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Pemberton reaffirms support for festival

Council invited to Alberta to see how Big Valley Jamboree works


The Village of Pemberton has given a big thumbs up to holding another Pemberton Festival in the valley.

In a motion that came up at its July 21 meeting, council voted unanimously in favour of sending correspondence to Live Nation confirming its "enthusiastic" support of the festival.

The event, which took place from July 25 to 27, 2008, brought approximately 40,000 music fans to the valley to hear acts such as Coldplay, Tom Petty and Nine Inch Nails. The event made fervent supporters out of valley residents and others, with some calling it the best thing that's ever happened to the town.

Festival organizer Shane Bourbonnais was named along with Live Nation as Pemberton's Businessperson of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. Analysts estimated the festival brought about $5 million into the area's economy.

Whether it comes back now is open to question. The province's Agricultural Land Commission has given Live Nation the go-ahead to hold a festival on its site once a year for the next nine years. Live Nation did not put on a festival for 2009, citing a lack of time in which to organize one.

Reviews of the festival were mostly positive, though there were complaints about traffic management, security and waste management at the site. Festival goers bore witness to many piles of trash throughout the site and attendants often had to wait hours to get into town for the festival.

Councillor Ted Craddock, speaking on the motion, said council has received an invitation from the organizer of the Big Valley Jamboree in Camrose, Alberta to go and visit and see how that festival operates.

Craddock said he's particularly interested in seeing how it manages traffic flow, policing, waste and garbage removal, and mayor and council are invited to check out the festival on the Aug. 1 long weekend.

This year's Big Valley Jamboree will host country music acts including Tim McGraw, Joe Diffie, Tracy Lawrence and Kevin Costner.

Council also approved a Water Conservation Plan in order to fulfill the obligations of a grant it received from the Municipal-Rural Infrastructure Fund for a new well. The well project has been completed but the plan was only endorsed at the July 21 meeting.

Measures that have yet to be completed include planting low-watering species in place of removed trees, water main looping and installation of zone water meters to measure consumption.

Tasks already completed have included installing low-flow toilets and urinals in municipal buildings and a Water Efficiency Newsletter that goes out to the community.