Campers at last year's Kispiox Music Festival

Campers at last year's Kispiox Music Festival

Organizers and RCMP cracking down on drunkenness at Kispiox events

Organizers of two major events in the Kispiox Valley are working with the RCMP to crack down on drunkenness at this year's events.

Organizers of two major events in the Kispiox Valley are working with the RCMP to crack down on drunkenness, underage drinking and destructive parties at this year’s events.

Representatives from the Kispiox Valley Rodeo Club (KVRC) and the Kispiox Valley Music Festival Society (KVMFS) yesterday issued a joint press release to address “growing concern” about increasing problems with alcohol at their family-friendly events.

To combat the problems, organizers are warning the public that increased security and stricter penalties will be in place at both the rodeo and the music festival.

The statement lists more onsite security, prompt removal of people who are drunk and disorderly and vehicle searches as some of the additional measures to expect at the 2015 events.

It also cautions individuals who caused trouble at last year’s events, saying they will be refused entry at the gate, and warns underage drinkers they will be removed from the grounds and prosecuted.

“By far, the majority of those who attend the rodeo and music festival are there for a good time and behave respectfully towards others in attendance,” said KVRC president Joy Allen.

“But we’ve heard from some families who haven’t enjoyed their experience due to excessive alcohol consumption.”

RCMP New Hazelton Sergeant Antonio Hernandez said his detachment was in the early stages of developing an operations plan for the events.

“We are working with the organizers to ensure or try to minimize delinquent behaviour to ensure that people who do attend will have fun, create a family atmosphere,” he said.

KVMFS president Brad Reddekop said organizers were planning ahead.

“We want to make sure people know we are making these changes so they can plan accordingly,” he said.

“We are known for putting on events that are safe, fun and family-friendly and we plan to keep it that way.”

Organizers said in the statement they would reassess their strategies and consider even more security measures at future events if the problems continued in 2015.