People sit on a hill overlooking tents setup by vendors at Sunset Beach during the 4-20 annual marijuana celebration, in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday April 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Park Board urges pot event organizers to cancel 4-20 rap event

Organizers have hired rap singer Cypress Hill to headline the 2019 festival

The Vancouver Park Board has passed a motion asking organizers of an annual marijuana festival to cancel a recently announced headline act, fearing the performance could draw even more people to the unsanctioned event.

The 4-20 festival, held annually in Vancouver on April 20 as a celebration of cannabis culture, attracted about 40,000 people to Sunset Beach last year, defying Park Board regulations requiring permits for large events.

READ MORE: PNE says no to Vancouver’s 4/20 gathering

Organizers have hired rap group Cypress Hill to headline the 2019 festival, prompting Commissioner John Coupar to make a motion calling for cancellation of the concert.

Park Board commissioners have also requested an urgent meeting with Vancouver Police, Fire and Rescue Services, as well as officials from Coastal Health, to discuss safety concerns.

The 4-20 event has been held at Sunset Beach since 2017, after lack of space squeezed it out of its original location on the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Coupar worries the concert and added attendance will mean even more damage to the green space.

He’s hopeful the motion will encourage the organizers to scale back but is skeptical because it’s the 25th anniversary of 4-20 in Vancouver, it falls on the Easter long weekend and it’s the first event since marijuana was legalized in Canada.

The addition of Cypress Hill is an unacceptable escalation, Coupar says.

“It’s almost like they’re saying, ‘Okay, you think it was big last year, we’re going to really make it bigger and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ “

“If you compare it to, say, Celebration of Light, they pay all the fees, they pay all the policing. We don’t allow 250,000 people to come down to English Bay and drink openly on the beach,” he says.

The request to cancel the rap concert is reasonable and Coupar says 4-20 organizers should consider the consequences of refusal.

“We’re sending a message. If they want to work in the future with any of the agencies of the city, I think they should consider a reasonable request from the Vancouver Park Board. I’m hoping they step back and take a reasoned look at it.”

Supporters of the event have defended the move to Sunset Beach in the past, calling allegations of damage to the fields “smear messaging” against the marijuana movement.

Organizers covered grass fields with plywood last year to protect turf that was churned to mud during rainy celebrations in 2017, but they have refused to pay policing costs estimated at about $200,000, and also defy park board restrictions against smoking in city parks. (News1130)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

District of Elkford celebrates grand opening of new municipal office

Submitted District of Elkford The District of Elkford has officially begun serving… Continue reading

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Man facing 12 charges after fleeing from Cranbrook, Elk Valley RCMP

A man is facing 12 charges after fleeing from police in Cranbrook… Continue reading

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Most Read