Something for everyone 

Pemberton Festival offerings sate diverse musical appetites

click to enlarge On-Stage Antics The Flaming Lips pulled out all the stops for their performance on the Mount Currie main stage. Photo by
  • On-Stage Antics The Flaming Lips pulled out all the stops for their performance on the Mount Currie main stage. Photo by

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 music lovers.

“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 was unbelievable.’”

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 musical performances.

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