Kaslo RCMP and the Village of Kaslo announced earlier this month that they shut down a rave planned for the May long weekend, but organizers are surprised at the reaction to an event that has been going on annually for 15 years.
“I’ve been going to the parties for the last seven years,” said Tucker Folden, 21, one of the organizers. “I’ve taken over organizing them in the last two years.”
Folden said the parties aren’t at all how they’ve been described.
Rather than being fueled by drugs and alcohol, he said they try to keep away from that and promote positivity and good music.
“It’s not what we condone at all,” he said. “When we do our event pages, we tell people to keep that at home because we’re all about the music.”
Folden was upset when he read the story on nelsonstar.com last week.
He felt the organizers were portrayed as irresponsible kids.
“One of my friends had told me about what was going on with the village and the RCMP,” he said. “I went and looked it up and felt that not all of it was correct information.”
Folden said he was never contacted by the RCMP about cancelling the party.
“They’ve come and talked to us about our past parties. They would give us warnings about the river being high around this time of the year, but that wasn’t an issue last year when we had our party for May Days,” he said.
According to Folden, the RCMP’s response last year was that as long as they didn’t have to hear about the party or come down to respond to any issues then it shouldn’t be a problem.
The RCMP said one of the reasons they cancelled the party was due to safety concerns.
Folden said concerns about log jams on the river are an indefinite issue and they have never been a problem in the past.
“We’ve built 10 foot fences around the main river so that you can’t really have access to it, and all of the other places where there wasn’t a fence we have flag tape to warn people,” Folden said.
The organizers have also recently done some repairs to stages and platforms.
“We have adult security, chaperones doing shuttles to and from the site, as well as registered firefighters and first aid attendants on site,” he said. “We feel we took the proper measures to insure safety and security.”
The group organized a party in August of last year and Folden said about 300 people attended.
“What we’ve been doing since we’ve started is to get people to park at the public school and walk down, or park at the gravel pit and walk to the party site,” he said.
Folden said they are going to continue to plan parties for the site and hope the public will see that they want it to be peaceful and positive.