New date set for Uptown Live!

Uptown Live! had a place to play but a compromise was needed for a date.

The third version of the street music festival will be held Sunday, Aug. 10 in Uptown New Westminster.

Uptown Live! started in May 2012 to supplement the annual Hyack International Parade. It was put on by the Uptown New Westminster Business Association (UNWBA) and the Hyack Festival Association. But the UBA decided to go it alone this year after Hyack dismissed executive director Douglas Smith.

UNWBA originally wanted to move the date to Saturday, July 26. In addition to better odds for good weather, association president Bart Slotman said it was a good date for booking acts. But the West End Business Association objected because its 12th Street Music Festival is scheduled for July 27.

Slotman said while July 26 is a better date the organization was willing to compromise.

"The issue is operating on city streets. You can't unilaterally decide without city approval," said Slotman. "So be it. There's lots of talent in the city, a great number of young bands and established bands. I think we'll have a really good lineup. There's so much talent it will be spectacular again."

Smith has been hired by the UNWBA to produce the event.

Despite the compromise, Slotman said the UNWBA will continue to seek a July date for the festival.

Slotman noted the original intent was to move the event to a more weather-friendly date once it was established. Doing it on a different day than the parade also has an economic benefit for UNWBA members.

"If we're going to attract crowds to Uptown area better two events on separate days instead of just one day," said Slotman.

When it followed the parade it didn't start until mid-afternoon with acts playing well into the evening. But with an 11 a.m. start Slotman is estimating it will finish by about 6 p.m. this year.

New Westminster economic development manager Blair Fryer told council Monday the only event that could be considered a conflict for Aug. 10 was the New Westminster Cultural Crawl. But organizer Trudy Van Dop sent an email to the city supporting Uptown Live!, said Fryer.

• To replace Uptown Live!, Hyack has created Uptown Street Fest. It will be held on Belmont Street between Sixth and Seventh streets in conjunction with the Hyack parade Saturday, May 24, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature food trucks, music and several activities for kids.

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