Stormy called the festival “one of the most awkward and uncomfortable weekends of recent memory” and that while the event was promoted featuring cannabis, the reality was far different.
“Despite being advertised as both a music and marijuana festival, we were told that we were unable to sell cannabis products due to it still being illegal on a recreational level,” Stormy wrote. “There was, however, a very open and welcoming environment for the copious consumption of alcohol.”
Describing the security as “pervasive” and “aggressive” in how they interacted with vendors and attendees, cannabis users felt uncomfortable throughout the weekend.
“On several occasions, I was asked if I had any marijuana on me when passing through gates to enjoy the musical performances,” she wrote. “I’ve been asked if I have drugs or alcohol on me before, but never specifically asked if I had Cannabis on me at a festival. It was the last thing I expected at a ‘Cannabis Cup.'”
Vendors on the site were alerted on the second day of the festival that RCMP defined their activities as trafficking and they needed to stop what they were doing.
On Sunday morning, Stormy said after sponsor Canna Mall was told to leave by organizers, RCMP sent out undercover officers to cannabis booths resulting in “heavier restrictions on the consumption and sales of cannabis, and many people packed up and left early.”
Canna Mall staff had been told by event organizers that they had violated camping restrictions
Online, someone identifying themselves as John Anderson said they were part of the security force involved in the weekend and posted that Canna Mall’s campsite was removed due to violations of festival policy.
“Just because they are media or promoters doesn’t mean jack if they break every rule of the venue,” the person wrote. “Also the guy got arrested because he was asked to leave the property by the property owner refused and then was promptly arrested for trespassing.”
A response online, from Deborah Diduck, disputed Anderson’s claims, saying that she was camping in the same area and didn’t see the violations he alluded to.
Security’s claim that Canna Mall broke a fire ban on Vancouver Island and were asked to leave as a result is also disputed by those at the campsite, who said the title sponsor of the Bio Cup was using a portable campfire device, which is exempt from bans according to government regulations.
Stormy said, despite the issues with security, people generally enjoyed themselves, but were unaware that the cannabis event was happening in additional to the music festival.
“What was expected to be a fresh, exciting, and new concept for the Cannabis community turned out to be a regular outdoor rock concert sprinkled with a dash of disorganized chaos,” she wrote. “Many people left feeling unsatisfied, while others got exactly what they were looking for.”