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LN Passes On Pemberton ’09

03:44 PM Thursday 1/8/09 | |

Live Nation is passing on the 2009 edition of its Pemberton Festival in British Columbia, which got the go-ahead from a provincial land commission too late in ’08 to prove feasible.

Organizers said the November approval left them with an extremely tight schedule to plan a festival and line up bands, according to local reports.

“We had had some internal conversations this week … and we think it is in the festival’s best interests to focus on 2010,” Shane Bourbonnais, LN Canada president of touring and business development, told Vancouver’s Province. “It is unfortunate, but we really want to make sure that when we bring it back that we bring back a great event and we don’t repeat the problems that we had last year.”

Some of the biggest problems during the inaugural event, which drew roughly 40,000 people each day to the festival site, were traffic jams on the single-lane Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Pemberton, just north of the world-famous Whistler Blackcomb mountain resort.

Live Nation plans to hire consultants prior to the next fest to fix the traffic kinks, Bourbonnais said.

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy, who championed the festival’s return after seeing economic benefits for area businesses in the “millions of dollars,” told the Province that while the news was disappointing, a longer organizational timeline will ultimately lead to a better fest.

“There is no question that 18 months’ preparation time will give us a better quality event than six months’ preparation,” he said.

Last year’s event, billed as Canada’s answer to Glastonbury, featured more than 120 performers including Coldplay, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Jay-Z, Nine Inch Nails and The Tragically Hip.