Liquor policy changes remove need for beer gardens

Licensing grounds instead of creating beer gardens means families can stay together: Anton

Recent government changes to B.C.’s liquor law will improve summer outdoor festival experiences, according to organizers of the Rockin’ River Music Festival that takes place Aug. 7-9 at Mission Raceway Park.

“Under the B.C. Liquor Policy Review from January, the B.C. government now allows whole-site licensing of public special occasion licences (SOL) like Rockin’ River Musicfest, which eliminates the need for beverage gardens,” said Rockin’ River president Kenny Hess.

“This means Rockin’ River will not have to limit beverage consumption to a fenced-off beer garden, allowing festival attendees to wander between our 20-plus bands performing on three different stages.

“Allowing family-friendly festivals to license the grounds instead of cordoning off beer gardens means families can stay together to enjoy the music, fun and festivities and, at the same time, will reduce set-up costs for the many non-profits that do such great work in our province,” B.C. Attorney General Susan Anton said in April.

Last year, roughly 26,000 people attend Rockin’ River Musicfest over three days. This year’s event will feature acts such as Rascal Flatts, Terri Clark, Gord Bamford, The Road Hammers, Hey Romeo, Julian Austin and more.