This April Sun Peaks will host a party on a scale the resort hasn’t seen before. While we’re no strangers to music events, such as the summer concert series and one-offs such as the Sheepdogs during the Dew Am Tour a few years ago, Snowbombing will take a small army of people to co-ordinate and take over the entire village as well as mountain venues.
In the past, Sun Peaks has generally shied away from events aimed at younger audiences and there’s a sense of nervousness among some members of the community. Fears of tarnishing our family friendly reputation and of “festival culture” are definitely out there, but in my opinion they’re unfounded.
While there may be a few situations that arise when 5,000 people come together to celebrate winter and music, I can guarantee most attendees are not here to trash accommodations or vandalize property, as some have suggested. They’re here to enjoy the resort and the amazing amenities we have, just like regular guests.
First off this festival is not inexpensive, especially when compared to other B.C. summer festivals. It’s attracted a demographic of mainly young, working professionals with an average age of 27, as well as smaller numbers of students and seasonal workers. In general, it should be a fairly responsible group.
And speaking of money, this festival will be a boon for local business owners, as well as for the accommodation sector. In Mayrhofen, Austria, where the original Snowbombing festival has been operating since 1999, the week-long festival surpasses Christmas in terms of economic impact. We also have the chance to build on this event and ensure that the economic benefits are worth any inconveniences. There may be growing pains associated with staffing levels and hours of operation, but at the end of the day it will all be worth it.
From a safety and logistics perspective, we’re in good hands. The assembled team brings together a wealth of experience in dealing with large scale events and music festivals, both in Canada and the U.K, such as Vancouver’s Festival of Lights and Squamish Festival. They’re used to dealing with crowd sizes many times the one expected in Sun Peaks, and know how to prevent and deal with emergencies.
I’m excited to see the many components and venues come together, using Sun Peaks to its full potential with a grand scale budget. It will be next-level for us, and it’s exactly what’s needed to help elevate the resort to a world renowned destination. It’s a smart move to turn four dead days in April into an opportunity to drive interest and visits.
While some people may be unhappy with the type of music and crowd the festival draws, events like this provide an opportunity to market to a wider audience. One day, many of these guests will have families or be taking group ski trips, and they’ll remember the awesome experience and options here. For example, this festival is enticing people from Whistler to come party in Sun Peaks, which is the complete opposite of what normally happens.
This is an awesome opportunity to show off our community to new visitors and I encourage everyone to get involved, just as they normally do. Volunteer, take in a few shows, and soak in the festival atmosphere. Put on your party pants and appreciate the fact you live in a place where amazing events like this happen.
And if you really don’t feel like you can deal with the temporary increased noise levels, it’s a perfect time for a weekend getaway.