County Issues Stop Order For This Tea Party

 

Several people dressed as "who they really are", as quoted by one attendee, sway to the techno music pumping out from one of the stages at the Mad hatter Music Festival.
 
Controversy hit Leduc County last week with the seemingly sudden appearance of a "music" festival in the eastern end of the county. The festival, called the Mad Hatter Music Festival, was slated to take place from August 23-26 and was advertised as far away as Kelowna, BC for ticket sales. However, festival organizers seemed to be attempting to fly under the County's radar for as long as possible, as the first time most County Counselors were made aware of it was at the beginning of the week when issues arose with non-compliance for the permits required, and when concerns and complaints began pouring in from neighbours in the area. Unfortunately, that was far from the last time the County was to hear about this festival.
Held on private land, the festival advertised itself as "wanting to impact our community with a wholesome experience that encourages us to improve ourselves through music, art, love, awareness and opportunity.". But with sponsors such as Bogarts Pipes and Paper, and Hemp City, plus further statements on their website such as "Welcome to the Rabbit Hole", and "Mad Hatter 4:20 12 Through The Looking Glass", it did not seem to lend itself to the "wholesome experience" they were supposedly promoting.
Those observances aside, the issues that the County encountered with the festival were the fact that even though they attempted to work with the organizer Sarah Dantzer right up to the day the festival began, the festival had still failed to submit an emergency plan, there were no copies of any health permits sent in, no official first aid responders on site, and no plans for additional security over the course of the weekend. For these reasons and more the County was forced to revoke the festival's permit and issue a stop order on August 23rd.
The County was then notified by festival organizers that there were already almost 1000 people on site and that they were going to go ahead and run the festival anyway.
With four music stages set up in tiny man made clearings throughout the bush accessible only by muddy footpaths, and the entire site only accessible by walking or driving through approximately a 1/4 mile of hilly farm fields that would have been impossible for any emergency service vehicles to traverse, and attendees setting up tents throughout the trees wherever they pleased, it was easy to see how serious safety issues could have arisen very quickly.  
In speaking with the organizer, Sarah Dantzer, on Monday Aug. 27th, after the festival was over, she stated that the weekend went "really well", and there had been no problems with anyone or anything over the course of the festival. Sarah mentioned that the only medical issue they encountered was an allergic reaction to a bee sting, and that person was taken to a local medical facility where they were treated and recovered. 
When asked about any problems she had encountered with the permit being revoked by the County, Sarah claimed that over the course of the weekend all the conditions set out by the County had been met, but there was "no time" to get their permit reinstated. She also said that she would be having a follow up meeting with the County later in the week.
Just an hour later that same afternoon, a press release was issued by the County of Leduc that seemed to conflict with the earlier statements Sarah had made. The release stated that Leduc County Safety Code Officials inspected the site on Aug. 24th and issued a notice of non-compliance, the maximum fine for this being $15,000.00 plus $1,000.00 for every day the the festival continued after that. In addition to the safety code violations, County Peace Officers also issued a $500.00 fine to both the property owner and the festival organizers. Additional charges and fines are expected to be levied since RCMP received eight more complaints after the original charges had been laid on Aug. 25th.
In the release, Rick Thomas, General Manager for Community Services in the County explained that, "It is because of the willful disregard for safety and security that Leduc County has been forced to issue these fines. In addition to the fines, the County will be strengthening it's By-laws to reflect the seriousness with which safety and security are regarded in the County."
So it looks as if this problem plagued festival will be on the move again next year. Reportedly, Leduc County is the fourth county in five years the Mad Hatter Festival has been forced to move to, since after each event, the host Counties have enacted By-laws to ensure it does not return.
 
