City of Kelowna raises concerns over safety, policing with COG organizers

The mayor said it was a mutual decision between organizers and the city to postpone the festival

Kelowna’s mayor says it was a mutual decision between the organizers of Centre of Gravity and the city to put off the festival for a year in order to address safety and policing concerns.

Mayor Colin Basran said the city voiced some concerns with the organizer and that it’s happy with the decision the organizers made to cancel the event for this year.

In a statement issued last week, organizers announced the festival would not be held until 2020. Organizers have remained tight-lipped to the reason why, responding to an email request for comment by referring back to the statement posted on COG’s website.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Center of Gravity cancelled for 2019

While Basran said there are positive aspects to the event, there are a number of things that need to be addressed including policing and safety.

In July, a 16-year-old girl died of an overdose while attending the festival.

READ MORE: 16-year-old girl dies at Centre of Gravity festival in Kelowna

Kelowna paramedics have also outlined a significant increase in overdoses during party weekends in Kelowna.

There were 17 reported overdoses during the July 27 weekend, the same weekend Centre of Gravity was held in City Park.

READ MORE: Spike of potential drug ODs on Kelowna’s party weekends

Last year saw musicians Keys N Krates, Elephante, GTA, Spag Heddy, Kill the Noise, Grey, Neon Steve and more perform.

The beach festival featured live performances on two stages, more than 150 international athletes competing in everything from beach volleyball to basketball, freestyle motocross, skateboarding and BMX.

@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

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