Tales From the Pit [Part 3]

Music Festivals


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Tales From the Pit [Part 3]

Music festivals, Honestly for me this is a hole other level after concerts. So lets talk about festivals!

Introduction

Music festivals come in all different shapes and sizes. From little ones in venues where the number of people in the place might be 60% band members. All the way up to mammoth European festivals that have hundreds of thousands in attendance.
From Heavy metal to classical and everything in between you can find a music festival that you would like.
Music festivals have been some of the best, craziest, weirdest and just down right insane days of my life. It is hard to honestly describe that feeling. But I will try.

Comparing.

Trying to say a festival is like a concert, while for a smaller festival maybe that is true. For larger ones that is like saying a car is like a plane.
The atmosphere at a festival is like nothing else. The feeling of belonging is one of the biggest things I think I want to bring up hear. Thousands of people all here to have a good time and listen to good music. People running between stages stopping to chat with people they saw at other shows. It is wild.
The sound is bigger. I have been to some amazing sounding shows. I have been to some terrible sounding shows. But a well mixed festival stage has a feel that know in door venue can have.
Sure you can get an amazing line up on a concert. But few concerts have 10 or more hours of good music just packed in back to back. Nothing quite like seeing a band you love at 11 in the morning and as soon as they finish running off to another stage to see another amazing band.

Going on your own.

I spoke last week about going to concerts on your own. Honestly my experience has shown that going to a festival on my own would be very difficult. And probably not something I would want to try. Although I have spent chunks of time on my own at festivals. Some times on purpose, some times not so much. But I will tell both of those stories in my festival moments list.
But referring back to old friend Hector I asked if he had ever attended a festival on his own.
I’ve been to several at smaller venues where it’s essentially just a tour with a very big bill, and a couple larger festivals including the Dallas stop of the 2010 Mayhem Festival and the 2013 Playboy Jazz Festival in LA. I’ve never been to a festival on my own. I think I would feel comfortable enough to attend something at a smaller venue on my own, or even something like the Playboy Jazz Festival where there’s only one stage and there’s no need to move around for the different acts, but those held at fairgrounds feel beyond me on my own.

the festival experience.

I have been lucky enough in my life to attend 6 major music festivals, Soundwave festival from 2011 through to 2015 and warped tour 2013 all here in Sydney.
These offered a wealth of experiences. from the absolute joy of 12 hours of live music. to being part of absolutely huge mosh pits. as well as paying 6 fucking dollars for a bottle of water!
How ever I always attended with at least 1 person. and in several cases more then 1. But festivals offer choices, when you have 5 or 6 stages you end up with bands clashing. and being blind this can suck. Because if you want to see one act and your friend or friends want to see another choices have to be made. who do you see. the one you want. or the one they want. can you be left alone at a stage.
Luckily for me I attend with either people that have a similar taste to me and we have been able to work out a pretty easy compromise. Or I attend with people who like so few bands I picked most of the days bands.
Either way I certainly wouldn’t want to try going on my own. Part of festivals is the running from stage to stage trying to get to see as many awesome bands as possible. I feel that being blind on your own. you would end up spending large amounts of time at the same stage, or wondering lost between stages trying to find your way around.
Perhaps like Hector a smaller Festival with 1 stage I might be up for. But not at a massive festival.

Tips for going to a festival.

Outside: Bring protection against the sun! I can not stress this enough, I have a story at the end that will explain just how much I can’t stress this enough.
Drink plenty of water: Honestly you’d be surprised how much people don’t think about this till it is to late. Your in the sun all day. probably being quite active. You need water and this is going to sound weird from me. But beer probably won’t cut it.
Look at the timetable before hand and pick who you are going to see: Honestly this is not possible at every festival. But if it is do it. It is best to have a game plan going in to the day. Even if you don’t stick to it. I know I never stuck exactly to mine. It was nice to have an idea of wear to go. If shit happened and you saw some other grate band that is fine. But don’t just wonder in then go. Oh shit I have know idea which band is playing when.
Pick the person or people you go with carefully. Fuck knows I messed this up 1 time. You will see that story in a moment. But make sure you will go with a person or people who won’t screw it up and get really drunk the night before.
Have fun: Yes I know this is lame. and that is why I wrote it. bye.

Conclusion.

I hope you have all enjoyed this little series. If you haven’t seen parts 1 and 2 go check them out. Good reads if I do say so myself. and some good advice in them to.
If you have enjoyed them leave a comment with your concert or festival experience. Let me know if you have something you would like me to write about.
So here is a run down of my festival experiences, with some good, some bad and some funny moments.

Hannibal’s Festival Experiences!

2011 Soundwave Music festival
My first festival. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest. But it was amazing. The highlight of the day was seeing 1 of my favourite bands by the name of Bullet For My Valentine and being lucky enough to get a pick from the singer/guitarist. This day however was filled with highs and lows. Getting that pick was just amazing. I also discovered several bands I like to this day at that festival. That was where I first saw The Amity affliction who I have now seen 9 times. Sadly it was also the day Slayer pulled out of a festival so I missed 1 of the top 3 bands I wanted to see.

2012 Soundwave Music Festival
So while this looked like being just as good as 2011 this is the year that I spoke of above where I went with the wrong people. My friend through a party the night before so the group I went with was so hung over they sat at main stage all day. I was stuck with them so in the end I saw just 3 of the 8 bands I was hoping to see.
But Slipknot and System of a Down headlined and put on a fantastic show so I won’t complain to much.

2013 Soundwave Music Festival:
I went with a different friend this year. Things went mostly much better. Apart from some flooding at stage 2 the night before the festival which rearranged the line up on that stage. My friend getting lost for 3 hours leaving me a bit lost and confused but fuck it good music. it was an all round amazing day. Even if we sat in the wrong place for lunch and had 13 people come up and ask if we were carrying drugs. The weather was good. We saw a stack of amazing bands, most of the bands we wanted to see were on 3 stages really close together and we even got lucky with transport and didn’t have to wait long to get home.

2013 Warped Tour:
This was the festival where me and my friend got sun burnt. Really really badly! We didn’t take any of our own sun block. we didn’t put any on till nearly 4 in the afternoon and the festival started at 10 in the morning on a 30 degree day right on the water. I lost 3 layers of skin from my face. But the show was fantastic. the line up brilliant. It was the festival with the best food I have ever been too. And I got a story out of it.

2014 Soundwave Music Festival:
Honestly this was a grate day. I saw lots of amazing bands and had a grate time. But I have no stories to tell. It was just a grate day where nothing went wrong and it was all good.

2015 Soundwave Music Festival:
A guy licked my face! No honestly during the first band on day 1 a guy came up out of no where and just licked my face. My fucking face!
This was a 2 day festival. Hang on seriously he licked my face!
This was a crazy 2 days. It started with a guy licking my face. Then I met up with a friend who was dressed as wonder woman and got to laugh as she got stopped over and over again to take photos with people. I discovered a band just because I heard the drummer doing an awesome solo. We saw 3 guys doing a solo on a single bass guitar.
I got to see Lamb of God a band who I missed at the terrible 2012 festival. My friend nearly suffered heat stroke when the temperature reached 37 degrees on day 2 and for some reason he had decided to wear long sleeves and long pants both black.
It rained so hard for about half an hour that it turned a field in to a mud bath while I was watching Godsmack and that some how made the experience better.
I got to meet the band the Butcher Babies.
And to bring it all together Slipknot headlined and put on a fucking amazing show to round out the weekend!

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