DFO causes a stir at Music Festival

  • Aug. 26, 2015 9:00 a.m.

By Stacey MarpleHaida Gwaii ObserverOrganizers of the 2015 Edge of the World Festival are praising volunteers, musicians and the public for contributing to one of the best, safest festivals to date.Security was increased this year due to the issues with underage drinking and partying in the past. The increased security paid off with no major incidents or injuries.”It was a good improvement over last year;’ organizer Janet Rigg said, adding Tracy Harper, head of security, worked closely with the RCMP to ensure the public’s safety at the event. “It set a nice tone. I felt safe and I wasn’t stressed,” Ms. Rigg explained.However, there was one incident during Saturday afternoon when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans shut down food vendors selling fish and crab cakes.”As far as I understand the DFO got a little overzealous,” Ms. Rigg explained. “I didn’t appreciate them there, fully armed in the middle of the day with kids around,” Ms. Rigg said. Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen was in attendance of the festival and shared Ms. Riggs concern.”They should be out on the water catching poachers, not trying to shut down the crab cakes at the festival,” Mr. Cullen said. He added he would be in contact with the DFO and will be looking for an explanation.Some vendors worked around the legal grey area of the issue by selling paper plates then topping it with the seafood as a gift.At press time, DFO had not returned an interview request to the Observer.Otherwise, the weekend was all about music.The Sam Roberts Band from Montreal came out after years of attempts from Festival directors Janet Rigg and Roeland Denooij. “Sam Roberts was everything I dreamed of,” Ms. Rigg Said.”To see this finally happen was great, everyone in the band fell in love with Haida Gwaii.” Chinnaay Har also came out of retirement to rock Edge of the World one last time. “We were so honoured to have him come out of retirement to play. He even impressed the Sam Roberts Band,” Festival Director Janet Rigg said. “It was a quality of the line up that was great,” Ms. Rigg explained. Sweatshop Union brought a hip hop feel to the Friday night and Sunday afternoon sets. Kuu7laanaas Jaanaas Dance Group performed Saturday afternoon and got the crowds dancing.”I am already looking forward to next year, I’m not sure how we’ll top it, but we will try,” Ms. Rigg said.

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