Today Mary Magpie and I douse ourselves in sunscreen and lace up the boots for our trek to the Comcast Theater in Hartford CT, for Warped Tour 2012. I do believe this is our 6th year attending Warped and the 3rd time we have covered it for rocknyc.
There is an interesting dynamic to the ‘music festival’. Youre either committed or youre not.
There are so many to chose from Coachella, SXSW, Mayhem and so on… there are sleepovers like Camp Bisco and Wakarusa and there are the day camps, for that is what these tours are. Camps of fans descending like warriors for a multi staged, multi sensory events- in the case of Warped- the official landmark of summer.
It takes stamina of an athlete to endure any fest and it’s your preparation that determines if you will love it or you will hate it.
I, for one, would not be able to participate in a multi day love in camp out. I know myself well enough to realize I am far too high maintenance to mingle with sweaty humans for days on end. Trust me when I say those events are best passed down to the kids of our site. Woody Fuller the seasoned professional is a camp out master, Layna and Henry got baptism by fire at Camp Bisco but for all their overwhelmed adventures, they survived it and have loads of cred for covering it as they did.
Today is Hartford Connecticut’s day for Warped Tour 2012.
My first time at Warped I think I wore jeans and a t-shirt brought $20. a lipstick and my license. What? A 10 hour concert in direct sunlight… figure that out. By hour 3 I was sweating like a pig, filthy, starving and sunburned. Mary Magpie a young 9 year old planned better than I did, at least she wore shorts and a hat. We live, we learn and we carry on.
Year two of Warped I was a bit better- I knew to wear shorts to bring sunglasses and more cash. I brought singles to donate to the charities deserving and brought a change of shoes. Smarter.
Year three? Well then I had my own headphones with me (ewww on the sharing to hear new bands eww ewww ewww) even more cash some tissues Band-Aids and a water bottle
Year four I had all of the above plus my regular press gear cuz now I had to cover the bands and do some interviewing. Oh plus I had secured a great messenger bag to carry it in since a backpack just added to the sweaty mess
Year five I brought two cans of sunblock and would randomly spray people who were getting pink. Suddenly I was Warped mom and as I saw kids and would make sure they were hydrated, safe and sunblocked. Again- experience brings wisdom.
We hear so much about the dangers at rock fests yet every one of them stress the importance of preparation. Bisco had a listing of things to bring, Warped does.. they all do. The issue is we get caught up in the atmosphere and we forget things that are obvious. We don’t want to ‘lose our spot’ in the crowd so we dehydrate… we’re idiots and figure any discomfort will pass.
Well that’s when it takes a village.
When at these events pay attention to the people around you. If a kid is down pick them up, if someone is looking odd, help or get them help. You’re part of a greater community in these situations. If kids keep dying at rock shows what’s the odds of them getting to your town again? Some ass bag parent is going to sue someone and the next thing ya know……..no show.
Today can be the best day of summer or the worse day of summer and all it takes is a split second to go from one to another. Today I will be looking out for you and all of those surrounding you. You do the same and we can make Warped the coolest, safest and best fest of all time. Let’s go!