My Solution for “Rock the Park’s” Water Situation

Updated: Jul 15

$5 for a bottle of water?!? That price could cause me to faint. Well, with a lack of water in the muggy mid-July heat, I may be fainting anyway.

By Matthew Grimminck

man drinking from water bottle next to a river

ISSUE LINKS: Visit ROCK THE PARK website

ISSUE EXTRA: London, Ont., launches project to collect hard-to-recycle plastics


Rock the Park makes its return to Harris Park after COVID-19 cancelled the event for two years, and not with a bit of controversy. One of its volunteers quit in protest because the only source of water was for $5 bottled water. The organizers of the festival and the group responsible for setting vendor prices, The Jones Entertainment Group, has since requested the city to provide free water refill stations at the music event - which the city has granted.


But let’s not complicate things here, folks! The only sure solution that would appease all sides is to break down the western gates of the festival and let attendees drink straight from the Thames River. Charge them a premium pass, $2 per visit ($1 extra for Rock the Park 2022 commemorative ladle). You’re already gambling your hard-earned money paying to see Ja Rule, so why not take a similar risk by drinking water straight from its source. Diarrhea be damned! Cramp like a champ! Nausea for a good caus-ee-a!



The promoters can still make some money, City Hall keeps us safe (at the show only), Start.ca can hand out samples of Pepto Bismol, and we, the festival-goers, can save money! And with this economy, where gas is almost $2 per litre and inflation gobbles our pay cheques, we could use all the savings we could get. And let’s be honest, we’ll probably spend that leftover money on Palm Bays anyway.


Let’s bring back Rock the Park with a bang! And let’s keep it fair. Because if there’s one true thing about Rock n’ Roll, it’s fairness. I could buy a case of 24 bottled water for $3 at Costco, so why should I pay $5 for one bottle at the venue? That $5 water was probably taken from our lakes, bottled by some corporation, and sold back to us to increase their profits. Let’s get our water straight from the source. Let all men, women, children, and dogs, get on our knees, dip our hands into the water and drink up!


Harris Park deserves to stay clean after the festival, and fewer bottles thrown out will help that. Leave the abundant littering to Ribfest. Festival-goers can rest assured they’re keeping one of the Forest City’s gems clean. So, to the Country fan who’s ready to dance to Dierks Bentley, or to the middle-aged mother hoping to relive her high school days with TLC, or to the guy who just wanted to see the Crash Test Dummies and may or may not stay for Alanis Morrisette, rest assured we’re keeping the park clean.

Until we develop Dune-style Stillsuits that will use our sweat to keep us hydrated, drinking out of a river is our best option. And if the last two years of living in a Pandemic has taught us anything, we need to be with each other. We’re social creatures. And huddling around a water source in close proximity could help there. Those pesky geese can just find somewhere else to go from July 13th to 17th.



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