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

Waterworks situation on table at Hope District meeting

Council to make decision on 753 Waterworks transfer tonight

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

Construction project in Hope means bus diversion starting today

Bus riders will have to flag down driver for Route 22

Question Answers with Fraser-Cascade 2019 byelection candidates

Seven candidates have stepped forward for this year’s sudden byelection—learn about them here

Sunshine Valley teens burning with promise

Possibly the youngest in B.C., Sunshine Valley trains 15- and 16-year-old firefighters

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

Most Read