Pemberton Fest’s Plot Problem

Organizers of the inaugural Pemberton Festival in British Columbia may have trumpeted the event as a success they expect to produce "for many years to come," but the party won’t be happening on the same place next year, according to an agriculture official.

Colin Fry, executive director of Agricultural Land Commission, recently told the Globe and Mail Live Nation was only issued a one-off permit for the event, and that the site is too valuable as farmland to host the festival again.

"The event was held," Fry said. "It’s over and the land will be reclaimed, and efforts will be made to secure another site if it were to occur again in the future.

"We fully support the initiatives to improve the opportunities in the community. We wish success to these various initiatives. We’re just simply saying that had we been approached earlier, we likely would have said, ‘not here.’"

Shane Bourbonnais, president of touring and business development for Live Nation Canada, who spearheaded the festival, told the Globe the promoter expects to discuss the site issue with the ALC after it receives local feedback at public meetings in Pemberton next month.

"What we want to do first is make sure the community wants it," Bourbonnais said. "That’s important to us. After we hear back from them and know where we stand, we will definitely sit down with the ALC, for sure."

As for residents of Pemberton, the town has begun collecting feedback on its Web site regarding the festival, and much of it has been positive, the local Pique Newsmagazine reported.

"There are people offering suggestions how to improve the situation next year, which is a good sign that they want this event to come back," Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy told the paper. "We want that opportunity for people to be involved. … We want that feedback, so we can help to ensure that community objectives are being met."