As part of our comprehensive festival survival guide for Blue Banana fans, we wanted to ask a few experts for some festival advice and stories. And we thought, “Who better to ask than the bands themselves?”
Luckily, bands like The Blackout, Funeral For A Friend, Suicide Silence and relative new boys on the block Baby Godzilla responded to our call! So here’s a collection of the weird, wise and sometimes even dirty responses from musicians that have been there, done that and lived to tell the tale!
WARNING! This post contains hair advice, sex stories, a bit of swearing, soggy performances and a lot of crap (in the literal sense)!
What advice would you give to festival virgins going to their first festival this summer?
Sean Smith (The Blackout): Stay out of our way!
Wet wipes, protection and dry shampoo are essential for girls and guys that give a damn about their hair. One of those big woolen Rasta style hats will suffice for people that don’t care what their hair looks or smells like! Also, if your hair is a mess AND smelly there’s no need for the wet wipes or protection, because you won’t be getting any!
Matthew Davies-Kreye (Funeral For A Friend): As always, have fun and remember that no matter how wasted you get, remember to puke outside of the tent. Also, bottled water is your friend along with wet wipes…
Joe James (Blitz Kids): They don’t let you take bottles into the arena so get yourself a box of wine from the supermarket. Break open the box (you’ll be left holding a silver space bag full of alcoholic goodness). Shove that inside your pants. Once inside the arena, find yourself a cup and pull the nozzle out through your fly.
Everyone will think you’re pissing in a cup but little do they know you’re actually a genius. A soon to be very drunk genius!
Matt “Butch” Reynolds (Baby Godzilla): Don’t spend more than £15 on your tent, and don’t take anything you’re not willing to leave/lose at the festival. You don’t need a mattress, 4 blankets, 8 pillows and a duvet; you’re sleeping in a field, it’s supposed to be shit, embrace it. If you can’t fit it in one rucksack you don’t need to take it.
Poo everywhere! The toilets will suck even after just a few hours of the site being open, but make sure you poo! Poo in a bush, poo in a bag, poo in your tent, dig a hole and poo in that, just as long as you poo, toxic shock is bad news!
Mark Heylmun (Suicide Silence): Whatever you do if it’s your first time playing a festival… don’t hang out too long at the Jäger truck you might end up passed out drunk in a shitty port-o-potty!
What funny, weird or interesting festival story do you have to share either when you were playing or attending a festival yourselves?
Sean Smith: A friend, who shall not be named, lost her virginity to a guy that was dressed completely as Corey Taylor from Iowan rockers Slipknot. He even had the mask and he didn’t take it off once!
She genuinely doesn’t know who it was. The poor thing… him, not her.
Matt Reynolds: We haven’t played any festivals really before this year but I’ve been to a few. Sticking to the theme of defecation, I once lay down a bin liner in my tent and did a poo in it.
It’s a surreal experience seeing your dry poo up close for the first time, as I remember it was bright orange and pretty huge. Later on in the weekend this started to become a group game of “whose tent can you poo in”, which got pretty iffy when we ended up with a number of bags of human faeces in our camp. It inevitably became a game of “fling the poo bag at each other”.
Later in the same weekend we managed to invent tonnes of fun games like this such as “radio” in which the object of the game was to throw a plastic FM radio from Argos as high as you could into the air whilst the rest of the group bowed their heads. The results tended to be a mixture of acute terror and intense neck and head trauma.
Festivals make you behave in strange ways.
Matthew Davies: Well, the worst thing that’s ever happened to us at a festival was when we played Reading main stage back in 2009 and the heavens decided to target our set.
It pissed down for about 10 minutes causing a massive power outage that took about 5 minutes to sort out. We just stood in puddles on stage waiting for the power to come back on. I had my camera with me so I ended up taking photos of the crowd, fair play to them they stayed around and watched us finish.
Looking back it was pretty funny, but at the time we were like 5 drowned rats on a big stage looking a bit confused.
Mark Heylmun: Download is the only festival we have flown out to England for specifically. We played like 3 headlining shows, then played Download and partied there all festival long. Never been so fucking wasted in my life. I believe I ended up butt naked wrestling the rest of my band in our hotel post day one.
Do you know what it’s like to be put in an arm bar when your fully nude? That was just the first day. Fucking Download will make you lose your mind!
So what have we learned today (if anything)?
- Wash your hair
- Make friends with wet wipes and bottled water
- Hide alcohol in your pants
- Don’t waste money or time on home comforts
- Be creative with poo
- Avoid guys in Corey Taylor masks (expect the real deal of course!)
We hope you’re a little more enlightened about festivals and if you need to know anything else, please check out Blue Banana’s series of festival posts:
- Festival Checklist
- Festival Survival
- Festival Travel Guide
- Interview: Andy Copping, Download Festival Organiser
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Tags: Baby Godzilla, Band Interview, Blitz Kids, Festival Advice, Festival Anecdotes, Festival Guide, Festival Stories, Festival Tips, Funeral For A Friend, Music Festivals, Sean Smith, Suicide Silence, The Blackout