Festival-goers enjoy the music at the Shambhala Music Festival earlier this month.

Nelson area RCMP release Shambhala Music Festival statistics

Kootenay RCMP have crunched the numbers from the Shambhala Music Festival weekend

Area RCMP have crunched the numbers from the Shambhala Music Festival weekend and despite the heavy workload, say it went as well as could be expected.

“There are no real surprises, it’s pretty consistent with the past few year years,” said Sgt Derrick Donovan of the West Kootenay Traffic Services. “Sometimes the stats don’t show it, but we did feel that it has gotten better as far as the people leaving [the festival]. We found they were better educated and for the most part had less people that were under the influence when they left.”

The Integrated Road Safety Unit reports that officers very busy between August 6 and August 14. They received support from the Nelson Police Department, other local RCMP detachments, the RCMP police dog team and the Advanced Licence Plate Recognition Unit.

In total there were 118 speeding tickets handed out along with a number of other traffic infractions. Officers at road checks and on the highway also confiscated drugs from 69 different individuals during that period. The most common drug was marijuana (41), but other substances like ecstasy (16), mushrooms (6) and LSD (2) made the list.

The area covered by the unit extended all the way to Rock Creek to the west and included the area around Nelson. Donovan said not all traffic infractions can be pinned to the festival, but based on information recorded by officers estimates 70 per cent involved those attending the four-day event.

As for the seizures of drugs, the veteran RCMP officer said they were not arresting people for amounts that were obviously personal use.

“Our biggest thing is road safety,” said Donovan, who has been with the local department for the last four years. “If we do find it, then we seize it and dispose of it.”

Other than the traffic unit, RCMP had officers from the Salmo detachment dealing with issues arising from the festival that is held on the Salmo River Ranch southeast of the community. This year’s festival was the 15th and Shambhala sells 10,000 tickets to the event. There are also more than 1,000 volunteers and staff on the site during the weekend of the festival.

The Salmo detachment dealt with three counts of possession of controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. They also arrested two people for breach of conditions and one person for assault. Police said two other suspects were issued notices to appear in court for assault allegations, while another man was arrested and released on a sexual assault allegation. All three incidences are still under investigation.

The BC Coroner’s Service is also currently investigating the death of Mitchell Joseph Fleischacker, 23, of Sidney, BC who died of a suspected drug overdose on the Sunday of the festival.

“The police got a lot of support,” said Donovan. “The people were very happy for us to be out there and it’s appreciated by the members that are out there.”

On a normal summer weekend, Donovan said they RCMP deal with six to 10 seizures of drugs and issue about half as many speeding tickets.

 

Just Posted

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearbycommunity of Kimberley.

Little Wagon Theatre brings comedy to Nelson streets

There will be various performances of It’s Jest a Show throughout the weekend

Hometown gold for rowers at Nelson Regatta

Rosie Velisek and Jesse Harold won three golds Saturday

LETTER: Time to roll back power prices

FortisBC is overcharging customers, Andy Shadrack argues

Taekwondo is a family obsession at Nelson’s Yom Chi Martial Arts

The Jordahls have found success with their Baker Street dojang

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. golfer, just 23, scores the rare albatross

Six-million-to-one shot a first for the Terrace club

Most Read