The inaugural Pemberton Festival in Pemberton, BC, anchored by headliners Coldplay, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Nine Inch Nails, Jay-Z and The Tragically Hip, reached its full capacity of 40,000 per day during the three-day music and camping festival, July 25-27. Produced by Live Nation and Good Boy Productions, the event was held at the foot of the majestic Mount Currie. The lineup included more than 120 performers in all.
According to its organizers, it is estimated that the festival generated more than $20 million for the local economy.
“We built a world-class music festival from scratch which attracted the world’s most successful and talented artists and music fans from every corner of the globe,” said Shane Bourbonnais, president of Touring and Business Development for Live Nation Canada, in a statement. “The lessons we’ve learned as the global leader in festival production and the enormous support we received from the government and people of Pemberton all came together to create a one-of-a-kind event that we expect to produce for many years to come.”
Pemberton featured two stages and two performance tents, a festival village and camping facilities which drew more than 21,000 campers as well as an RV park. Hydro-electric energy was the main power source for the festival’s energy and local Pemberton Valley farm products, which the area is well known for, were served throughout the 360 acre festival site. A farmer’s market – where local farmers sold their goods directly to concert-goers – was also featured at the site.
The festival, not unlike most undertakings of this size, had its share of complaints, including transportation delays with people waiting hours in traffic on the single-lane Sea-to-Sky Highway, long waits for shuttle buses that never came and trash everywhere, according to The Globe British Columbia. Traffic delays were so bad, that not only did just two of five members of N.E.R.D. make it to their show on July 27, but they were also 35 minutes late.
So will there be a year two? At a press conference on the festival’s third and final day, Bourbonnais told the paper he felt “pretty good that we’ll be coming back to Pemberton next year.”
However, Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said at the press conference that he wanted community input before green-lighting a second year and with other stakeholders will hold a technical debriefing in late August to address key issues and to decide about 2009.