The 5 Stages Of Grief When Hiking The Pemberton Festival Campground Path

Pemberton Music Festival kicks off today and runs all weekend with a stacked lineup that features Pearl Jam, Snoop Dogg, Bassnectar, Die Antwoord, Billy Idol, and the Funk Hunters. To help prepare you for the madness that is to come, our contributor Brett goes through the “5 Stages Of Grief When Hiking The Pemberton Festival Campground Path.”


WORDS: Brett Fillmore

PHOTOGRAPHY: Roco Newson/ Betty & Kora

The most important lesson for Pemberton first-timers is this: when you arrive at the festival site you really haven’t arrived at the festival site. The route from the parking lot to the campground is a long, gruelling slog, often in blazing heat. Add in the fact that you’ll be wearing inappropriate footwear and attempting to carry four days of camping gear, and you’ve got the equivalent of a festival rookie hazing on your hands. On the path to Pemberton enlightenment, prepare to experience five distinct mental phases.


1) Excitement
“Party! Whoo!”

Exemplar: the bros cracking beers and firing up a ghetto blaster on the trail.


2) Disillusionment
“I’m on the right path, right?! The end must be close, right?!”

Exemplar: the fighting couple.
3) Anger
“Why would there be such giant, ankle-breaking rocks on this path?! Why would they make people walk this far?! I AM GOING TO STRANGLE THE GUY THAT JUST RODE PAST ON THAT GOLF CART.”

Exemplar: the dude pouting on the side of the path, left behind by his friends.
4) Bargaining
“God, if you help me make it to the campsite I’ll never drink again.”

Exemplar: the people going through their camping gear and food, ditching unnecessary items as if throwing things overboard on a ship lost at sea.
5) Achievement
“Pffffttt, that was cinchy.”

Exemplar: the empty-handed people walking the other way on the path.

Moral lesson: be encouraging to your fellow festival-goers. When you’re headed back for a second load, let the beleaguered people you’re passing know they’re almost there. If you’re a complete genius who brought a wagon, wheelbarrow, or dolly, lend it out when you’re done. When you see a drunk guy trying to somehow duct tape a full cooler to his chest in a misguided attempt to increase his carrying capacity, help him out by applying a few wraps. In sum (and in the words of the Wyld Stallyns), be excellent to each other.

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