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Posted: November 20, 2018

FozzyFest not welcome back: Grasmere residents

A Lake Koocanusa-side rave that has taken place since 2013 may have gone too far with the noise this year.

FozzyFest, a DJ-only music festival, produced enough noise in its latest run at Big Springs Campground in mid September that a group of area residents (Grasmere Concerned Residents) has asked the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors to decline further special event licence approvals for it.

“I am a long time resident of Grasmere that has been asked to speak for many of the other residents that live here. This is a formal, written complaint on the excessive noise that was caused by Fozzy Fest between Sept. 13- 16 2018,” stated an Oct. 10 email to the RDEK from Fraser Sinclair on behalf of Grasmere Concerned Residents.

“I did speak with (Electoral Area B Director) Stan Doehle on that weekend and emailed both him and (Kootenay East) MLA Tom Shypitka. Mr. Doehle advised me to write up a formal complaint, as did Heather Smith from the MLA office. I also called in a formal complaint to the Fernie RCMP on said weekend,” the letter outlined.

“The residents that I have spoke with down here have a “why bother” reporting it to RDEK feeling, as it was the RDEK that sanctioned the event and we figure it would fall on deaf ears.

“I have also been informed that the RDEK waived the noise bylaw for the four-day festival, with an agreement that the music would be turned down at 11 p.m. (Please correct me if this is wrong.) This did not happen. I, and many others, were awoke numerous times by the pounding bass during the night. When I got up at 5 a.m. I walked out on my deck and the music and bass was so loud it sounded like it was set up in my yard,” Sinclair related.

Addressing the RDEK board Nov. 9, Area B Director Doehle noted the festival generated noise complaints from Eureka, Montana.

“They are no longer welcome down at Big Springs,” he said.

Sinclair said Grasmere area residents “were never asked if we wanted this festival in the first place. The Tobacco Plains Band just went ahead with it anyway, with the apparent blessing of the majority of the RDEK, and it is very disrespectful to us all. I have also spoken with a few Band members and they to do not want this music fest back in our valley either.

“In closing, to the RDEK officials who made the decision to allow this to happen, we, the residents of Grasmere want a say or vote on any further music fest in our community. And preferably to have the RDEK decline any further FozzyFest applications.”

The RDEK board Nov. 3, 2017, approved a special event licence for FozzyFest 2018, which was scheduled to be held September 13-16. The approval was granted with a number of conditions. The board also approved an exemption to the Noise Control Bylaw during the festival.

Fozzyfest began in 2005 in Alberta but when its regular venue flooded in 2013 it moved to the east side of Lake Koocanusa.

– Ian Cobb/e-KNOW

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