Pemberton Music Festival cancelled; organizers file for bankruptcy
40,000 fans descended on Pemberton Village to party during the inaugural Pemberton Music Festival in 2008. (Postmedia Network files)
VANCOUVER - The 2017 Pemberton Music Festival has been cancelled.
The festival is now in bankruptcy and Ernst & Young Ltd. has been appointed as trustee, according to a media release on the festival's website posted Thursday afternoon. The document says there will be no automatic refunds for ticket holders, who may have to wait weeks to learn whether they'll get their money back.
"As PMF is now in bankruptcy, it has no ability to provide refunds for tickets purchased," the document says. "However ticketholders may file a proof of claim form as an unsecured creditor with EYI in accordance with the claims process."
Some ticket holders may also be able to get refunds from third parties if their tickets were purchased using a credit card, and should contact their bank or credit card issuer regarding a refund, the document says.
An announcement about the popular four-day music event's cancellation was expected Thursday afternoon, according to several sources involved in its production who spoke off the record with Postmedia.
Slated to run July 13 to 16, it would have been Pemberton's fourth year, featuring headliners Chance the Rapper, Muse and A Tribe Called Quest as well as Major Lazer, Haim, Run The Jewels and dozens more acts.
Last year, the festival drew a record 180,000 fans over four days to Pemberton Village, north of Whistler. The event has brought major international acts such as Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, The Black Keys, Nine Inch Nails, Frank Ocean and Soundgarden.
The cancellation comes after lineup announcements were delayed several times in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, a post to the festival's official Facebook page indicated the event was still on: "It's just not the same here without you guys. Can't wait for you to come back home in less than 8 weeks!! #PembyIsMagic"
Wednesday afternoon, a festival goer commenting on the Facebook page was told that wristbands will be shipped out two to four weeks before the event.
And as of Thursday morning, four-day, general-admission tickets were still selling for $369 while VIP tickets – which included special entrances, viewing and parking – cost $899 and Super VIP tickets cost $1799.
But six sources involved in the event's production told Postmedia they'd heard firms were being contacted Thursday morning regarding the cancellation.
The event is produced and promoted by Huka in collaboration with the Village of Pemberton, Sunstone Group, Lil'wat Nation and Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.
Representatives for Huka and Sunstone were unreachable for comment.
Last year, the Squamish Festival was cancelled. Founded in 2010, it brought major acts to the Squamish Valley including Drake, Weezer, Metric, Bad Religion, The Tragically Hip, Eminem and Bruno Mars.