New Promoter, New Pemberton Fest

Pollstar - September 25, 2013
Rural British Columbia apparently isn’t too rural for a large-scale concert with news that the town of Pemberton will once again host a music festival in 2014.

Promoter HUKA Entertainment has signed on to present the Pemberton Music FestivalJuly 18-20.

The fest will feature performances from A-level acts plus art, activities and other entertainment, organizers noted in a statement.

“We cater to the iPod generation, where playlists, not genres, dominate listening habits,” HUKA co-founder and CEO A.J. Niland said. “Our vision for Pemberton Music Festival includes a wide spectrum of rock, indie, hip-hop, EDM, and more, anchored by top-level headliners.”

On-site camping will be available now that the site has doubled in size, as will off-site lodging and shuttles to the nearby Whistler-Blackcomb mountain resort.

“The improvements made to the land base not only make the grounds more conducive to festival activities and camping, but have had a great and positive impact on parking and traffic management plans as well,” Niland continued. “Discussions are already under way with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure officials to review these plans and put them into effect.”

The last time the town hosted a festival was in 2008, when Live Nation produced the inaugural Pemberton Festival that drew roughly 40,000 people each day to see a lineup including ColdplayTom Petty & The HeartbreakersJay ZNine Inch Nails, and The Tragically Hip.

Though the debut was deemed a success, the event was tested by traffic jams on the single-lane Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Pemberton.

The town has pushed for additional concerts in the years since, but Live Nation shelved subsequent editions citing traffic issues, liquor licensing and policing costs “impossible for a world-class festival to survive.”

Load improvements made to the road prior to the 2010 Winter Olympics should alleviate traffic mitigation issues for 2014, HUKA noted.

Though a lineup is forthcoming, discounted “founder’s program” tickets for the three-day fest go on sale Sept. 27 for $189.

A launch celebration featuring a live performance and additional announcements was scheduled to take place in Pemberton Sept. 25.

–Dana Parker-McClain