It didn’t matter if you dig classic rock ’n’ roll, heavy metal,
rap, hip-hop, or electronica — there was a bit of everything to keep any
and all music lovers happy during the three days and four nights of rhythms,
beats and melodies in Pemberton last weekend.
Despite complaints about the transportation and other
logistical issues, nary a whine was uttered about the talent, and even the
biggest names that came to play seemed blown away by the breathtaking backdrop
of Mount Currie, and the positive vibe from the audience of 40,000 enthusiastic
“I’ve had so many phone calls and e-mails from artists that
were like, ‘unbelievable,’” Shane Bourbonnais, president of North American
touring and business development for Live Nation, said in an interview Tuesday.
Bourbonnais had just returned from a wrap-up meeting at their
staff offices in Pemberton, and had driven past the site, where crews were in
full clean-up mode. He was still reeling from events of the weekend, and
remarked that he couldn’t believe that just two days before, the site played
host to performances by some of the biggest names in the business: Jay Z, Tom
Petty & The Heartbreakers, Nine Inch Nails, Coldplay and The Tragically
Hip, just to name a few.
“After Tom Petty’s set, he was going to go off the back of the
stage, into a car and take off, but he wanted to come and see me first, and he
gave me a big hug and he went, ‘most beautiful place I’ve ever played in my
life,’” Bourbonnais said. “…It was amazing. Jay Z, after his set, he called me
into his dressing room and he gave me a shot of Patron, and he just had a smile
from ear to ear. He was just like, ‘run with this, it’s crazy, this is
awesome!’ Just watching that set and watching people just respond to his energy
Bourbonnais said the performers were blown away by the setting
and the energy from the audience, and added that his phone is already ringing
off the hook with calls from agents who are looking to book their musicians
into Pemberton Festival 2009.
“We always talked about this festival was about music, and
that’s what came through,” Bourbonnais said.
The ground literally pulsed with a heavy baseline from noon until
3 a.m. each and every day, as the Mount Currie Stage, Lillooet Stage, Bacardi
B-Live Tent, and Barn Dance Tent churned out a steady stream of top-notch