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The Globe and Mail

Pemberton to host a summer music festival (again)

A woman dances to the music as the band Vampire Weekend performs at the Pemberton Festival in Pemberton, B.C., on Sunday, July 27, 2008.


Pemberton, B.C., will once again host a big music festival this summer. Plans for a new Pemberton Music Festival in the Pemberton Valley north of Whistler were announced on Wednesday. The three-day festival will be produced and promoted by New Orleans-based Huka Entertainment in collaboration with "land partners" the Sunstone Group and the Lil'wat Nation.

The lineup has not been revealed, but the promoter is promising a wide-ranging contemporary music festival. "We cater to the iPod generation, where playlists, not genres, dominate listening habits," said Huka co-founder and CEO A.J. Niland in a statement. "Our vision for Pemberton Music Festival includes a wide spectrum of rock, indie, hip-hop, EDM [Electronic Dance Music] and more, anchored by top-level headliners."

Pemberton hosted a three-day music festival in 2008, which attracted some 40,000 people and top headliners such as Coldplay, Jay-Z and The Flaming Lips. But the Live Nation event was mired in problems – including massive traffic jams, insufficient garbage collection and epic dust – and efforts to remount it were unsuccessful.

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Organizers of this new Pemberton festival point out there have been improvements to the Sea to Sky Highway since then, and improvements to the land base which make the grounds more conducive to festival activities and camping, according to Niland, whose company has produced events such as the Hangout Music Festival in Alabama and the Tortuga Music Festival in Florida.

Village of Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy is onside and working with the event organizers. "I think I can safely say that we are all eagerly anticipating a great event."

The event will be held July 18 to 20. Details are at

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