Faro Burgoyne said he is doing his best to be a good neighbour and spread good vibes at the Icecream You Scream Music Festival he’s been holding for the past three years.
“When you go to music festivals, you just see everybody at their best and it was just like a really cool feeling,” he said, adding that he and friends wanted to bring such joyous extravaganzas to the Valley too.
The problem: those vibes are a little loud for some of his neighbours’ tastes over in Fairmont Hot Springs.
Gayle Dougall, a Fairmont resident, said it sounds like the party is taking place next door.
“It just seems really unfair that the surrounding area gets to listen to that… all night long,” she said. “It’s not just a disruption of sleep. It’s maddening.”
Mr. Burgoyne, who is from the Akisq’nuk First Nation, holds his musical extravaganzas on land within the reserve where he said the chief and council “have my back with everything I’m trying to do here.”
The first time he held a festival at The Point, the sound travelled further than he had anticipated and left some Fairmont residents frustrated. Those neighbours tried turning to the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) with their noise complaints, although Mr. Burgoyne is governed through his First Nation.
Seeing a notice asking others to call the RDEK with their concerns about the noise, Mr. Burgoyne responded with a flyer of his own.
“We figured if we at least put the dates there, anyone could see and go ‘OK, maybe we could plan around it.’ Like if it really bothers them that much, they could go camping or fishing or turn up their own TVs or something. And we went door knocking too and we got some pretty aggressive people doing that,” he said.
Door knocking went so badly that his team gave up after a few knocks.
His intention was to talk with Fairmont residents to “kind of put a face to music and show them that we’re people too. We’re not just hooligans out trying to throw a wild party. We’re trying to make a difference. We’re trying to take every step we can to do it with less impact.”
These steps are a courtesy – not something he is obligated to do – and there are no rules he needs to comply with around noise and quiet times.
“There’s no bylaws on the reserve for noise complaints,” said Sgt. Darren Kakuno, the detachment commander for the Columbia Valley RCMP. “We don’t have a lot of options there.”
Instead of policing volume, the RCMP will be making safety their priority by increasing police presence in the area and holding road checks to monitor for impaired driving.
Three years in, Mr. Burgoyne is still trying to make peace with the neighbouring community. His plans for the June 14th to 16th Icecream You Scream festival are to angle the backs of the speakers in the direction of Fairmont, create a barrier around the back of speakers for sound control, and after 3 a.m. to lower the volume.
He expects to see 400 guests from the Valley, all over B.C. and around the world join together to collaborate on building a temporary community.
“It’s like a gathering of creativity. Everybody comes out, they put on their best selves and they go and make friends,” he said.
Mr. Burgoyne also rents The Point to the Vibrant Music Festival, which took place last weekend, and the Wicked Woods Music Festival, which runs from September 13th to 16th.