Trampled fence, public urination and mother nature mark a memorable year at Bluesfest
Published Monday, July 17, 2017 4:53PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, July 17, 2017 7:17PM EDT
Some people were saying the blues were back at Bluesfest this year, but not just on the stage.
Some festival goers were left black and blue after a fence was trampled one night and multiple fights apparently broke out on others. Organizers say there's a common thread.
"We always face those challenges, but sometimes they're exacerbated on a night where mainly have younger acts," says executive director Mark Monahan.
"That's really where we want to focus our efforts here and see what we can do about that."
Monahan admits the number of fence jumpers increases when the crowd is mostly young people, but added security may not be the answer.
"How much is enough? Is it just security? I'm not sure that's the solution, but certainly, we spend a lot of resources on security and first aid," Monahan says.
Near-by residents also had to deal with people urinating in their backyards. Ottawa Police say they're aware of the incidents, but haven't confirmed they're investigating. The city says by-law officers did not receive any complaints of people urinating in public places.
The toughest challenge for the festival was Mother Nature. For the first time since 2005, organizers had to cancel a show because of a storm.
"Overall, we fared out pretty well, but it was stressful at times not knowing and having to deal with unexpected weather," admits Monahan.
Despite all of that, Monahan was pleased with how the rest of the festival went. He says the new Bluesville tent was a hit and will be back again next year. He was also very pleased with the final headliner on Sunday night.
"It was hit after hit (from) Tom Petty. It was a great vibe in the park and I don't think anyone left disappointed," says Monahan.
The cleanup and tear down is expected to take all week, before the debrief and look ahead to next year begins.
"We'll get together with staff and the board, review and also the city and all of the partners we have who are involved in the safety and first aid," Monahan says. "We'll try to get soem solid information and get some recommendations."