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POSSIBLE 4/20 CONCERNS AT VAG

Apr 20, 2016


*Update April 20, 9:00 am: A marijuana protest group has set up on the 800 block of Robson St. No vehicular access (including buses) to Robson from Howe or Hornby. The setup includes several large white tents, and a band/sound system. Area businesses should plan accordingly as there will likely be the smoke, noise, disorder, and traffic disruptions that have traditionally come with a 420 rally.


DATE & TIME: Wednesday, April 20, 10am-7pm

LOCATION: Sunset Beach (1204 Beach Ave)

*Note: While 4/20 has been at the North Lawn of the Vancouver Art Gallery since 2007, the organizers have voluntarily moved to Sunset Beach. However, an off-shoot group has publicized an event on the VAG south plaza. VPD will be monitoring and directing protesters to the Sunset Beach site. The City is unable to accurately predict the number of attendees at this time. 

ORGANIZER WEBSITE: http://420vancouver.com

ISSUES

The following issues are ones business owners and tenants should expect and plan accordingly: 

1.   Organizers of Vancouver's annual 4/20 celebration have moved the pro-marijuana event to Sunset Beach from its usual location at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Vancouver simply doesn't have many accessible venues for massive, public outdoor events. Sunset Beach is one of the few places in the city the expected 20,000 people can easily and safely gather together in such numbers.

2.   Washrooms: Ordinarily festivals of this size, including the 4/20 rally are required to provide onsite washrooms, however the offshoot group has not made arrangements. Neighbouring businesses may be approached for use of their washrooms.

3.   Garbage: Festival organizers are required to provide litter receptacles onsite and cleaning crews. For unsightly or overflowing trash cans on city property, call 3-1-1 immediately.

4.   Safety: Possible over consumption of marijuana and marijuana-related products could result in drug reactions or disoriented persons wandering on or off-site. Last year over 100 people were sent to St. Paul’s alone because of cannabis intoxication. 75% were from overconsumption of edible THC-laced products. For any immediate safety or security issues, call 9-1-1. Emergency responders will have a command post and be monitoring the VAG south plaza site.
Read: Warning issued Ahead [Vancouver Sun]

5.   Noise: VPD will be working to minimize the set-up of structures such as a stage. Power will not be supplied for amplified sound. Should it occur, excessive noise issues can be relayed to 3-1-1.

6.   Air quality: Buildings nearby have experienced compromised air intake system issues in the past. Some businesses have turned off their HVAC for the day. This is a precaution to take should crowd numbers build at the VAG south plaza, especially around 4:20 in the afternoon.

7.   Street closures: Although it is not anticipated, Traffic could be closed on Robson, West Georgia and/or Howe at any time if the crowds at the VAG get large. Access to Pacific Centre Parkade off Howe will be maintained.

8.   People: If the offshoot group at the VAG gains momentum, there could be a possible increased number of people in and around the VAG; potential increase in customers to nearby businesses, in particular, food operators.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Most issues around 420 have been mess, access to washrooms, open urination, drug reactions, traffic disruption and disoriented persons wandering about. The DVBIA blog will be updated periodically if anything has changed.

If you have additional information or concerns the DVBIA should be aware of, please contact Charles Gauthier

The 2015 protest site. Photo credit: CC | Flickr

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