Park board staff recommend commissioners add SKOOKUM Music Festival to annual calendar of events next year

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      Last September over three days, the inaugural SKOOKUM Music Festival attracted more than 50,000 people to see more than 50 musical acts.

      Florence + the Machine, the Killers, Metric, and St. Vincent were just a few of bands that were luring huge numbers through the gates at Stanley Park's Brockton Oval.

      Now, concert promoter BRANDLIVE is hoping to make this a regular celebration of music in Vancouver.

      It has the support of park board staff, who've recommend that commissioners add SKOOKUM to the annual calendar of major special events, beginning in 2020.

      Commissioners are scheduled to vote on this at their Monday (June 10) meeting.

      In a report to the board, staff say that last year's festival "received a predominantly positive response from attendees, artists, suppliers, Vancouverites, and visitors".

      Later in the report, the festival was described as an "overwhelming success".

      "The vast majority of festivalgoers complied with the by-laws," it states, "however, infractions related to smoking were frequently observed. Going forward, additional action will be required to increase compliance in this area, including reinforced communications, onsite signage, regular announcements, and security personnel oversight."

      SKOOKUM had a large First Nations component last year. 

      According to the park board report, the three host First Nations—Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh—are reviewing the current proposal.

      It will only proceed with the seal of approval from these three First Nations.

      "Large scale special events activate public spaces, foster community connectedness, and provide enriching cultural experiences," the report points out. "The 2018 SKOOKUM Music Festival established a new marquis event for the city that recognized and showcased the uniqueness and diversity of Indigenous culture, enhanced the vibrancy of our city, and generated important benefits for a wide range of partners/stakeholders."


      Squamish Nation councillor Khelsilem tweeted that his government has sent a letter of support to the park board.