Bellydancing at The 39 Days of July in Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Cowichan Valley Citizen)

B.C. music festival moves kids to tents because they’re ‘distracting’

Organizers of 39 Days in July in Duncan say rules may seem harsh, but performers need respect

Recent rule changes at a summer festival on Vancouver Island involving where children can play are ruffling feathers.

The 39 Days of July runs until Aug. 5 in downtown Duncan, featuring live music from around the world, as well as student exhibits, a talent show, and a parade.

A two-page spread on festival etiquette in the event’s brochure explains why changes were made to where children can play during concerts at Charles Hoey Park.

At issue is the space between the spectators and the stage where children sometimes play.

“Some will say they are only dancing to the music and that is cute, but when the thunder is being shared with the cuteness, the poor performer must suffer,” the brochure reads.

Organizers are putting together a children’s area this year, it continues, so kids are occupied and parents can enjoy the music.

Parents are also asked to keep their kids from playing behind the stage and from climbing on a cenotaph, and to teach their children to respect public performances in general.

“People don’t like having their children disciplined by someone else, that is a given,” the brochure said. “So please save us and yourself the embarrassment by dealing with this before we have to.”

What appears to be the same statement is published on the event’s website here.

Morgan Newington wrote a letter to the Cowichan Valley Citizen, saying the rules “marginalize” children and families.

“The fact that the 39 days of July has decided to put a partial moratorium on this form of expression is saddening considering the organizers’ strong advocation for the arts,” he wrote. “The children in our community should not be sidelined for their playfulness or enjoyment in the form of dance and they should not be compared to rotten vegetables.”

Newington acknowledged that parents do need to watch over their kids, but said the brochure “marginalizes” them by singling them out and “shuffling” the kids to a tent away from the venue.

“A festival that takes place in a public space and is free for all (children included) to enjoy. Personal prerogatives for how the organizers would like to enjoy music should not be pushed onto the public.”

Among the comments on the Citizen’s website, readers both support and oppose the need to contain loud children.

Thank goodness someone said something about this. We were very upset last year when our children were told not to dance, during a dance band,” wrote Jennifer Hotner. “If a musical act can not perform to ALL types of people dancing because it is ‘too distracting,’ they should reconsider live performances and stick to recording.”

Others disagreed. Wrote June M. Barber: “We want to see and hear performers and not have to put up with children bouncing around in front of stage. [Ninety per cent] are not dancing to music they are just playing and I think having an area where they can jump and holler away from stage is excellent idea.”



lexi.bainas@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTER: Why are mobile lab workers not getting hazard pay?

A Pitt Meadows essential service worker questions why she and coworkers are not being compensated

PHOTOS: Maple Ridge Cubs conduct porch-based food drive

A Scouting from Home effort sees kids collecting non-perishables for the Friends In Need Food Bank

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

LETTER: Hear your postie’s plea about dogs

When a canine bites, it’s seldom the animal but rather the owner at fault

Gifted tablet help connect patients with loved-ones

Amid COVID, Ridge Meadows Hospital continues to receive a variety of different kinds of donations

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

‘Not a joke’: Promoter wants to rocket-launch man the length of White Rock pier

Brooke Colby says he’s building an eight-foot rocket in his backyard

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Boy, 2, left with ‘soft tissue injuries’ after being hit by car in Squamish intersection

Boy was release from hospital, police continue to investigate

Most Read