Engineering student dies at Pemberton, B.C. music festival
Nick Phongsavath, 21. (Courtesy Facebook)
PEMBERTON, B.C. — Engineering student Nick Phongsavath, 21, was found dead at the Pemberton Music Festival on Friday.
His body was found near a row of portable toilets on Friday. Police have deemed his death suspicious, but cannot confirm how he died or whether foul play was involved.
Phongsavath was a student at the University of Regina and an active member of the Regina Engineering Students' Society. He often participated in engineering competitions.
Social media posts indicate Phongsavath was a music-lover who enjoyed slacklining in the park.
His body was discovered near a row of portable toilets Friday afternoon.
Alexandra Frado, 20, was camped out near where the body was found.
"We were at the concert grounds, and when we came back the police were here. All of our friends were just like, What is going on?’” Frado told QMI Agency "It's terrible. It hit us pretty hard to see that."
Officers closed the entrance nearest to where the body was found.
Police tape surrounded a portion of the camp on the northwest side, including some tents and a string of port-a-potties.
Campers stood and watched as investigators tried to piece together what happened.
Early Saturday morning, the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team tweeted: “IHIT team deployed to Pemberton for a suspicious death.”
IHIT is responsible for investigating homicides, high-risk missing persons and suspicious deaths.
The RCMP also urged festival-goers to contact their families "to let them know you're OK."
Huka Entertainment, the festival's organizer, released a statement.
"Huka Entertainment is working with Pemberton Fire and Rescue to care for campers who need to be relocated during the police investigation."
The annual festival, which is held in the picturesque valleys of Mount Currie in Pemberton, began Thursday.
Outkast, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden and Deadmau5 are some of the nearly 100 acts performing at this year’s event.
— With files from Sheena Goodyear and Alison Salz