The third annual festival was originally scheduled June 1-3 at Brantford’s Brant Park with a lineup that also featured Weezer, Puddle Of Mud, Hedley, The Trews, Sloan, Bleeker Ridge, Marianas Trench and Down With Webster.
Hockeyfest was called off after the Brantford Police Service withdrew its support, followed by the Grand River Conservation Authority’s May 26 announcement that the festival could no longer be held at the venue. Promoter Ralph Spoltore initially tried to secure an alternative location but couldn’t get the approval of police on such short notice, according to the Brantford Expositor.
“It’s very difficult to go against the machine. That’s what I’ve discovered,” Spoltore said.
Although the Brantford Expositor reports that promoter Ralph Spoltore held a news conference at the Best Western in Brantford May 29 saying that tickets would be honored at a “future event,” Hockeyfest’s website simply says, “This festival has been postponed, details here soon.” The latest update on Hockeyfest’s Facebook page posted the morning of June 1 says, “Hello everyone. Communication from Brantford Hockeyfest is coming very soon. Please continue to be patient and bear with us as all options are being explored. Thank you.”
According to a May 31 post on Weezer’s website, refunds are available at point of purchase.
“The festival is supposedly/apparently being rescheduled at some point but its impossible to predict what will happen down the line, so all we can say is we’re just as disappointed as you today.”
The lengthy May 26 announcement on Brantford Police Service’s website details the many reasons why the service withdrew its support of providing paid duty officers at the festival.
“Seven days prior to the commencement of the event, Hockeyfest 2012 had failed to satisfy the requirements of not only the Police Service, but the Fire Department, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the Grand River Conservation Authority and other agencies. … The failure of Hockeyfest 2012 to meet their obligations compromised the safety and security of the venue; therefore, the Brantford Police Service did not enter into a contract to provide paid duty officers which ultimately resulted in the GRCA deciding to revoke their agreement with Hockeyfest 2012 to use Brant Park Conservation Area.”
After posting on Facebook (in all caps) that “Hockeyfest Is Not Cancelled” May 27, followed by a May 28 post telling fans to “hold on to your tickets very tightly,” Spoltore tried to relocate the festival to Ohsweken Speedway.
The venue’s Glen Styres told the Brantford Expositor that he “pulled the plug” on the new plan when the Six Nations police refused to support Hockeyfest.
“We’re not doing it due to manpower issues and such short notice,” Six Nations police spokesman Derrick Anderson told the newspaper. “We’ve got to put our community’s safety first.”