A popular summer festival returns to London, Ontario next week with a change: it’s adding a water refilling station.

In a statement, the City of London told 980 CFPL that Rock the Park organizers have requested a Thirstation for their event, which runs from July 13-17.

A Thirstation is a portable water station that has a bottle filling area.

This comes after a District 6 city council candidate read a CBC article about a 72-year-old Rock the Park volunteer who quit after discovering that outdoor water was not allowed and that bottled water was being sold for $5 each at the festival.

In a statement, Samuel Trosow called on the city to lift the ban on outside water and offer a refill station.

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“Rock the Park is a private entity but they are using Harris Park, which is a city facility,” Trosow told 980 CFPL. “Whatever contract the city has with this provider, apart and apart from that, there is the issue of providing free water services in a park.”

Trosow, who teaches law and media, also points out that lack of access to water at an event like this could cause dehydration, which is a health and safety violation.

In response to Trosow’s statement, Rock the Park organizer and Jones Entertainment Group (JEG) chairman Brad Jones said they have always provided a drinking fountain.

“We do not allow water bottles. There will be a drinking fountain available for them inside,” said Brad Jones. “It’s not unlike the last 17 years at Rock the Park.”

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Jones also noted that Rock the Park has raised more than $3.5 million “for great local charities and it comes from the sale of water and beer.”

The City of London says it is not responsible for decisions event organizers make regarding food and drink, including what they offer or prices.

“There is nothing in City policy that mandates this; is at the sole discretion of the event organizers. The water policy for this event was determined by the event organizers, not the City,” a statement continued.

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