Dozens of tired Pemberton Music Festival fans took to social media on Wednesday, July 13, to voice anger at waiting up to seven hours to access the onsite campground.
Getting to the festival campsite was a two-step process, with campers parking nine kilometres away from the site and being bussed in, then registering once arriving there.
On the Pemberton Music Festival’s Facebook page, Russell Coffin from Vancouver wrote: “Such BS Pemberton Music Festival. People have to wait four hours for shuttle and the majority of campers haven’t even arrived yet. What a slap in the face saying “lucky you.”
“Lucky you” is a reference to a post by the festival on Facebook under which so many complaints were written.
Others said only four buses were available to move the thousands who showed up a day prior to the opening of the festival, and said organizers were caught off guard by the volume of people arriving.
On Twitter the criticism was also severe.
From Sam Patterson: “@Pemberton_Fest had to sleep in the parking lot last night. First bus to campground ASAP?”
From Virginia Hughes: “What the actual fuck @Pemberton_Fest. The lack of camping organization is unbelievable, and you call yourselves a proper festival? #disgrace.
Criticism was also made on the festival’s Instagram page.
In an interview prior to the festival’s start, co-founder A.J. Niland of HUKA said more people were expected this year, around 45,000 per day.
The Pemberton Music Festival responded by email:
"We acknowledge that due to some traffic issues beyond our control on the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, there was congestion and some delays during yesterday’s load-in of campers to the Pemberton Music Festival.
“We are happy to say that all campers made it to the festival site safely last night and are experiencing this year’s enhancements, which include an Air Miles bandwagon to help campers with their luggage and increased water stations. The festival's customer service team is frequently updating fans through posts on socials and push notifications on the festival app.
“Traffic is flowing well today and we are looking forward to another amazing year of fun and music in one of the most beautiful festival locations in the world."