Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Warped Tour UK | A Guide.

Most will know Warped Tour as the summer long pop punk/rock festival that travels around America every year. Less known however is that it came back to the UK in 2012 for just one day - granted the UK version tends to be slightly less anticipated and for sure has lesser known bands but none the less is guaranteed to be something you won't forget in a hurry.

I have been lucky enough to go to the past 3 Warped Tours that have graced London's Alexandra Palace and although the first experience is yet to be topped they have in themselves been unbelievable events.

If you are at all into punk or rock music this is something you can't miss, it's one of the most immersive gigs you'll ever experience. It might have something to do with the full day of being inside one building with music constantly playing and being plunged into twilight darkness from about 2pm but whatever the reason, at 11pm you want to relive it all over again.

Unlike the previous tours I've been to I had barely listened to any of the bands on the line up, but in a way I preferred it as there was no pressure to be at the right stage and decide which bands you'd rather see if two conflicted on timings. We just walked around enjoying whoever was playing at the time, plus it was a great chance to find some new music to add to my spotify playlists.

My Top Perfomers -

Young Guns
Moose Blood
Memphis May Fire
Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes
Black Veil Brides - the headliners who sadly had some technical issues at the end. Unfortunately I did feel a little deflated at this being the conclusion of the day, they just weren't quite my cup of rock band, especially compared to some of the others we'd seen that day. Don't get me wrong though they still put on a great show and fans of them were what can only be delicately described as bat shit crazy, which lends itself to an electric atmosphere.

I think my favourite of the entire day though has to be the prodigious Reel Big Fish, they are what I consider to be proper, old school pop punk. Lot's of swearing and angsty lyrics based on a feel good beat .... and who doesn't love the use of trumpets!?

A Quick Guide:
If you are considering going to next years Warped here are a few things to be aware of.

- You can't plan much. The Schedule is not released until the day so you won't know who is on and when until you arrive. Take a few minutes when you first arrive to decide who you want to see and organise your time then.

- You don't need to get there super early. Unless there is a particular band you can't miss seeing or some merch you just absolutely have to buy there's no need to queue (possibly in the rain) for any amount of time. Bands don't normally come on for a while after doors open, plus you're going to be on your feet a lot of the day anyway so why spend even more time standing in line?

- You will spend a lot of money. Tickets themselves aren't too expensive considering you have so many bands and it carries on until the late hours, however food and drink is extortionately priced and you aren't allowed to take anything in with you. Oh also they take any lids off of bottles that you buy so unless you can chug an entire 500ml of coke in one go (if you can that's a great talent good job!) I recommend buying one bottle at a time and sharing with someone because being in a crowd with a full bottle of drink and no cap is no fun at all.

- You will get sweaty. Even though it takes place in November the venue gets hot, and when I say hot I mean holiday to the sun kind of warm. Luckily there is a cloakroom so take a backpack with layers in that way you can strip down when inside but not feel like you've walked out onto the planet Hoth when you leave. For reference I wore an over size T-shirt and tights but put a hoodie and coat in my bag.

- Shoes. While we're on the topic of what to wear - COMFY SHOES. I can't stress this enough. If you don't think this through you will end up spending the whole day sitting on a gum covered, beer smeared floor because your feet are bleeding and probably debating carrying out a mutiny against you. If you've been to gigs before you'll already get where I'm coming from with this but for Warped multiply the amount of time standing by 5.

- Backpack etiquette. I've already mentioned that I always take a backpack and suggest you do the same, it's especially useful if you plan on buying lots of merch. However this decision comes with it's own set of concert rules. If you take one please for the love of god leave it in the cloakroom once you no longer need it. It only costs £2 and will mean you won't end up throwing out black eyes right left and centre no one will appreciate a mouth full of dirty canvas. Trust me.

Most importantly freaking enjoy it! It's a chance to listen to and possible meet your favourite bands (they do a lot of meet and greets throughout the day) or discover new ones that become your next obsession.


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