Pemberton Music Festival Goes Bankrupt; Fans May Not Get Refunds

Pemberton Music Festival Suddenly Canceled Due to Bankruptcy

According to a fact sheet posted on the website of Ernst & Young, which has been appointed trustee in the bankruptcies, the festival has been significantly impacted over the past two years by the weak Canadian dollar relative to the USA dollar because artists are paid in U.S. dollars. It urged customers to seek reimbursement through their credit card providers. Rumors had been increasing in recent days as fans noticed the Pemberton social media accounts seemed to have been deactivated. The event owes $2.5 million to creditors, which means ticket buyers could have a hell of a time getting their refunds. "In addition, the Pemberton Music Festival experienced increasing difficulty in sourcing talent for the 2017 festival due to a limited number of artists touring in 2017".

Heidi Gwaii, left to right, Ashley Rose and Alyx Simms dancing at a pop-up dj set by Chromeo at the Pemberton Music Festival, July 18, 2015.

To make matters worse, fans who purchased their tickets in advance will not get any automatic refunds. The cancellation comes just one year after the Squamish Music Festival was axed.

It says ticket holders can file a claim as an unsecured creditor, but estimates that process would take several weeks to resolve itself.

In an interview with Pique on May 1, Huka Entertainment chairman and chief experience officer A.J. Niland spoke of the financial risks associated with the festival.

Essentially, the ticket holder files a separate claim with the trustee of the bankrupted music festival if they bought the ticket directly from the festival, and that process could be complicated, "as each bank and credit card issuer have their own specific policies". We are in communication with the event organizers and the bankruptcy trustee.

The concert was suppose to run from July 13th to 16th; featured headliners included Chance the Rapper, Muse, A Tribe Called Quest, and Tegan & Sara.

The notice on the event's website warns there would be no automatic refunds. The statement advised ticket holders to contact their banks to see if they are eligible.

More shocking still is the fact that, even after the announcement of the event's cancellation, tickets were still available for purchase on the event's website. Patrons may have to wait weeks to learn whether they will get their money back.

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