The Vancouver parks board will be sending a letter to 4/20 organizers asking them to cancel the appearance of hip-hop act Cypress Hill at this year’s event.
The motion was brought forward by commissioner John Coupar, after learning last week that organizers were hoping the inclusion of this big name act would draw more people to the un-permitted event at Sunset Beach.
Coupar said that booking that act was a “dramatic escalation” of an event that the parks board is already opposed to.
Commissioner Tricia Barker, who in February put forward a motion asking staff to find ways to keep the marijuana event out of city parks, said the latest act was bullying.
“This is bullies coming into our parks and saying we are not going to listen to you,” she said.
Other commissioners expressed concerns that the lyrics of some Cypress Hill songs — including How I Could Just Kill a Man, and Hits From the Bong — would be amplified throughout the area.
Coupar claimed the event cost taxpayers about $300,000 a year, while organizers earned about $750,000 from sponsorships and selling vendor spaces.
He also claimed organizers were paying the band $100,000 for the performance at this Saturday’s event.
After the meeting, 4/20 organizer Dana Larsen told Postmedia News that the performance would not be cancelled.
“We have no desire to cancel this amazing free concert,” he said.
Cypress Hill’s booking fee is being covered by one of the event sponsors.
Larsen said that he recently received a letter from the Vancouver parks board confirming that the “protest” was unsanctioned, un-permitted and “creates a significant strain on Park Board and City resources.”
The letter from general manager Malcolm Bromley then outlined the city’s requirements of organizers.
This includes that they are allowed to set up a day before the event and everything must be cleaned up and removed by 5 p.m. April 21. This year’s event is being held over the Easter long weekend.
The letter states that smoking is restricted to the event and there are no food trucks permitted.
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