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Parks Board recommends making Skookum Music Festival annual marquis event

It’s looking more and more like Skookum Music Festival will return in 2020 and now it appears as though it’ll be an annual event.

The Vancouver Parks Board voted on Monday to add the music festival to the annual calendar of major special events, beginning in 2020.

Skookum would also see a bump in numbers, with the maximum daily attendance increasing from 20,000 to 25,000 guests.

“The 2018 Skookum Music Festival established a new marquis event for the city that recognized and showcased the uniqueness and diversity of Indigenous culture, enhanced the vibrancy of our city, and generated important benefits for a wide range of partners/stakeholders,” said a report from the Parks Board.

It added that there were some minor issues that are “typical of first year events,” which have been identified and will be fixed if the festival returns as planned in 2020.

Those “key learnings” included the noise impact, which was greater than expected and resulted in over 100 noise complaints from places like Coal Harbour, the West End and the North Shore.

Attendees also frequently smoked on site, ignoring the city’s by-laws regarding smoking in parks, which is not allowed.

Another area that was identified as needing work was congestion entering Stanley Park, long lines at bus stops around the city and significant wait times for taxis.

With the approval of the Park Board, the event now just needs the support and endorsement of the three First Nations - Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh - to get the official green light for 2020.

The inaugural event took place from Sept. 7-9, 2018 in Stanley Park and was headlined by names like The Killers, Florence and the Machine, Metric and Arkells.

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