Gnarnia Festival promoter defends Beech Mountain event


The Watauga Democrat has the follow-up to summer controversy that tailed the Gnarnia Festival. The event drew about 3,000 people to Beech Mountain to a weekend full of great music. Police also arrested about 150 people on various charges. Some vocal attendees have criticized the police action, and criticized event organizers for not being organized well enough for the first year event.

The event, held Aug. 9-11 at Beech Mountain Resort, featured an eclectic lineup of electronic and dance music, along with visual and performance art.

It was accompanied by more than 150 arrests, widespread drug seizures and crowds that nearly overwhelmed medical crews’ capabilities, according to local officials.

From the organizers’ point of view, the event was a tremendous success in that it drew more than 3,000 people in its inaugural year, van Ling said.

In addition to musical acts that included Toubab Krewe, Beats Antique, 7 Walkers and more, the festival included more than 150 performance artists, visual artists, yoga and meditation leaders, and more, he said.

“Overall, I think it was a phenomenal event,” van Ling said. “We accomplished, I would say, the majority, if not most all of what we set out to do.”

But van Ling said he was overwhelmed with the uproar from patrons and community members about the police presence at the festival, which included Beech Mountain police, Boone police, Watauga and Avery county sheriff’s deputies, Highway Patrol troopers and Alcohol Law Enforcement agents.



Jennifer Saylor October 10, 2012 - 11:26 am

Jason, did you mean Banner Elk?

Jeff Eason October 10, 2012 - 11:22 am

Beech Mountain Resort is nowhere near Blowing Rock. Just thought you would like to know.

Jennifer Saylor October 10, 2012 - 11:24 am

LOL thanks, will fix.

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