The Pemberton Festival, which brought some 40,000 music lovers and some of the world’s most popular bands to the Spud Valley for three days last July, won’t take place in 2009.
However, Shane Bourbonnais, president of touring and business development for Live Nation Canada, on Thursday (Jan. said the company is fully committed to bringing the three-day, European-style musical extravaganza back for 2010.
“Yes,” Bourbonnais said when asked about the festival in future years. “We’re going to start looking at that when the time’s right and turn our attention to it, for sure.”
Bourbonnais said he was disappointed not to be able to bring back the festival for its encore performance this summer. However, he said, the fact that festival organizers only knew they would have a site for the festival on Nov. 18 — when the B.C. Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) gave its conditional approval for the site that was used for the inaugural festival — put them behind schedule in terms of booking acts, sponsors and contractors.
“We have had some internal conversations this week and we feel it would really be better now for us to focus on 2010,” he said. “There’s a lot of big-level talent out there that we’re seeking, and we were outweighed on sponsors. We wanted to be able to book them by Christmas — we were not giving enough time for them to budget it into their cycle for ’09. That happens normally in the fall.
“In 2008, we had some of the best talent in the world, and when we come back, we want the talent level to measure up to that. We’re disappointed, but we don’t want to face the same scrutiny and the same problems that we had at the first event.”
The performance line-up for the 2008 festival, which took place July 25 to 27, included big-name acts such as Coldplay, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails and Jay-Z. Performers and most patrons praised the inaugural festival, and the vast majority of Pemberton-area residents voiced a desire for it to return. However, there were complaints about security, traffic and waste collection.
“When I sat in front of the community in September, I said that when we come back, we’ll only do that if we can be significantly better. I’m committed to that,” Bourbonnais said.