Rejection of Skrillex concert another wasted opportunity
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 04, 2012 06:00 am
It has been said many times that perception is reality. Or, as French writer Gustave Flaubert put it: “There is no truth. There is only perception.”
Which is unfortunate for St. Albert because we keep creating this perception that we’re a NIMBY community that wants to build a wall around our borders to keep out industry or groups that might disrupt our quiet bedroom atmosphere.
Speak to the average St. Albertan and most are friendly, outgoing and welcoming. Our council and administration, however, keep creating the opposite perception.
The latest example is the decision to deny permits for the Full Flex Express Tour, featuring Grammy Award winner and world-renowned artist Skrillex, July 20 in Riel Park.
We’re just not ready, claims Coun. Cathy Heron.
Not enough time to arrange the necessary police staffing, says administration.
Hogwash, say the youth and young adults of St. Albert. These excuses are, quite frankly, embarrassing for a city of 60,000 people.
Closer to the truth is probably the statement by Mayor Nolan Crouse that “the majority of people do not know about Skrillex that have to approve this.”
We have to assume he was referring to himself and the rest of the old crowd on city council because the youths of St. Albert certainly seem to know all about Skrillex.
Does that mean there would be no problem if the likes of Neil Diamond or Andy Williams or Paul Anka wanted to bring their grandfather music into town?
What’s common to those singers is none of them have a reputation for attracting drugs to their concerts, whereas any concert full of 18- to 30-year-olds is expected to be full of druggies … an unfair presumption.
Perhaps the whole Skrillex issue is the fear of the unknown. But where is the reward in refusing to take a chance on our youth?
“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more,” said American author and teacher Erica Jong.
By not taking a chance and not giving the promoters the opportunity to put it together, St. Albert is running the risk of other promoters ignoring the city as a potential site for concerts. This becomes another wasted opportunity.
The excuse the city used was that there’s not enough time to arrange police to safely patrol the event. How much time does it take? They had a month to find enough off-duty police interested in some overtime. Besides, the organizer – Union Events – said it had arranged much of its own security and only needed police to fill holes.
This isn’t the first time the city has had the opportunity to host a significant musical event that would appeal to the 18- to 30-year-olds. Boonstock, the hugely successful weekend event in Gibbons, once asked the city if it could move here. The city’s response was negative enough to keep Boonstock in Gibbons.
We have the children’s festival for the kids. We have events for the 50 and older crowd. But what has the city done recently for the 18 to 30 crowd? Not much. And we wonder why they all head to Edmonton for their entertainment, and leave as soon as they can afford to leave home.
So now our reputation is taking another hit all over the world.
MIXMAG.com, which calls itself the “world’s dance music and clubbing destination” calls St. Albert “a frightened Canadian city” that cancelled the tour “fearing uncontrollable chaos.”
Other sites are just making fun of the city.
Now the word is Skrillex and the tour is moving to the Kinsmen facility in Edson. EDSON! Wouldn’t that just be a wonderful kick in the butt to St. Albert.
There’s a Mao Tse Tung quote that seems to fit our council and administration very well: “We think too small. Like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.”