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

Just Posted

Maple Ridge’s Tiller’s Folly kick off international music series in Surrey

Come Dancing Around the World takes place at the Surrey Arts Centre

Rescuers battle fog, wind, rain on stormy Maple Ridge mountain

Four hikers rescued Sunday in Golden Ears park

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read