It’s safe to say that Nelson area police officers don’t look forward to the Shambhala Music Festival. You probably won’t find too many members of the RCMP and Nelson Police Department circling the dates on the calendar with a red felt marker and drawing a happy face beside early August.
On Page 3 of today’s paper you can read about the busy days area police spent during the festival that took place on the Salmo River Ranch between August 9 and 12. The bolstered forces worked long hours in the blistering heat in an effort to keep highways safe and the music lovers focussed on enjoying the party inside the festival grounds.
Once again they succeeded and we thank them for their tremendous effort.
Gathering 10,000 adults on a 200-plus acre plot of land is going to create problems. When those numbers are arriving to indulge in music and substances, the chances of bad things happening increases.
Though the three-page press release we received from RCMP on Monday is much more substantial than your average weekend report, the statistics are not shocking. Aside from the tragic death from a suspected drug overdose, most of the incidences are expected for such a massive gathering.
The key to the relatively positive outcome for this year’s festival is co-operation. The Bundschuh family that runs Shambhala works closely with RCMP and the Nelson Police Department to ensure the best possible outcome. It’s working.
“Unless they are the world’s best actors, I think Corrine, Jimmy and Anna [the Bundschuh siblings], in their heart of hearts, their intention is to make everybody is safe out there,” NPD chief Wayne Holland told us earlier this week. “They are really focused on providing a world class experience.”
And though they may not circle the date on the calendar, police can take pride knowing they have once again helped make our communities safe during an adverse period.