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Creekside gets Stoltmann Music Festival John Taylor donates land for concert By Paul Andrew After a few weeks of secrecy and strategy for the third annual Stoltmann Music Festival, organizers say they have acquired a site within the Resort Municipality of Whistler, and they couldn’t be happier. Saturday, July 28, the volleyball courts directly behind Hoz’s Pub in Whistler Creekside are scheduled to become the centre of the eco-festival universe. Six bands will perform on the site, with the concert beginning at about 2 p.m. It is scheduled to end at 9:30 p.m. Organizers of the concert, B.C. Eco Events, requested the media not reveal the exact location of the original site, which was in the Soo Valley. The festival was hastily moved to Creekside last week after lead organizer Damian Kettlewell began running into problems with the Ministry of Forests. Initially, because the festival was outside Whistler’s municipal boundaries and was considered a "public gathering on Crown land," Kettlewell felt confident the festival would take place without much incident. "We had legal aid and they told us we were allowed to be there," Kettlewell said. "But the ministry said we needed a permit and they were very unco-operative. Then we called John Taylor, because we knew he had land up there and he has an office in the same building that I’m in, in Vancouver, and he offered us his land. "Good old John, he’s full of spit and vigour," Kettlewell said. However, Rob Drynan, marketing manager for Cougar Mountain at Whistler, which operates ATV and Hummer tours in the Soo Valley area, said they weren’t opposed to the concert. "We’re not opposed to it. We’re neutral in this sense," Drynan said. "We just want to make sure we’re involved and know the schedule." Taylor, who operates a company called The Whistler Housing Corporation, owns or has developed some 60 acres in the Whistler Creek area, including the Whistler Tennis Club lands and the adjacent volleyball courts. Taylor has developed some of the land in the Creekside area and says he’s happy to support the preservation of the Stoltmann Wilderness and the drive to expand the area into a 500,000 hectare national park. "I don’t know if we have the best area there for a concert for 400 to 600 people," Taylor said Tuesday. "I simply said that I don’t know why we don’t have a concert there every week from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., like they do in the village." Taylor says as far as the politics surrounding the Stoltmann Music Festival he is a bystander and has no specific thoughts on it, only that he realizes the proposed national park is a significant issue in the Sea to Sky corridor. "I read the papers. I guess it’s a big issue. I take no position in that at all. I’m not an elected official, I’m just a spectator." Taylor said he has developed 22 acres of the 60 acres he owned in the Creek. Some of his undeveloped land, on the west side of the rail way tracks, will be used as a camping area by people who go to the festival. Taylor said he wasn’t aware of any camping going on the night of Aug. 28. "If they camp, it’s my understanding they will have to camp in their cars and park on Alta Lake Road. Anyway, if the muni is in favour then we’ll be in favour of the side who we’ve been trying to please for the last 30 years." The concert includes The Grames Brothers, John Bottomley, Lily Frost, Green Room, Browning, and Martin Tielli with Farmer in the City. A barbecue will take place during the festival. Afterward, a lantern procession will guide music lovers to the camp-site. Municipal officials are concerned the concert might spill over onto the Valley Trail around Nita Lake, and will have bylaw officers on hand. "The only thing we can do is monitor noise levels and parking," Mayor Hugh O’Reilly said Wednesday. "The RCMP will surely be acting accordingly because most of the time nothing happens in Creekside. But if it goes well I’m sure it will be fine. If 500 people attend it I can’t see any problems, but there is potential to have more out there and that’s a concern because it is a free concert."

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