There may have been a lot of rumours about what happened up in Pemberton, and I’m here to set them straight – at least from my point of view.
My friends and I arrived on Thursday night to the Pemberton Airport Parking Lot, which was mayhem. This was the one moment of my entire weekend where I thought – woah, what did I get myself into? The staff there were not prepared for the number of people that arrived Thursday evening (who had all most likely driven up from Vancouver after work). Volunteers must have been so overwhelmed by the amount of people waiting hours to park their cars, that they just gave up and went home. We were supposed to park the car and get in line for a shuttle to take us to the campsite. Well, that was not happening. There were thousands of people there, some getting wasted in and around their cars, others lined up for the shuttle, and it was obvious to us that this was going to be a loooooong wait. Once we got the car parked, we finally spoke to someone who was working there, and they told us our best best was to pitch our tent beside our car and get up bright and early to wait in line for the shuttle. We hummed and hawed, but in the end, we followed his advice.
The next day, we woke up to the sound of Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida” being blasted from someone’s car stereo at around 5:00am. Normally this kind of thing would have annoyed me, but it was such a nice change from the crappy music being played the night before, that we all kind of enjoyed the wake-up call. So, anyway, we lined up around 6:00am(?) Friday morning and finally got loaded onto shuttles around 9:30am after being “security searched” for drugs and alcohol. Pffft.
We arrived at the site and set up camp and were cruising the grounds by 10:00am. All in all, the experience wasn’t that bad. In fact, it kind of added to the uniqueness of the weekend, and it was soon forgotten after we tasted that first cold beverage.
After that, everything is a blur. Many hours spent in the beer gardens sipping on Coors Light and sangria made from Pemberton wine (delicious!), and in the Bacardi tent drinking mojitos. I did catch some great shows, though (the whole point of actually being there!) as well as just kicked back in the beer gardens and listened to the festivities around me. Friday night’s performance by Nine Inch Nails was one to remember, and I’m not even a huge fan. Saturday night’s stellar line-up did not disappoint either. The Tragically Hip and Tom Petty were amazing. That was one of the funnest days. I ran into so many people that I knew and hadn’t seen in a long time on Friday and Saturday, it was crazy! But there are also many people I know whom attended, but I never caught a glimpse of them.
Sunday was a day of all days. For one, I actually got to have a shower. Mind you, it was in a dirty little trailer, and I had to wait at least half an hour to get in there, but it felt magnificent! Jay-Z’s performance that afternoon was epic. The sun even decided to peak out of the rain clouds for a few moments. But the best show for me, was the final headliner on Sunday evening – Coldplay. I have always enjoyed Coldplay, but this performance just put me over the top. I am in love.
Oh yes, I can’t forget the traffic issue. Since I was camping at the festival site and NOT staying somewhere fancy in Whistler, I didn’t have to deal with the 4-5 hour “drive” from Whistler to Pemberton and back every day. The only way I was affected by the traffic, is when Coldplay and a few other artists showed up late for their set, because they were ALSO stuck in traffic. But for me, no big deal.
Rather than bore you much longer, I will just share some more photos from the weekend.