NEWS

WayHome music festival lacks permits for Oro Medonte fields, critics say

07/17/2015 06:49 EDT | Updated 07/17/2016 05:59 EDT
The massive WayHome music festival only has permits for one-fifth of the space it needs for thousands of fans to park, camp and party, its critics say.

Starting next Friday, the three-day festival is expected to bring more than 40,000 people to Burl's Creek Event Grounds in the rural township of Oro Medonte, north of Barrie.

The festival features headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Sam Smith, Neil Young and St. Vincent, among many others. But the star-studded lineup isn't soothing the anger of many locals.

David Donnelly, a lawyer with a group of landowners who call themselves SaveOro, says the festival doesn't have the proper permits for the fields around Burl's Creek it needs for festivalgoers' parking and camping.

Donnelly said he's concerned that land, which is zoned for agricultural use, will be trampled. He said he expects the township to turn a blind eye even if zoning and liquor laws are broken.

John Mascarin, the lawyer who represents Oro Medonte, disagrees.

"Because (Wayhome organizers) have sold so many tickets, they don't want to make the public angry," he said.

Mascarin said both festival promoters and the owner of the event grounds have agreed to follow all of the township's bylaws, including zoning.

"There's been no evidence thus far that they will contravene that. Just speculation, conjecture and supposition at this point," Mascarin said.

Ontario Provincial Police officers have also been hired to provide security at the event.

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