More Stories:
  • Wetaskiwin Hospital Auxiliary Works Endless Hours To Support Healthcare The Wetaskiwin Hospital Auxiliary has a long and loyal history of supporting healthcare in this community. The magnitude of volunteering by the members is absolutely amazing, as the Hospital Auxiliary contributes approximately ...
  • Toy Ride Postponed A seventeen-year tradition in the capital region, this year’s Capital Region Snowmobile Toy Ride was postponed until January 18 due to the warm weather that melted the planned course along Highway 21 causing unsafe sledding ...
  • Christmas Spirit Comes To Millet Every two years, and now celebrating its 16th year, the Canadian Pacific Rail supports a Holiday Train. This is a rolling fundraising event which travels across Canada to raise money, food and awareness for food banks and ...
  • Rising Up For Hope & Healing Nicole rose from her seat and slowly made her way to the stage. Many guests thought she might change her mind at the last minute but this soft-spoken woman was determined to keep her promise and share her story. “I was in ...
  • Lions' International Life Membership Award The shiny metal Lions’ International Life Membership Card received by Wetaskiwin Lion, Isabel Peters, on November 24, 2014, is a symbolic recognition of her long time, dedicated service to the Club. The card was presented ...
  • Piatta Forma Singers Perform With The Black Gold Community Band Leduc choir Piatta Forma Singers joined the Black Gold Community Band in an outstanding concert held at Peace Lutheran Church in Leduc city’s downtown core, on the evening of Saturday December 6th. Piatta Forma Singers, a ...
  • Ben Turner - Liberal Hopeful A local man wants to change the face of Parliament. Twenty-two-year-old Ben Turner is vying for a Liberal nomination to run in the newly created Edmonton-Wetaskiwin riding in the next federal election. “I’m not too pleased ...
  • 600 & Counting For Telford Singers On a recent snowy and cold winter night, the Telford Singers celebrated an iconic milestone as they presented their 600th performance to a large crowd of appreciative residents, families and staff of Planeview Place. This ...
  • Millet Winter Carnival On Sunday, December 07, 2014 Millet held the second year of its Winter Carnival. At 10:00 am, the Millet Agriplex was filling with participants, volunteers, families, friends and Santa. The day started with a Carnival put ...
  • Leduc Fundraiser Welcomes Danielle Smith Wildrose members and ‘politically-curious’ residents gathered on Wednesday, December 3rd for a fundraiser hosted the Leduc-Beaumont Wildrose Constituency Association, promoting the Wildrose candidate for our region, Sharon ...
  • The Ash Girl The Wetaskiwin Composite High School (WCHS) Drama troupe performed Timberlake Wertenbakers’ ‘The Ash Girl’ running December 46, 2014. During the first couple of minutes of the performance, one was surprised by the sophistication ...
  • Twas The Night Before Christmas (Almost) Submitted by T.A. Phillips Recreation Coordinator, Town of Calmar After two years in the waiting, the residents of Calmar finally had their very own Christmas in the Park last night, December the 4th. Poor weather over the ...
  • CP Holiday Train 2014 The Christmas spirit swung into full force in Wetaskiwin at 5:30 p.m. on December 8th, 2014 with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train 2014. The train began its journey to raise awareness of the issue of hunger ...
  • A Memorable Ride For the first time this year, Food Bank executives were invited to ride aboard the CPR Holiday Train from Millet to Leduc, representing the Leduc and District Food Bank, Gert Reynar, executive director and Nadine Leming, ...
  • Check Stop On Highway 2A Amid a vast array of flashing lights on Highway 2A in front of the Super 8 Lodge in Wetaskiwin, vehicles were ushered through a Check Stop on December 6th, 2014. Only this time it was a Charity Check Stop where motorists ...
  • 15th Concert In The Country Pig Roast When you combine good food and good music, you have the delightful kind of evening that Millet’s Concert in the Country held for its 15th annual fall Pig Roast. The succulent pork from a whole roasted pig with all the trimmings ...
  • Thorsby Curling Club Donates $27,338 Submitted By Sam Kobeluck Thorsby Curling Club, which has been inactive since the late 80s, has turned over $11,000 to the Thorsby Elementary School for the purchase of a set of handbells for the music program, and a total ...
  • Annual Rotary Cruise Raffle On the bitterly cold morning of Saturday November 29, the exit lobby of Canadian Tire in Leduc saw a table set up with cheerful Rotary Club of Nisku-Leduc members selling tickets to the Annual Cruise Raffle, a popular fundraiser ...
  • CHIPS Went Shopping And Found Wetaskiwin Mall The 2014 CHIPS (Children’s Indoor Play Society) Winter Carnival was held on November 29th, 2014 in the Wetaskiwin Mall in the old Canadian Tire / Western RV space from noon till 4 pm. There were many squeals of excitement, ...
  • Danger At Highway 21 A heartbroken mother wants something done about the deadly intersection that took her daughter’s life. Using the opportunity for the public to speak to Leduc County Councillors on any topic at their Nov. 25 meeting, Shelley ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia