Grand Forks RCMP is recommending criminal charges against a man who hosted a backyard rock concert featuring a Kelowna band this past weekend, despite current COVID-19 restrictions limiting large gatherings.
According to Mounties, the concert took place the evening of Saturday, Oct. 10. The alleged organizer was given two tickets: One for allegedly “failing to comply” with officers’ instructions to break up the party, the other for allegedly hosting an outdoor gathering with more than 50 people, in violation of the COVID Related Measures Act.
Cpl. Breadon Thomas told Black Press Media that responding officers found “around 60 people” milling about a stage on the accused’s property in the 4900-block of Vernon St., where a live band had been reportedly playing loud music “for several hours.”
Concert-goers were neither socially distancing nor wearing masks, and officers found that attendants hadn’t listed any contact-tracing information, according to Thomas.
Members of the Kelowna band Scrapes said they were on stage when police arrived.
“The cops showed up and were like, ‘You’re gonna get a fine’, and we were like, ‘Whatever. We’re gonna keep playing,” said bassist Xander Bauch.
The concert “was really well done — just crazy neighbours,” said sound technician Matt Parson.
“This one… lunatic was outside the party just laying on the horn” of his SUV, Bauch added, speculating that the band’s music had interrupted the driver’s favourite TV game show.
“It was some old dude talking about Family Feud at 7:30 in the evening,” Bauch said.
The band said they hope to play in Grand Forks again.
“We love it here,” Parson said.
Grand Forks RCMP are withholding the host’s name, pending charges by Crown prosecutors. The man has no criminal record, according to Thomas.