City to create new rules to make raves safer
Published Thursday, May 16, 2019 4:34PM MDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 16, 2019 6:38PM MDT
A new report that looks at safety at raves will be before a council committee next week.
“Honestly, I read the report and I thought, ‘It's about time,’” said Sarah Hamilton, Ward 5 councillor.
It was created by an advisory committee to find ways to make raves safer and put less of a strain on emergency services.
“The events over 1,500 is where we’re starting to see the exceptional calls for service. Not just for police, but from AHS as well,” Hamilton said.
The report includes a survey of more than 2,200 people who’ve attended raves. It found 88 per cent of people feel safe at raves, compared to 48 per cent who feel safe at a bar or club.
Ward 6 Councillor Scott McKeen wanted to experience a rave for himself before the city looks at imposing new rules. He attended an event last December.
“The fashion was odd to an old man like me, seeing people in one piece animal outfits and stuff. Or alternatively just their underwear,” he said.
“It seemed to be really professionally run and I walked away thinking that if one of my kids was there, I’d be pretty comfortable.”
However, the survey also found 46 per cent of rave attendees have experienced sexual harassment or assault.
“That’s alarming. That’s disturbing. What we don’t know is whether or not that would be any different at a night club,” said McKeen.
The advisory committee also worked with promoters of these events to come up with recommendations to improve safety at future events.
“The city has gone through this entire process with us,“ said Viet Nguyen, with Boodang Music Canada.
“They’ve reached out to everyone that attends the events; they’ve put together surveys to see how everyone feels about the safety at the events; now we’ve come up with a set of rules that we feel is fair.”
The report recommends council draft a bylaw for events that expect 1,500 or more people to attend and require organizers to have appropriate permits, licenses, calm down rooms and medical staff.
“I think the bylaw has to state the required number of medical personnel paid for by the promoter,” McKeen said.
Nguyen supports the new requirements.
“I feel that it’s fair for everyone, it makes the events safer.”
With files from Jeremy Thompson…