Pemberton’s Successful Debut

While rumors of traffic problems, long lineups and security issues have arisen following the inaugural Pemberton Festival, organizers have already deemed the event a "triumphant success" and they expect a repeat performance.

"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.

"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."

The three-day Live Nation festival in British Columbia, which was billed as Canada’s answer to Glastonbury, featured more than 120 performers including Coldplay, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails and The Tragically Hip. Acts on two stages and two performance tents, a festival village and facilities drew more than 21,000 campers.

And with reported daily capacity crowds of 40,000, Murphy’s Law says some things were simply bound to go wrong the first time around.

Take traffic, for one.

People driving up the single-lane Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Pemberton, which is just north of the world-famous Whistler Blackcomb mountain resort,

faced hours of traffic. Also, shuttle buses to transport concertgoers from Whistler to Pemberton weren’t used as much as organizers had expected, which added to the traffic jam.

Bourbonnais said during a press conference that organizers had acknowledged the traffic kinks and were working to fix them for next year, the Province reported.

"We will put formats in place to try to minimize the cars, bump the [number of] shuttles up, make the shuttles a more attractive proposal and try to alleviate things that way," Bourbonnais said.

Besides the traffic, some complained of security at the festival being a little too lax for their liking.

"Security was giving up," a concertgoer told the Canadian Press. "There were no checks and no one seemed to know who was in charge."

Still, organizers learned from some mistakes quickly, reportedly upping the amount of shuttle buses available after the festival closed with Coldplay July 27 to make the fan exodus a little easier.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy, who will receive feedback from the town about whether the event should become an annual one, told the Vancouver Sun he was "very pleased" with the festival and that economic benefits for area businesses were "in the many millions of dollars."