Police descend on Wesbild Centre for Fright Night

Okanagan-wide Halloween party, held at Vernon's Wesbild Centre, attracts police attention

The Fright Night Halloween party drew 2

The Fright Night Halloween party drew 2

Fright Night caused havoc for the Vernon RCMP on the weekend.

Billed as “The Okanagan’s Largest Halloween Party,” Fright Night drew more than 2,000 people to the Wesbild Centre Saturday night to listen to some of the world’s top DJs spin tunes from an advertised start time of 8 p.m.

The last DJ was slated to take the stage beginning at 5:15 a.m.

“Fright Night kept our officers busy until 6 a.m.,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk. “Several arrests were made from that party.”

Molendyk said there were at least seven calls for service from the event, and officers were brought in specifically for the party.

They said they observed a number of fights that broke out, drug activity and plan to discuss the party with Wesbild Centre management and the liquor inspector.

“We don’t have anything to do with licensing, but there are issues around liquor and liquor licensing,” said Molendyk, stating there was a cut-off time for serving liquor.

“I’m not saying the Wesbild Centre itself is solely responsible. We understand promoters came in to bring the event to the Wesbild Centre and there may be issues with the promoter.”

That’s news to Justin Pandos of Kelowna-based Flipside Entertainment, who put on Fright Night. As of Monday afternoon, Pandos hadn’t heard of any complaints from the RCMP.

“We want to do anything we can to work with the police,” said Pandos. “We’re long-term guys, we want to work with them to make sure everything is done the way they like to see it done.

“The issues you’re talking of haven’t been brought to my attention yet.”

Pandos said the inaugural Fright Night was a positive experience.

“It had people from all over the Okanagan, security company did a great job, Vernon police department is great to work with, and the Wesbild Centre was a great venue,” said Pandos. “We sold out close to all of the hotels in the city for the night, which is a great economic impact for you guys.

“If there are issues that they would like to talk about, we’re more than happy to talk and make sure that they’re happy in the future.”

Wesbild Centre management said they will be meeting with the RCMP this week.

“Any time we hold an event like this, we always meet with the RCMP afterwards and compare notes,” said Doug Ross with the Wesbild Centre.

The two sides will meet on Thursday to discuss the Fright Night event.