bc-080725-pemberton4-FULL

Thousands of fans were stranded on the runway of the Pemberton airport when shuttle buses were unavailable to take them to the festival grounds. ((CBC))

Organizers of the 2009 Pemberton Music Festival have cleared one hurdle, but the future of the event is still up in the air, according to town Mayor Jordan Sturdy.

Promoter Live Nation refused to comment on the future of the festival when contacted by the CBC.

On Wednesday, B.C.'s Agricultural Land Commission said it would allow Live Nation to use prime farmland for the festival site for the next three years.

The ALC concluded the 40,000 people who attended last year's festival from July 25-27 did not damage the farmland it was held on.

Promoter concerned about traffic

But on Thursday morning Sturdy said Live Nation has yet to decide if it will put on the event again in 2009 because of some of the problems the festival faced this past summer.

bc-080727-pemberton-2

Concert-goers got back on the shuttle buses to return to their cars at the festival's end. ((CBC))

Massive traffic jams on the Sea to Sky Highway forced people to wait for hours or sleep in their cars on the tarmac of the local airport that was being used as a parking lot — while waiting for shuttle buses to take them to the festival grounds.

Sturdy said the community wants the event to continue because it was good for the town, but Live Nation wants to figure out a solution to the traffic problems before commiting to next year.

"In terms of bringing back the festival for 2009, the timing is tight. We recognize and identified a number of issues from the festival previously and they've committed to resolving those issues — traffic, recycling, security — this kind of thing," said Sturdy.

Last year's three-day outdoor music festival featured 120 acts from around the world, including headliners Coldplay from the U.K.