Marijuana Policy Project
Curved Papers

Death at Music Fest in British Columbia

One of the most picturesque fest location, Pemberton Music Festival takes place north of Whistler in the Canadian Rockies.

A concertgoer died at the Pemberton Music Festival in Pemberton, British Columbia on July 17. Soundgarden were on stage when the body of 21-year-old Nick Phongsavath was discovered.

Police are investigating possible "foul play" that led to Phongsavath's death. The Regina resident was found inside his tent at 6 pm. The show went on with Nine Inch Nails following Soundgarden. Other acts on the bill included Snoop Dogg, OutKast, the Flaming Lips and Deadmau5.

Festival promoter HUKA Entertainment explained in a statement: “The safety of our attendees is always our primary concern. We have significant security resources on-site including security personnel, RCMP, customer service representatives and a full medical team. We are also providing on-site counseling services for all guests and staff.”

Deaths at festivals are on the rise:

• Last September, two fans died from Ecstasy overdoses at Electric Zoo in New York.
• In March, six people died of meth overdoses at Future Music in Malaysia.
• In June,  three deaths were connected to Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas.
• Last weekend an attendee at Element 11 in Utah ran into a massive effigy bonfire and died.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.