The Victoria Police have released a statement regarding a free street party scheduled for tonight in Centennial Square.

The organizers do not have permits to stage a large-scale public event, and have ignored repeated attempts by the police and city to communicate about the event.

Victoria police have tried to contact Dance Dance Victoria through Facebook, but messages posted on the event’s Facebook page were deleted and the department has been blocked from posting further.

“The main concern is we don’t know exactly what it is,” Mayor Lisa Helps tells Victoria News. “We have a staff team that does events and they do an awesome job. My main concern is this not wanting to give our team a heads up.”

On their blog, organizers say they decided to not respond to attempts by the police and city to communicate because: “We are inspired by grassroots protests, the DIY music scene, tent cities, and bike raves. The cops and the city might have co-operated with our event, but we are doing it this way out of respect for the events they marginalize.

The Facebook event page is showing 7,700 people are interested in the party, while 3,400 are listed as going.

Statement from Victoria Police:

As you may be aware, there is an event called the “DIY Street Party” planned for Centennial Square on Friday, April 22nd that has been posted on Facebook. The event organizers have invited 8,400 people, and 3,200 have posted that that they plan to attend. This event has not yet been approved by the City, as no permit application was made. As a result, there is no site security plan, which is required to ensure everyone’s safety. There are no plans for washroom facilities, first aid, refreshments, or traffic control. The event organizers have no insurance and are directly liable for any costs incurred should anyone be hurt or any property damaged during this event. Additional staffing costs to ensure public safety, which are borne by the City and include the costs of policing the event, will also become the responsibility of the organizers.

We are working with local business owners in anticipation of this event. Some planned activities, including the use of an amplified speaker to play music, will likely interfere with the rights of other people in the downtown area, including a school musical being performed in the MacPherson Theatre.

Please talk to your family and friends to see if they plan to attend this event. If they are, please remind them that the downtown area exists for everyone to enjoy safely – our community has rules in place to ensure respect for everyone’s interests, and everyone has a part to play in community safety and respect for others.

A similar party happened in Vancouver last year:

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