Summer festivals bring out the best and worst in the human population.
It’s not unlike a rumspringa for the general population, now that I think about it. Whether you’re there for the music, the atmosphere or the half-naked high school girls shooting people with squirt guns (perv), there’s always something interesting to see for all you avid people watchers.
I’ve made a list of the five most common people you’re bound to run into at a summer music festival.
Moms make the world go round. Not really. But for some reason, they’re always at music festivals, no matter where or when. They’re the first ones who will treat you like you’re their own child and simultaneously tell you how much they disapprove of your music. Realistically, the only thing I’ve ever seen a mom do at a show is embarrass their kid in front of their idols and musical influences. I’m starting to believe moms are just there for the thrill of ruining their child’s life.
Things get ridiculous when: a mom comes into our signing line and continuously asserts that she’s only there for her daughter/son, only their kid is nowhere to be found. This is the same mom who wants a picture with all of us, five things signed (including her tits) and a high five. It’s OK, you don’t have to be embarrassed that you want to gangbang all six of us because you’re going through a midlife crisis (not that that would ever happen). Just don’t be a weirdo while having your mental breakdown.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “goth," you’ve been living under a rock for the last 40 years or weren’t too impressed with Robert Smith prancing around with pantyhose wrapped around his head when Lovecats was all the rage. Nowadays, these are the people walking around in all black, chains, platform combat boots, sunglasses and probably some sort of hairstyle your conservative mother would disapprove of. I don’t see anything wrong with this, as this how I’ve dressed and the culture I’ve grown up in most of my life.
Things get ridiculous when: Listen, girl in the black hoodie and scarf in 105-degree weather ... I know you want to stick to your fashion faux pas, but for Christ’s sake! Wearing five layers of clothes to prevent any sunlight from penetrating your skin seems like a pretty easy (and stupid) way to die from heat exhaustion and dehydration. That’s what sunscreen is for. And yes, they have SPF 100 just for you.
The Meat Head
We’ve all encountered the “meat head." He’s the one who spends more time in the gym than an MMA fighter and takes in more supplements than actual food. This dude always has no shirt at shows. Probably to show off his sweet pecs, or the six-pack he’s worked his whole life to show off for that one summer. This is the guy who’s drunk by the time you do your signing (3 p.m.) and slaps your hand so hard you’re sure he broke some sort of bone in there. This is also the guy who screams obscenities at attractive girls because he thinks that’s what they like, and he ends up passed out on the grass by himself for the last half of the festival.
Things get ridiculous when: the dude you would imagine hated your band stands outside your bus swearing he could be your new vocalist and starts screaming song after song a capella ... with no shirt.
The Band Dude
The band dude is the kid who looks like he could be in a band. In fact, he usually doesn’t stop talking about his band and saying you should check them out. Their band name is usually something like "In Solace Of Fire" or "Death Becomes The Sleeping Giant," something that makes no literary sense.
They try to talk to you about touring or equipment, and it immediately becomes painfully obvious they have no clue what they’re talking about. It’s the equivalent of my talking to a mechanic about how to fix an engine, even though I have no idea how an engine even works.
Things get ridiculous when: this kid pleads with you to let him sing a song during your set. He stands side stage staring at you with a look that’s not quite excitement and not quite arousal. It’s something uncomfortably in between. When he finally gets his 30 seconds of fame, he doesn’t know the words — or it’s clear he’s never sung a note in his life.
The Promiscuous 10
This is probably my favorite category just because these are the ones I see most often, and it’s something I will never understand. The Promiscuous 10’s are always backstage, always in high heels and always look like they’re going out for a night of club music and lines off a toilet paper dispenser.
They are the hottest girls you'll ever see, with the biggest lack of morals since Ted Bundy or Charles Manson. They know more people in the music industry than your entire management company combined and won't hesitate to drop names faster than the bombs we dropped on Hiroshima. If they aren’t hanging all over some band dude first thing in the morning, they’re probably looking for one to entertain before the day’s end.
Things get ridiculous when: (I’ve seen this happen to others more times than I can count) You go to introduce your “10” to an acquaintance in another band; there’s that awkward moment when you realize your woman friend and man friend have been, at one time, “sex friends." I would say these girls should wear bells or something to alert the person they’re with, but we already know what they look like. I guess the solution is to just admire from afar.
Side note: This is not meant to be a jab at anyone in particular. I respect everyone’s style and life choice. This is my way of humor …. shitty humor, at best.
Ricky "Horror" Olson is a guitarist and backing vocalist in Scranton, Pennsylvania's Motionless In White, who are part of this year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. For more about the tour, visit rockstarmayhemfest.com.