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Rave rocks Bowser area

A pile of trash is shown after the party but before clean-ups efforts were underway in Bowser earlier this week. - PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BILL VEENHOF
A pile of trash is shown after the party but before clean-ups efforts were underway in Bowser earlier this week.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BILL VEENHOF

Noise from a so-called rave in Bowser over the long weekend has drawn negative attention from a nearby neighbour who said the party kept her up "all night, all weekend."

"On Saturday and Sunday there was a big rave here," a resident of Little Qualicum River Village told The NEWS Wednesday morning. "I called the police three times over the weekend."

The resident said she felt "victimized" by the party and did not want her name published for fear of retaliation.

"It was two days of booming, loud music," she said, adding she's been recovering from a recent surgery. "And kids these days are bloody scary, they come equipped to conduct riots — this is the worst generation ever produced because they are so bloodthirsty."

She vowed to stop this from happening again — threatening to take out "a court injunction to stop them from ever coming back here."

RDN director Bill Veenhof, who represents the area where the party was hosted, said hundreds of people attended the event on Island Timberlands property near Cochrane Road and the Inland Highway.

According to Island Timberlands spokesperson Morgan Kenna, the company did not permit the party, nor did they know anything about the event taking place.

However, a Facebook event page deemed "The Drop Fest 2014" advertised the party from Aug. 30 at 11 a.m. to Sept. 1 at 5 p.m. "located in a magical forest on Vancouver Island, two hours from Victoria and 40 minutes from Nanaimo."

Organizers posted directions, a list of artists who would be headlining the event and notified party-goers it would be a $65 admission fee.

It was hosted by The Drop and Hype Bot and described as a “first ever and hopefully annual” event. Officials from either company did not respond for comment by press time. The posting said: “No drugs. No booze. No bulls***. And absolutely no campfires.” The event posting was sent out to more than 20,000 Facebook users.

Oceanside RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman said police received a number of calls over the weekend about what he called “a bush party.”

Foreman said Mounties arrived at the scene Sunday at approximately 1:30 a.m., at which time he said about 300 people were on the grounds, which he confirmed belong to Island Timberlands. Foreman said there were medics and security on site. He said no arrests were made.

Foreman said an employee of Island Timberlands came to the scene and advised the attendees they were trespassing.

RDN communications officer Adrienne Mercer said the RDN did not have any event permits in place for the long weekend, however, she noted that event organizers do not need to apply for permits unless they expect their event to exceed 500 people.

But despite a steady stream of noise complaints and disgruntled neighbours, Bow Horne Bay Volunteer Fire Department fire chief Steve Anderosov said the party is “an annual event that’s been going on for at least 10 years.”

Anderosov said other than noise, he did not receive any complaints regarding traffic in the area but noted the event’s location does not fall within the jurisdiction of the BHBVFD, or any fire department for that matter.

“It’s off in no-man’s land,” he said about the party’s location. “They (the organizers) picked a site they thought was far enough away from the general area, and they likely thought they were on public land but it turns out they weren’t.”

Veenhof said he visited the site Tuesday afternoon to see what kind of shape the area was left in after the party. He said a clean-up was underway. On Wednesday, Veenhof reported the site had been cleaned up and he said it’s possible the site looks better now than it did before the party.

“In fairness of the rave organizers, before the rave happened it was very clear they cleaned up the area which used to be littered with shotgun shells,” Veenhof said on Tuesday. “Assuming the organizers finish cleaning the area it might be in better shape afterwards.”

Veenhof said he sympathizes with residents who were inconvenienced by the party.

“We live in a rural area and we should be able to have a peaceful, quiet sleep without being inundated by noise,” he said. “That’s the core issue.”

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