Pemberton Music Festival Rocks

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Festival Rocks and Ranks Right Up There With The World’s Best 

DOC POW

PEMBERTON, B.C. – What started eight years ago in farmers’ fields somewhere north of Whistler, has morphed into the world-renowned Pemberton Music Festival.

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All you need to do is take a trip through this wonderful part of the province and check out this festival setup to see why.

Pearl Jam and The Killers plus a roster of leading DJs - and what soon became 45,000 of our closest friends - all kept the stoke high during the four-day experience.

We surfed around these fields of electric music over three stages, all amped up with pumping jams and big-name comedy acts, too.


The beautiful Pemberton Valley setting inspired a steady stream of Instagram posts.
Photo by Paul Kamon

When you get onto a grounds like this, in a valley among all these mountains, it adds a whole other level in sublime,” says Tristan Banning, who was on site from Toronto covering #PembyFest for his entertainment network www.sidewalkhustle.com

Banning knows his fests well, having been to more than 50 of them around the world. He calls the Pemberton experience by far the best. He had his start as a festival connoisseur at the age of 18, around 20 years ago, when he attended the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. with the headliner as none other than the late David Bowie.

Pemberton Music Fest is laid out across several acres, right next to the Sea to Sky Highway, and includes camping for over 40,000 people. Not everyone stays on the grounds, as the festival offers shuttles back and forth to Whistler, just 30 minutes down the road.

The age range of the Pemby fest-goers certainly skewed younger, with a strong millennial partying hard kind of crowd. But with the appearance of The Killers and one of the leaders of the ‘90s grunge movement, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, as the nightly headliners, it insured a good mix of 20, 30, 40 and a few 50- year-olds all having a great time, powered by incredible sound, digital and light shows.


Seattle's finest put on an tight 3-hour show featuring classics from "Ten" and beyond mixed with a couple of rare cover gems of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and "Another Brick in the Wall".
Photo by Paul Kamon 

The setup is top notch,” says PembyFest cameraman Chris Wheeler. “They are shooting on extremely technical cameras and basically are creating a live TV show before everyone’s eyes, with editors behind the scenes processing multiple camera feeds at every stage to bring the thousands in the crowd a front row view via giant broadcast screens.”


Cameraman Petr Basel busy capturing the moments at the Pemberton Music Festival 
Photo by Chris Wheeler

A production that takes over 30 days to set up and take down, the Pemberton Music Festival, produced by Huka Entertainment, has inked a place on the list of Canada’s premier music festivals.


"Raised on Biggie and Nirvana" - New Jersey's Halsey performs her electropop Millennial anthem "New Americana". 
Photo by Paul Kamon

The festival also gives back to its surroundings. Through the Pemberton Music Festival Community Fund, this year Huka supported community developments by giving $100,000 in grants to non-profits.

Over the past few years, the Village of Pemberton has been very supportive of the Pemberton Music Festival,” says A.J. Niland, founder of Huka Entertainment.

We are excited to be able to reciprocate that support and show our appreciation to this great community.”

And we’re pretty stoked that we got to enjoy it, too, with every intention of heading back again next year.

If You Go

Tickets for the Pemberton Music Festival traditionally go on sale in January. Get all the details here: http://pembertonmusicfestival.com/tickets/

You can explore Pemberton anytime, next to the music fest another experience is the Pemberton Slow food cycle happening mid August.

Among the various ticket levels, my suggestion is to get VIP passes, because it provides you access to exclusive seating, cheap beverages and, yes ladies, clean washrooms.


Escape the crowds for some zen time at Whistler's Scandinave Spa just down the road from the music fest
Photo by Paul Kamon

For those of us who are a bit older then younger, consider staying off-site in Whistler which allows you, like we did, to spend some relax time at the Scandinave Spa.

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