With upwards of 8,000 concert-goers per day during the two-day LIVE at Squamish Music Festival, expansive beer gardens and a party atmosphere you'd expect to have the odd incident of bad behaviour. But that was not the case this year with the Squamish RCMP reporting just five arrests - all of them for drunk in public where the intoxicated individuals had nobody to care for them and had to be taken into custody for their own protection.
"Everything was absolutely fantastic," said Corporal Dave Reid, who plans for special events in the community. "We really couldn't have asking for anything better."
Reid said RCMP bolstered their numbers with an additional 15 officers, patrolling the grounds and surrounding area. "They milled amongst the crowd and used as little enforcement (as possible) when it was required," he said. "We try to be really public friendly. If people were drinking outside the venue we would direct them back inside and ask them to pour out what they were drinking, but we generally didn't proceed with charges unless there was a reason to."
Police investigated one case of assault but the victim didn't want to press charges.
"There was a young man who was badly scratched and beaten," said Reid. "And what had happened was that an ex-girlfriend saw him going into a port-a-potty with his new girlfriend. She followed them in and proceeded to beat him senseless. He didn't want anything to do with it, and we didn't lay charges."
In another case, a father with children complained about public nudity - but given that a similar case is working its way through the Supreme Court of Canada, Reid said in those cases their only concern is usually the safety of the individual.
Reid gave high marks to the security company hired by the concert organizers, which handled most of the issues, which cropped up over the festival, and did a good job of keeping the peace.
"They were awesome, they knew their jobs inside-out and backwards and most of the time we didn't have to intervene," said Reid. "We were there to wave the flag and show that we're there, and if required we're prepared to step in the but the security guards on site did a terrific job."
Reid said they were surprised and pleased by the few number of incidents, given the amount of alcohol consumed and the age range of concert-goers.
"It was a good weekend for everybody."
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