The beach scene at Shambhala.

Nelson police noticed decline in Shambhala-related calls in August

A private security firm working at Nelson Landing moved unwanted campers off that property, so police didn't have to

Nelson police noticed a decline Shambhala-related calls for service in August, and thanks a private security firm for taking some pressure off local officers.

The 15th annual music festival was at Salmo River Ranch from August 9 to 13 with 10,000 tickets sold and an additional 1,000 volunteers and staff working on the site.

In previous years, police responded to numerous calls about unwanted campers on private property, particularly at the Nelson Landing site near Red Sands Beach, before an after the festival. But this year officers didn’t respond to a single call from that area, because personnel from Mountain Eagle Security were monitoring the area instead.

“Their efforts freed up [Nelson Police] for other priorities,” chief Wayne Holland said.

Prior to Shambhala, the security guards removed 37 squatters near Nelson Landing, 26 of whom said they were planning to attend the festival. The others were fruit pickers or other transients.

After the festival, another 57 people were evicted from the property and all but 10 of them had been at Shambhala.

During the month of August — the month Nelson is most affected by the festival — police make a habit of asking people they deal with whether they are in the area for Shambhala. Officers began recording their findings last year.

Between this year and last, there was a noticeable decline in Shambhala-related incidents.

During the first two weeks of the month, August 1 to 16, only five per cent of all calls involved Shambhala-goers, compared to 16 per cent in the same period last year.

This year police responded to the most disturbances from people going to the festival in the four days prior to the event, while during and after the festival there were fewer concerns. Conversely, last year Shambhala-related calls were high before the festival, then increased further during the event and spiked most dramatically in the four days after.

Asides from help from Mountain Eagle Security, Holland also speculated that Shambhala-related calls decreased this year because the demographic of people attending the festival is changing, as its popularity  attracts people with more money to spend.

“More affluent ticket purchasers are better able to provide for themselves as far as accommodation and transportation pre- and post-event,” Holland suggested.

He also said the fact that Shambhala allows festival goers to stay on site before and after the main music events has reduced the number festival goes camping in Nelson while also allowing concert goers to rest and detoxify after the event.

Just Posted

Free shuttle running at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

Parking and main access have been ongoing challenges since KBRH construction began in October

Snowfall warning issued for Kootenay passes

Up to 35 cm of snow expected Monday night and Tuesday.

Business Buzz: The Buzz is Back in Nelson

Bob Hall is a volunteer director on the Nelson District Chamber of Commerce. His column appears in the Nelson Star once a month.

Avalanche Canada issues special public warning

Very weak layer buried under recent snow a cause for concern

KBRH on watch for bed bugs after two recent cases

Spokesperson Mandy Lowery says there has not been a bed bug sighting at KBRH since Dec. 8

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Wicked weather, including heavy snow, rainfall, hammers southern B.C.

Environment Canada has posted winter storm warnings for the Coquihalla Highway, Highway 3

Caretaker jailed, must pay back money after stealing $260K from elderly B.C. couple

Antonette Dizon, now 50, had been hired to provide extra care for Henry and Helen Abfalter

Retailers feel the squeeze of their generous return policies

Technology data tracking can clamp down on fraudulent abuse

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

Man rescued from sinking boat off the coast of Vancouver Island

Mayday call came into Coast Guard saying vessel had taken on water, BC Ferries dispatched to scene

Most Read