|Get drunk, fall down, miss the music|
Craven sure is popular with the political crowd though.
First let’s get one thing straight. The Craven Country Jamboree is a business, no ands, ifs or buts. It is also a business with lots of political friends.
This year like much of Saskatchewan, the Craven campsite was well under water. Dispite other businesses, homes and farms that are still under water the three day festival was first in line for a handout.
Much to many people’s surprise, they were given a over $1.5 million by the Saskatchewan Watershed Authority to build berms to prevent future flooding of the site. Evidentially the business met the criteria for the emergency flood damage reduction program, and since it qualified, they got the cash. Not bad for a business that actually only provides service, if we could call it that, three days a year.
Then, festival organizers were pumping water out the area when the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) grew concerned with the number of fish trapped within the site. They ordered the pumps turned off.
Then the area MP, Tom Lukiwski who you generally never hear from, saw an opportunity for a little media face time and stepped in. What is more important after all, spawning fish, or a three day piss-up.
Before you know it the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Keith Ashfield ordered the pumps turned back on. There was no way he was going to let those pesky fish get in the way of a private business’s ability of operate. The Minister reversed his own department’s decision. He obviously knew better what the Blue Meanies are all about when he said “ For such an important economic and cultural event to be affected in this way is contrary to the principles this government stands for." Even we bloggers couldn't have wrapped up the Conservative agenda better than that.
Now as the festival gears up we are gleefully told that taxpayers will provide the services of 36 RCMP officers for crowd control and that last year at 160 people were arrested and put into cells at least overnight for a variety of charges, including being intoxicated in a public place, public mischief, impaired driving, assault, theft and one sexual assault.
Some cultural event.
Don’t get me wrong, most festivals couldn’t survive without financial help from government. Festivals help to weave what is a part of our cultural fabric but there are community oriented festivals and there are business festivals. There is a difference and I for one am feeling ripped off.
This year, if you love good music in an outdoor setting and you don’t particularly like getting shit faced or taking your clothes off, come down to the more family friendly Folk Festival. Probably no one will get arrested, the music is great and you will have a wonderful time.