A&E » Music

Homegrown talents play big gig

Find out what Sea to Sky musicians thought about the inaugural Pemberton Festival



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“We were the only live music option to go to at that point — the other option, of course, was the Bacardi tent, which is all DJ music — so all the rock ’n’ roll fans swarmed over to our side of the fence and it was wild in there!” Reamsbottom said.

While the crowds were definitely rowdy, Reamsbottom points out that they weren’t aggressive, and everyone just seemed to be there to party and have a good time.

“The fence in front of the stage came down three times just from the people moshing in front of it, and every time it came down, 20 people would fall on top of each other, everyone would back up, help pick the people up — even help set the fence back up again,” he pointed out.

When The Hairfarmers performed on Saturday night, the vibe was similarly amped up, with the other half of the duo, Doug Craig, making an on-stage guitar sacrifice.

Reamsbottom had heard about the Pemberton Festival before it was even announced, and approached organizers very early on to find out how they planned on including local musicians. Initially, he said they weren’t sure if they were going to have the time or space to showcase homegrown talent. And while The Hairfarmers and Whole Lotta Led have been fortunate enough to play big crowds before, Reamsbottom pointed out that there are a lot of local bands that haven’t.

“I think its great fun and experience for them, and really cool of Live Nation to do that, because it added a nice local touch,” Reamsbottom said.

Mike McDonald is one of the members of Donny’s Ashes. He played alongside fellow bandmates Mike Carter, Dean Fesor and Liam Webster at Pemberton Festival late Sunday night. In fact, they were the last group to play the festival, taking the stage after Coldplay. Imagine having that as an opening act.

Because the performances on the Mount Currie stage ran late all evening, the influx of people they were expecting didn’t come until later in their set. But they started out playing to a crowd of about 1,000, which quickly grew with people looking for their last drink, or two, after Coldplay wrapped up.

“By the end of our set, we were pretty much at capacity, and that’s a 2,500 capacity tent,” McDonald said. “That’s easily like 10 times as many people as I’ve ever played for. So its not just like a big step, it’s like a leap.”