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Mask-free drum circle at Vancouver's Wreck Beach turns out to be bust

Last Updated Aug 19, 2020 at 10:51 am PDT

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Whether it was the presence of UBC RCMP, stern warnings from the province, or just a lack of interest, a party billed as a large weekly drum circle on Wreck Beach Tuesday evening, did not go ahead quite as planned

Advertisements and promotions for the party circulated on social media, and urged people to “leave your mask at home.”

City News reporter David Zura was down at Wreck Beach, and he says there was no massive party insight.

“There was maybe one very small drum circle that I was able to find. That was about six people,” he said. “Other than that, I would call it a very average night for a beach on a nice summer night.”

Beach patrol officers were also on hand to ensure physical distancing rules were followed.

“I was able to see at least a couple of RCMP officers, at least a couple of park rangers just kind of doing rounds, not really anything too flashy but just kind of having that presence there. And that continued pretty much right up until sunset.”

The event was being pushed by a self-described event promoter who also planned an out of control house party last summer in Anmore.

Zura says he also heard from regular Wreak beachgoers who were upset to know a large drum circle was being promoted.

“The message got out everybody seemed to know about the post and it was almost like a lore on the beach people were sort of talking about hey this is what’s going on out there,” Zura explains.

“A lot of the Wreck Beach regulars they kind of describe it as a community and they’re saying, you know, this is floating around on social media attracting people who want to come for a big party that’s going to essentially kind of ruin their vibe that they typically rely on down there,” he says.

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The B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix spoke to NEWS 1130 earlier in the day to express his thought on the event, saying it’s shameful someone seems to be trying to use this tragedy to make themselves more famous.

“There are always people who wish to promote themselves at the expense of others, but these are lousy people who are behaving in a worthless way for the worst reasons, their own self-promotion, and people shouldn’t be fooled and they shouldn’t be part of it.”

He also had strong words for COVID-19 deniers who suggest it’s safe to party in large numbers without wearing a mask.

“When people deliberately set out to put other people at risk, just don’t be part of their world. Don’t be sucked into their world. There are so many better things to do this summer and every other time than to be part of someone else’s self-promoting, abject lousiness.”

Later this week, British Columbians will hear about stronger enforcement measures Dix promised Monday.

Dix is hinting the focus will be cracking down on private parties –mainly indoors– because that’s where transmissions have been the highest.