A visual rendering of Summerset Benefit concert, as it was originally planned for 2020. (Red Door Events)

Summerset organizers aim to appeal restriction to continue with Langley drive-in festival

A recent provincial health decision, no more than 50 vehicles are permitted to gather for B.C. events

Summerset Music and Arts Festival is hoping to press ahead with its recently announced drive-in concert, despite the provincial health announcement that no more than 50 vehicles can gather for outdoor events.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” said director Annette McArthur, who said organizers have reached out to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to discuss what measures can be taken to receive concert approval.

In early May, Red Door Events shared that a second installment of the festival was set as a series of benefit concerts from August 28 to 30, amid the pandemic.

“The event will help lift spirits and support B.C.’s struggling musicians and artists who have lost their livelihood,” its statement reads.

READ MORE: Summerset music festival scheduled as drive-in benefit concert

Henry announced last week that she believes their could be risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 among the public, constituting a health hazard under B.C.’s Public Health Act.

An amended to the provincial health ban restricts events to no more than 50 vehicles, as of May 22, and applies to places of worship, restaurants, theatres, sporting events, and festival sites:

1. A person who is the owner, occupier or operator of, or is otherwise responsible for, an indoor or outdoor place hosting an event, other than a drive-in event, must not permit the gathering of more than 50 patrons for the purpose of the event.

2. A person who is the owner, occupier or operator of, or is otherwise responsible for, place hosting a drive in event

• must not permit patrons to be present except in a vehicle;

• must not permit more than 50 vehicles to be present at the event;

• must inform patrons that they must stay in their vehicles except to use washroom facilities;

• must provide washroom facilities with running water, soap and a sanitary means for drying hands for hand washing purposes; and

• must not sell food or drink or permit the sale of food or drink at the event.

3. Patrons attending a drive-in event must stay in their vehicles except to use washroom facilities.

The order currently does not have an expiration date.

READ MORE: Aldergrove drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

Summerset took to social media Wednesday, sharing that its organizers seek to work with the provincial health office, and to appeal the restriction.

“Under the guidance of health and safety consultants, we have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety and Precaution Program that addresses 37 protocols to help keep our staff and guests safe,” it said.

Concertgoers would have three distinct ways to enjoy this year’s Summerset festival – by tailgating, through a virtual livestream, or at a two-metre distance from other groups.

Craft beer sales, food trucks, and an artisan market were all expected to be part of the festival, which would not be allowed given the new restrictions.

First held in Fort Langley on the orchard grounds in front of the National Historic Site, its festival in 2019 attracted thousands with a musical lineup that included Paul Brandt, April Wine, and Kim Mitchell.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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