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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials Editorial: Council Right To Tell Festival: Don't Come Back

Editorial: Council Right To Tell Festival: Don't Come Back

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Revolution Festival appeared to be a positive charity event last weekend at Freeman Park on the North End of Pleasure Island, but unfortunately the truth is there were numerous cases of police catching people using illegal drugs. Not joints or bowls packed with pot mind you, but uncut MDMA, bath salts (code for powerful drug) cocaine and LSD to name a few.
And undercover police caught those incidents during a 3 to 4 hour period covering Friday and Saturday. Not the full two days of the event. That's also not including the guy who left the event and stole someone's BMW off Canal Drive nor the guy that decided to have sex with his girlfriend in the bed of his truck.
Ok, so it's a festival and some may comment that some level of activity of that nature is to be expected.
Bottom line, it's illegal and not acceptable especially at a  "Town Sponsored" event.
That's the hang up here. It's an event approved and "sponsored" by the Town of Carolina Beach. They operate on the Town's (taxpayer's) insurance policy. If something goes wrong it's our liability.
The Town Council discussed the issue at their Tuesday night meeting. (See page 1-A).
All five expressed concerns about the festival and Councilman Lonnie Lashley was ready to ban all commercial events within the park. He was obviously upset after reading the Police Chief's report on the 16 arrests leading to 36 drug related charges they dealt with.
Mayor Ray Rothrock explained the Council can continue to permit events such as Boy Scott outings or other non-controversial or problematic events.
The Council agreed they're message to the Town's Arts and Activities Committee - which has taken the lead with the event - is to tell the organizers of the Revolution Festival they are no longer a "Town sponsored event" and they'll likely not get Council approval in the future.
Sure, such activity occurs within the park even without an event taking place. That's an ongoing issue at many busy public parks and venues.
Promoting events that lend themselves to that type of activity at any level isn't the image the Town desires.
And there's an obvious difference between this festival and the Boy Scouts or a Fishing Tournament.
Council should have recognized this issue earlier this year when they expressed their own concerns. Hopefully this is a lesson learned.