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Hells Angels likely to attend huge motorcycle and music festival near Vernon

Saturday, 28 January 2012

 

The Hells Angels will again be attending the Sturgis North motorcycle and music festival, held this year near Vernon. Ray Sasseville, the White Rock-based promoter of the event, which has been moved to a site about 20 kilometres outside of Vernon, confirmed the Angels will be at the Motoplex Speedway in Spallumcheen between July 18-22. Last year the event was held in Salmon Arm “I believe they’re going to have a few booths there,” Sasseville said Thursday. The notorious biker gang also sold merchandise at the Salmon Arm event last year amid a significant police presence. The large crowd alone will require some extra police surveillance of this year’s Sturgis festival. But because the event hasn’t been officially confirmed, spokesman Gord Molendyk of the Vernon-North Okangan RCMP couldn’t give a police perspective. “We’re monitoring it like everyone else,” said Molendyk. “There will be planning, of course.” Sasseville said he had a written agreement to hold the festival but it was still being finalized. He said there were no problems with the Hell’s Angels at the last Sturgis event, which he said attracted about 35,000 to 40,000 people, and he’s not anticipating any concerns this year. “I spent over $300,000 on security last year,” he said. “Everybody behaved themselves.” A bigger concern for Sasseville is paying off more than $200,000 in debts left from last year’s event. His planned move to a facility with power and infrastructure — like fencing and stands that seat about 7,500 — will improve his bottom line and pay off the debts from Salmon Arm. “That for me is going to be difference between profit and loss,” he said. Sasseville revealed that the bands playing the festival include Edgar Winter, Nick Gilder and Sweeney Todd, The Stampders and The Guess Who.

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