RCMP confirms one person dead at Pemberton Music Festival

The RCMP has confirmed to the Straight that there has been a death at the Pemberton Music Festival.

An officer said at this point that nobody had yet been appointed to speak to media. He added that an RCMP news conference may be held later in the evening, possibly around midnight.  

The officer also confirmed that members of the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) were on their way to the Pemberton festival site or already here. He was however quick to add that the presence of IHIT officers did not necessarily mean the death was a murder.  He described it as a "precaution".  

Huka Entertainment, the festival's New Orleans–based organizers, has released a brief statement.  

"The Pemberton Music Festival can confirm that an incident has occurred in one of the festival campgrounds," the statement reads. "RCMP are onsite investigating. Huka Entertainment is working with Pemberton Fire and Rescue to care for campers who need to be relocated during the police investigation."  

There is an observably heightened police presence in the "founders" section of the festival's camping area, where the death is believed to have occurred.

The festival is continuing without interruption. At the time of writing, night-one headliners Nine Inch Nails were continuing their set on the main stage.

Update: Nick Phongsavath identified by police as man who died at Pemberton Music Festival

Comments (19) Add New Comment
Terrible Pressure
Well, this puts the deafening crap on 4th avenue in perspective--at least they only damaged people's hearing!
Rating: -13
Nanny Kat
Sadly the parents of this person probably don't know yet........but social media does.....
Rating: -6
morals vs. values
Out of respect for the deceased person and their family and friends, the music festival should be shut down. If I was at an event where a death occurred, I wouldn't continue partying--- I would leave. Why hasn't the event been shut down? Someone just died. Who cares about being out of the cost of the price of the event .... Life is worth more than a cover charge. So sad to read that "that the festival continues without interruption."
Rating: -31
@morals and values.
It's a yanky company , do you think they would stop a show and interrupt profit. NOPE..
Rating: -14
@morals and values
To the people hating on the organizers for not shutting down the event, have you any idea how much work and money goes into planning a festival this size?? While it's truly unfortunate that someone died, it's not their fault and why should they be millions of dollars in the hole because of it? There's thousands of people they'd have to refund, and they'd still be legally obligated to pay all of the bands, and I'm sure that's a huge price tag. If I were attending a festival that shut down because someone passed away, I'd be pretty upset considering how much of a financial investment it is to attend an event like this.
Rating: +18
The show must go on.
Rating: +10
morals vs. values
To the people responding to @morals vs. values: your life and death morals vs. monetary and right to party values, are duly noted. You appear to possess an attitude of entitlment that dictates to ensure you're "getting your money's worth" and reverence for financial gain at any cost, even when a death has occurred at the event. Did you consider how your attitude for your right to party on, even after RCMP have confirmed someone has died on site at this event, could be viewed as an accessory to the cause of death? Maybe that's why they haven't shut it down; keep all the suspects there at the scene while the RCMP conduct their investigation. But hey, on the other hand, there's a multi million dollar music festival that's much more important than the loss of a life. I guess the crowd control and legal contractual obligations in this scenerio are not factored into the cover charge at the event. Distract the inebriated morons with what's on stage. After all, that's what's more important here.....right?
Rating: -16
What in the Hell
This is highly disturbing.
Rating: 0
Ms. Jackson
If they tried to shut the festival down, all hell would break loose. I'm sure that even the deceased would want the show to go on. Condolences to friends and family. Rock In Peace kid...
Rating: -4
@ morals vs values, You are pretty immature. Your logic lacks reasoning. Yes, death sucks, but life goes on. They don't shut down a city every time someone dies do they? Oh, I get it. It's an opportunity for you to tell the world how much better of a person that you are.
Rating: +6
@morals vs values - And cancelling the show would bring this person back? Tell ya what, write a cheque to the organizers, vendors, and concert goers and then they will shut it down.

Only when it's not YOUR money, right?
Rating: -3
Large "festivals" like this are inherently dangerous. That should be the take-home message. People got along just fine before large-scale entertainment. The verdict seems to be in: entertainment on a large scale kills people! I sure am glad that dancing on drugs and booze is considered more sacrosanct than human life!
Rating: -5
T.J. Cheverie
As He Lay Dead

around the body
the party continued
as he was falling
falling, falling, falling
hope falling
past falling
present falling
future falling
i sat at home
tears falling
for the young man
for his family
for his friends
their lives forever bound
in police tape
unrequited dreams

how much value do you put on human life?
as he lay dead.

T. J. Cheverie
Rating: -9
In most cultures, dancing and some, drinking form a part of the ceremonies for the deceased. Do they consider this disrespectful, or offending to the sacrosanctness of death?

Has the family made any suggestion that the event should be cancelled? Hmmm.., maybe they know something about what their son may have wanted?

Rating: -5
You are morally vacant. Do you have sh#t for brains too?

There is no comparison between a few day music festival scene and a city!

Who the fuck said anything about "bringing the dead person back" ?!

The reason to shut the festival down does not have anything to do with that at all.

You definately must have very few active brain cells left if you don't know ...
Rating: -4
Fucking idiot. What the hell does "bringing the person back from the dead" have to do with shutting down the festival? Are you on drugs? Just because the loccation of the festival is out in the bush doesn't mean you're a savage and uncivilized. If there was a death at any other event -- it would be shut down. And piss off with your reverence for financial monetary riches. The financial loss shouldn't matter. Yeah I guess you just "have to get your money's worth" -- at any cost. Selfish bastard you are.
Rating: -5
Ms. Jackson
Whatever happened to Nick was a terrible tragedy. But shutting down the festival is not an appropriate way to honor him. Bob Saget could say a few words, have a moment of silence and pour a little liquor. And then celebrate life, cuz' you never know when you're gonna' go.
Rating: +5
out at night
Morals vs values: no one can say you're not compassionate and you seem very moralistic (not a bad thing, at least in my books), however have you done the math on this?

Cancel the festival and you'd be refunding all ticket holders their money, then pay all the artists their fees (keeping in mind you just gave all that money back to the patrons), then pay all the staff and contractors, maybe even pay the losses of the vendors and so forth. After all, such a cancellation would be at the organizers' discretion - not like an earthquake or some other "act of God" made it absolutely necessary. I deal with performers' contracts for a living and believe me, there ain't no clauses in there to cover this sort of thing. I'm sure the festival has insurance, but again, in the event of a discretionary closure, it would not kick in. Chances are quite high a cancellation would result in lawsuits. Some fans would put together a class action claiming travel and accommodation expenses, some vendor would be pissed about some big deal that didn't happen, etc. And of course the organizers could not possibly pay everyone everything they were owed, so there would be a fight to see who got anything. So there's lawyers fees and perhaps settlements beyond that.

So, you're suggesting the organizers cancel Pemberton, lose everything (including any chance of returning this event to Pemberton, a good way to take food out of the mouths of local workers, btw) and then what? Spend the next 20+ years paying off their outstanding debts?

Please, morals and values are wonderful things, but you should try to live in the real world now. Somebody (you?) said in another comment, "If there was a death at any other event -- it would be shut down." Really? What event would that be? The 2010 Winter Olympics? The Rolling Stones' Altamont concert? Woodstock? People died at all those events, and they weren't cancelled.
Rating: +4
One person dies and you argue organizers should cancel a four-day festival on its first night with +75,000 people there? You want 75,000 upset people stuck in Pemberton with no easy way out and nothing to entertain them?

Solid plan. What could go wrong?
Rating: +2
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