WoofStock: Right Location, Need More Folks
Prince George, B.C. – The attendance numbers aren’t what he was hoping for but in the words of Jordan Corrigal, “I don’t have quit in me. The show goes on.”
Corrigal and his Maioha Aroha Productions put together WoofStock 2015, a five-day arts, culture and music festival to benefit Human Societies, animal rights and the community. Approximately 90 artists have been lined up to provide entertainment from last Thursday through Monday at the Vivian Lake Resort grounds out past Ness Lake.
And in much the same vein as the adage two things in life are certain, death and taxes, perhaps a third could be added: You’re not going to stop Mother Nature from doing what she’s gonna do. And the weather put a damper on many weekend events around town, the WoofStock Festival included. Oh there are fifth wheels and campers and tents and people sleeping in their cars and trucks out there, but the crowds haven’t been the size hoped for.
Sitting under cover during a Saturday afternoon downpour at the site I asked Jordan about ticket sales leading up to the festival. “They were pretty good”, he says “and then they started to taper off. I figured people were holding off to possibly buy tickets at the gate. And then the weather started to happen and ya, it wasn’t as big as we thought it was going to be. But there’s still two more days.”
“We feel that we marketed it really well. I’m not too sure what the hold is but maybe not enough time, who knows? We put it together and we had some hiccups in the middle, just with change of location and stuff like that.”
“I think it’s a success with what we’ve built, it’s pretty awesome. Everybody that’s been out here and everybody that’s enjoyed the festival they’re all just really blown away and excited for more to come.” So do you look ahead and try building for next year? “Oh ya, you can ‘t give up. No I don’t have quit in me.”
“It’s a big, big task, a big job, we put a lot into this. I don’t know, maybe Prince George wasn’t ready for it, who knows?
Corrigal isn’t impressed with a recent article that appeared focussing on an apparent rush to get regulatory approval allowing the festival to proceed. “I do believe that that didn’t help anything. I find it really, I don’t know, it was kind of an unnecessary article. Maybe when you see something finalized report about it instead of “maybes” and “what ifs” and putting doubt in peoples’ minds. I just don’t see that being a help in any way, shape or form. I think that’s just more low brow reporting.”
Corrigal says “we didn’t need all of those things with the location that we had our sights on so it wasn’t an issue. With the change of location and then having to get all of those things rushed, I mean the regional district was amazing to deal with.”
“The bylaws were a little outdated and they totally agreed, but at the same time they were extremely helpful and amicable with everything that we had to do, helped us out the whole way. It’s just a lot of work, a lot of paperwork, a lot of hoops to jump through to put on an event. But it’s all for the public safety, right? We had those things in place for the first venue but it’s a total change now, the variables are all different.”
About that first venue or location he says “we were basically trying to work out a deal with the Lheidli T’enneh for the fields on the Northwood Pulp side of the reserve, on the north side. It didn’t come through.”
As far as next year’s site he has no hesitation at all in saying “I would say we keep the same location (Vivian Lake). This place is beautiful, it’s absolutely amazing. All the guys that are working here that do all these other festivals, like our Security team does Pemberton and Squamish, Shambhala (near Nelson) and Sunfest and all these huge, huge festivals, they came here and they were just like, wow this place is awesome!”
“We got nothing but great reviews on how we were running things logistically and how things were going so the place is perfect for what we want to do. We did everything we possibly could to make this a successful, safe and fun event, and everyone who is here is blown away.”
He says he won’t jump to any hasty conclusions about why there hasn’t been a better turnout. “I’ve heard other people’s opinions on it but that’s just opinions, everybody has one. I don’t live my life on assumptions. I mean you’ve got to take risks in life, especially when you’re in an entrepreneurial business but you like to weigh the options.”
I still do believe that we’re going to do fairly well here. It’s been a really solid crowd, we haven’t had any issues, it’s been a really fun and awesome experience for everybody who’s been here.”