Big Music Festivals Sure Can Be Creepy Sometimes

Photo by Marco Torres
Just keep your hands on that phone there, dude.
Tattoo the Earth Festival 2000, Pasadena
The single most indelible music festival image I can recall came during one of my first. I thought I knew what I was in for at this all-day, hard-hitting affair celebrating heavy metal and body art in roughly equal measure. But my teenaged eyes practically bulged out of their sockets when I bumped into a huge, shirtless older guy pounding brews and stumbling alone through the Pasadena Fairgrounds with a giant prison-ink swastika tattooed across his massive, swollen beer belly. It's not often I'm unnerved by a fellow concertgoer, but this guy was somethin' else, folks.

There was no question who he'd paid his money to see, either. I saw him rocking out to Slayer later in the day as if no one else in the universe understood him as thoroughly as four mock Satanists from Los Angeles. NATHAN SMITH

Photo by Julian Bajsel
Umm... God bless the USA?
Warped Tour 2006, Houston
I don't know if creepy is the right word, but it's definitely something that will always stick with me.

It was at the end of the day when a man with the Hare Krishna approached a girl sitting under a tree next to me. She was all alone and, from what I could tell, was waiting for her parents to come pick her up. I overheard the man try to give her a pamphlet in exchange for a donation, but when she tried to deny him, he got really pushy. She reached into her backpack and pulled out a few bucks and said it was all she had, to which he responded, "Well what about that $5?"

Look, I hate the Summer Fest picketers as much as the next guy, but at least they don't scam the crowd for money while damning them to hell. If you're with an organization and you're going to come to a music festival, at least be respectful enough not to prey on innocent kids. ALYSSA DUPREE

Free Press Summer Fest 2013, Houston
While at this year's Free Press Summer Fest, there was a young(ish) girl who appeared to be really out of it. Like, "can't wake her up to walk out of the tent" out of it. She was surrounded by a group of people, all of whom were attempting to sober her up by offering her food, water, or even obnoxious entertainment, but she wouldn't comply.

Eventually most of the friends wandered off, presumably to go catch some more of the festival since this happened pretty early in the day), but one dude stuck around to keep at it. She eventually woke up enough to stumble out of the tent, and I still really hope she knew him outside of the festival. Either way, it was super-creepy. ANGELICA LEICHT


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MadMac topcommenter

"But then, how did they know my name?" Oh, sure, like "Deiterman," is all that uncommon a name.

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