People sit on a hill overlooking tents setup by vendors at Sunset Beach during the 4-20 annual marijuana celebration, in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday April 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Park Board urges pot event organizers to cancel 4-20 rap event

Organizers have hired rap singer Cypress Hill to headline the 2019 festival

The Vancouver Park Board has passed a motion asking organizers of an annual marijuana festival to cancel a recently announced headline act, fearing the performance could draw even more people to the unsanctioned event.

The 4-20 festival, held annually in Vancouver on April 20 as a celebration of cannabis culture, attracted about 40,000 people to Sunset Beach last year, defying Park Board regulations requiring permits for large events.

READ MORE: PNE says no to Vancouver’s 4/20 gathering

Organizers have hired rap group Cypress Hill to headline the 2019 festival, prompting Commissioner John Coupar to make a motion calling for cancellation of the concert.

Park Board commissioners have also requested an urgent meeting with Vancouver Police, Fire and Rescue Services, as well as officials from Coastal Health, to discuss safety concerns.

The 4-20 event has been held at Sunset Beach since 2017, after lack of space squeezed it out of its original location on the plaza outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Coupar worries the concert and added attendance will mean even more damage to the green space.

He’s hopeful the motion will encourage the organizers to scale back but is skeptical because it’s the 25th anniversary of 4-20 in Vancouver, it falls on the Easter long weekend and it’s the first event since marijuana was legalized in Canada.

The addition of Cypress Hill is an unacceptable escalation, Coupar says.

“It’s almost like they’re saying, ‘Okay, you think it was big last year, we’re going to really make it bigger and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ “

“If you compare it to, say, Celebration of Light, they pay all the fees, they pay all the policing. We don’t allow 250,000 people to come down to English Bay and drink openly on the beach,” he says.

The request to cancel the rap concert is reasonable and Coupar says 4-20 organizers should consider the consequences of refusal.

“We’re sending a message. If they want to work in the future with any of the agencies of the city, I think they should consider a reasonable request from the Vancouver Park Board. I’m hoping they step back and take a reasoned look at it.”

Supporters of the event have defended the move to Sunset Beach in the past, calling allegations of damage to the fields “smear messaging” against the marijuana movement.

Organizers covered grass fields with plywood last year to protect turf that was churned to mud during rainy celebrations in 2017, but they have refused to pay policing costs estimated at about $200,000, and also defy park board restrictions against smoking in city parks. (News1130)

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

LAKE FLASHBACK: Garbage dumping and the Youbou sawmill: two subjects that never seemed to go away

Plus this week: LCSS rugby machine, and Lois Gage takes over Area I for hubby, John Ward

In Bloom Wildflower Festival celebrates spring in Cowichan Garry Oak Preserve

The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s annual event is back for its 13th year.

Once ‘The Foreigner’ arrives, everything changes in Tilghman County, Georgia

Funny, but touching, too, this play will have you in stiches. Don’t miss it

Mary Lowther column: Control your own food supply: grow out some seeds

I used to buy garlic bulbs, but now I’ve grown some out long enough to flower and produce bulbils

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Cowichan Coffee Time: Awards, new digs and fundraising totals

• St. John Ambulance First Responder Divisional Superintendent Glyn Trafford got a… Continue reading

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read