The 11 People At Every Festival
- By Nick Rhodes
- Published on July 10, 2011
Every Sunday, we’ll feature an article by a columnist on the Headstash staff who will give you a personal take on themes within our scene, including anything from jam bands to electronica acts and environmentalism to drug reform.
Summer music festivals are by far the most exciting and rewarding experiences in the jam band scene because of the unforgettable music, the imitable atmosphere and (for better and worse) the wild and crazy people you often won't see anywhere else.
Here's a list of the 11 types of people you'll meet at every festival.
The Glow Stick Scavengers
Favorite quote: “Move, move!”
Feel something brush by your legs at a festival? Think it’s those dogs that uber-committed pet owners insist on bringing to shows? Worse. It’s those glow stick hunters prowling for tubes of luminescent liquid so they can collect enough to throw at a peak in the music. But in their foolish pursuit, they forget that they’re missing most of the music anyway and bothering everyone they crawl past. They’re scavengers and if you don’t move, you’ll get a fist to the leg and a dirty look.
Favorite quote: “Dude!”
Shirtless, abrasive and usually pretty spun. They’ll jump at inappropriate times and knock you around like you’re at a Slipknot concert. Don’t forget to look up in case they decide to crowd surf. These guys tend to run in packs. If you start hearing cheers with Greek letters, steer clear.
The Sober Guy
Favorite quote: “This crowd is ruining the show for me.”
This guy doesn’t drink, smoke or do much of anything – and thinks he’s way better than everyone for it. He’s usually standing in the back with a judgmental scowl on his face. Don’t dare bump into one of them or else you’ll be accused of being out of your mind and get an exaggerated scoff and eye roll. “There’s other ways to have fun you know,” they’ll say. But they look so annoyed, you’ll have to wonder.
The Sketchy Guy
Favorite quote: “Whatchu need, whatchu need? “
He walks around disheveled with his eyes darting back and forth, making sure no one’s caught on to his game even though you could tell he’s up to no good from miles away. He’s got stuff you’ve never even heard of and you wouldn’t want to buy a sealed bottle of water from him because of how shady he looks.
The Undercover Cop
Favorite quote: “Any of you have drugs? Illegal drugs, anyone? I could really use some drugs right now.”
The archenemy of the sketchy guy, the undercover cop is way older than the average person in the crowd, blatantly obvious about wanting something illegal and even awkwardly misuses slang. He probably has a backpack (where he keeps his radio and handcuffs) and an earpiece. He’ll be the guy wearing the brand new Grateful Dead shirt that still has tags on it.
Favorite quote: “We had a tough time getting here, where you from?”
He talks. A lot. Your favorite band just started playing the first notes of your favorite song, and that’s his cue to start a conversation with you, regardless of how disinterested you look. Latest political news? He wants your opinion. Local sports team losing lately? He wants to know why you think they are. He’s persistent and relentless. Just give up and move your spot.
Favorite quote: “Oh, you first saw them in 2006? That sucks, they’ve been terrible since then.”
This guy saw the band ten years ago. . . when they were actually good according to him. It’s unclear why he bothers going to check them out other than to complain. During lulls he’ll yell requests of songs that have been shelved for years despite knowing the band probably forgot how to play it and wrote up a set list hours before. Enjoying a song he doesn’t like? Be prepared to have an angry message board post written about you.
Favorite quote: “What song is this?”
This is his first time seeing the band and he does not know what to make of it. He’ll ask a lot of questions and cheer at awkward times. Much like The Talker, he feels a bit uncomfortable staying quiet and enjoying the show. But he’s mostly harmless. Like a lost puppy, you’ll need to take this guy under your wing and guide him through the show.
The Unofficial LD
Favorite quote: “Prepare to have your mind blown.”
He comes over with a crown of glow sticks and a light-up shirt, stands right in front of you with his back to the stage and starts playing with some stupid glowing balls distracting you from the music. He can’t understand why you’re not fascinated by his $10.00 glow toys and would rather watch the $50,000 light rig the band has in front of him.
Favorite quote: “Hey man, can I borrow that?”
Voted most likely to start a drum circle in high school and least likely to shower. At a show, they’ll stand in front of you so you can get a huge whiff of that foul body odor. At a festival, they’ll try to borrow everything from a toothbrush to a pair of underwear. Say yes, and they’ll be on you the rest of the week looking to cash in on your unwise generosity.
Favorite quote: “Hi, wanna make out?”
She’s messed up, she’s horny and she’s not above shoving her hand down your pants during set break. Varying degrees of attractiveness and sloppiness should be expected. Welcome sometimes, but not when you’re actually trying to enjoy the show and avoid an STD. Definitely one of the more annoying people to encounter.