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We're a place people come to have a good time. They come to vacation. They come to do something they don't generally do where they live.
Not unsurprisingly, they don't generally come here to drink themselves blind. And if they did, they'd likely choose some place other than a very public festival grounds with monopoly pricing on drinks. Duh.
Local council and staff recognized this when they supported JOMAW's application. They also, implicitly, recognized it's hard to compete with free. JOMAW is the first attempt to mount a paid-admission event at a venue people associate with free entertainment, not to mention one that has special challenges to creating a paid environment adjacent to a free sidewalk with, arguably, just as good sound.
It isn't going to work without alternate sources of revenue and there isn't a more viable alternative than alcohol sales.
Even the uptight province of Ontario recognized the popularity of festival licensing when they changed their regulations this summer to give communities the power to make these decisions for themselves. It seems to be another point lost on Ms. Caldwell... who's supposed to keep things like this in mind when making a decision.
So what's a civic-minded jazz fan to do? Perhaps it time to fall back on our old friend, civil disobedience. Some laws, some rulings simply need an example of people power to be overturned. Kind of like scraping the HST.
I don't know how tight bag checks are going to be this weekend but vodka in a water bottle looks like a bottle of water. White wine looks like lemonade, red like cranberry... you understand. It's easy to harass a handful of people drinking openly. It's a little harder to harass, say, 3,000.