Only a sophomore in the festival circuit, Pemberton Festival in scenic British Columbia had a slightly less problem-wrought run than the festival’s premiere back in 2008. 6 years of planning and reorganization appeared to work to great effect for the festival, which brought in headliners including Outkast, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and others for this year, on top of live comedy acts such as The Trailer Park Boys, Jay Chandrasekhar and Bob Saget. In the shadow of Mount Currie, 6 stages catered to nearly 20,000 attendees over the 5 day event, placing Pemberton Festival in an interesting position as a rival to other more established parties in the Pacific Northwest like Sasquatch Festival and Bumbershoot.
Kicking things off on Friday, Tyler, the Creator and the Golf Wang skate team hosted fans of Odd Future at a skate park within the festival grounds, to coincide with the release of a collaborative sneaker between Golf Wang and Vans. Shortly after, Tyler was joined on stage alongside Jasper Dolphin and Taco for a set filled with antics, setting the mood for the weekend early on. A TDE takeover occurred later that evening, with Kendrick Lamar arriving by chopper, leading up to Schoolboy Q’s late night set. Going forward into the second day, festival-goers filed out of their campsites in anticipation of Chance the Rapper, AraabMuzik, Deadmau5 and others on the slate. Largely a stranger to Canadian venues, Chance the Rapper was certainly an exclamation point on the weekend for many in attendance, delivering a performance that suggested Chance was just as excited as the fans to be there. Wrapping up the final day, big hitters like Outkast, Justice and Frank Ocean capped off the proceedings. Grammy-award winners and genre bending partners Andre 3000 and Big Boi moved through many of the tracks you would expect, including “B.O.B.” and “Hey Ya”, with the always-enigmatic Andre wearing a one-piece jumpsuit emblazoned with “I Pray There is a God at the End of All This”, with an oversized dangling “SOLD” tag. Outkast closed their set with some final words to fans; “stank you smelly much, this is for y’all!”, before Frank Ocean was given the honour of the final performance slot of Pemberton Festival 2014. Frank was joined on stage by a record player, which he would sing along to as he dropped the needle, aided by a large screen of atmospheric visuals.