If a bear wanders onto the site during Jay Z’s set, or a
train happens to go off the tracks, organizers of Pemberton Festival will have
the situation under control.
That’s just one of the messages Shane Bourbonnais, president
of North American touring and business development for Live Nation, had for
local residents on Monday evening.
At a meeting held at the Pemberton Meadows Golf Club, Bourbonnais
addressed a throng of locals who were eager to be brought up to speed on the
progression of plans for the inaugural musical extravaganza. With Coldplay
playing in the background, members of the community mingled over drinks and
appetizers, chatting over plans for the impending extravaganza of fun and
So far the three-day festival has attracted a huge amount of
international media attention, with publications like the
New York Times
Rolling Stone Magazine
covering the event, and there have been over 552,000
searches made on Google for Pemberton Festival.
“The world’s interested in Pemberton and Pemberton Festival
and what’s going on this summer,” Bourbonnais said.
Organizers finally revealed the site plan at Monday’s
meeting. The 360-acre festival site will feature at least five parking lots,
ten shuttle routes and multiple camping areas.
RV camping will be across Highway 99 at the airport, near
staff camping and event parking. The main festival site, on the Ravens Crest
property, is flanked on all sides by regular camping sites, with Mount Currie
as a backdrop.
While organizers have capped attendance at 40,000 people,
which includes concertgoers, security, volunteers and performers, Bourbonnais
said it could actually support 65,000 to 70,000 people.
When they last met with members of the public in March to
announce the festival, Bourbonnais admitted he was a bit unsure of how people
would respond to camping.
“Well, the good news is everyone wants to camp!” he said,
adding that they are expecting 19,000 people to take part in the “camper’s
dream,” which will include conveniences like general stores and showers.
Public safety was a focal point of the presentation. There
will be 100 RCMP officers on duty during the festival compared to the four that
typically work in the area, plus an additional 380 security officers from
Genesis Security. They also have a fire protection plan in place, developed
with help from local fire enforcement officials, two helicopters on standby,
equipped with water buckets in case of a fire, and a self-sufficient on-site
hospital staffed with a complete medical team.