With tens of thousands of people attending and camping for Country Thunder in in Craven, Sask., there’s a massive security presence.
With a reputation for being rowdy and sometimes chaotic, the crowds at Country Thunder are managed by a security team of several hundred people, as well as the RCMP.
“We try to be really proactive on our end, but if anything is going to be a criminal nature or anything else like that, the RCMP is on site to help back us up as well,” said Shawn Pearce, Country Thunder security coordinator.
Using a central dispatch system, all security teams are able to respond to an incident quickly. However, things have been pretty calm at the festival so far.
The RCMP have received only a handful of calls for service.
“Everybody is listening to security, they’re listening the members that are on scene, they’re listening to the event staff, and everything is going smoothly so far,” said Tim Sartison, Staff Sergeant.
Another big challenge police usually deal with at the festival is the traffic that gets backed up on the highway, but it hasn’t been an issue this year.
Staff Sgt. Sartison said there was a good flow of traffic that went into Craven this year.
“My understanding in previous years that has caused some issues with backups along the highway but this year the traffic flow is very steady, it kind of trickled in all throughout and we didn’t have any significant back ups along the highway,” he said.
While most years the campground is either scorching hot or wet with mud, Pearce believes the good weather is helping things run smoothly.
“This is the first time in a long time where we’ve been so dry and so everybody’s really happy when they’re getting in here,” Pearce said. “They’re not getting bogged down with anything and they’re really enjoying themselves as they’ve come in. So, they’ve set up well, we’ve had a good flow of our campers and everybody else that’s come in and the campground seems to be in a really good spirit.”
For the final days of the festival, people are reminded to drink responsibly, plan rides home, if necessary, stay hydrated, and be mindful of the wildfire smoke in the air.
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