Welcome To The Support Group For Metalheads Who Just Can’t Do Festivals Anymore


Hi, my name’s Kelly–uh, yeah, hi. I’ve been a metalhead for about eighteen years now, but I’ve only been unable to sustain festivals for about…two years, I guess.

Uh, well, I think it started at… MDF 2014? Yeah, that’s it. I’d sort of gotten the feeling that it might be the case earlier, but that fest was the breaking point. Thursday night was killer, and then Friday and Saturday were awesome, but when I woke up Sunday morning, I just hated myself. I missed Pentagram while lying in bed eating a room service quesadilla and watching Weekend At Bernie’s, which, heh, I guess is metal, because it has… it has a corpse, but anyway, I think that’s when I realized that I just can’t do four days of straight metal anymore. I’m not what I used to be.

People say it’s the drinking, and yeah, I think for me there’s some truth to that, because the hangovers don’t help, and my liver feels like some kind of crustacean by the last day. But I drink, you know? Sometimes pretty hard, for many days in a row. And it’s not always… how it is after a festival. A lot of the time, it’s my feet that take the real agony. All that standing, all the quick running between stages. There’s this feeling like a nail being driven into one side of the ball of my feet, and it radiates up to my legs, and then my back, and it’s so hot, and I never remember to bring sunscreen, and I spend so much fucking money

Ugh. Sorry. Whew, okay. Deep breaths… No, it’s okay, I want to. I want to keep going.

Right. Anyway, I wish I could say that was the last time, that I’d learned my lesson, but last year I went to Hell’s Headbash, and man, that one was rough. Hangover every day, just the worst pain in my back and legs, fucking stewed dick in my Carhartts. And hey, I mean, I had fun! Saw some really cool bands, met some great people, had some weird times at the hotel, even chilled with some cool Cleveland heads. And fucking Acid Witch, you know? Fucking Bonehunter! Yeah…yeah, a lot of fun. But then, at the end of it all, one of the promoters was like, “See you all next year!” And I got this feeling in my stomach, just this horrible sensation like I was a little kid being punished. And even though I was there cheering with a beer in my hand, all I could think was, “Please, no. No. No.”

The thing is, I never thought that’d be me. I’ve toughed it out over and over. I mean, I’ve been to Wacken, multiple years, and if I survived that, I figured I could survive everything. I slept through pouring rain and let my feet bleed so I could catch Immortal with 80,000 other metalheads, and I loved it. That shit was righteous. But when I remember that, I don’t think about it the way I do with other things, where I think, Man, when’s the last time we did that, let’s do that again! I think, Never. Never again. Maybe that’s just getting older, where you like to be comfortable more. And maybe I could make it comfortable, rent an RV and sleep in a bed and shit. But I figure, why go to a fest if you’re not going full fest?

So…look, I’m not perfect, you know? I’m not there yet. I mean, I just bought my ticket for Riot Fest, to see the Misfits. And I know I’m just going to spend a bunch of the festival at a bar with my feet up, maybe see Me First. So it’s not the same thing, or it won’t be. I won’t feel the need to tough it out. But, uh, with MDF coming up, I figured… I figured I should talk to someone. Tell them how I feel. So when I see all the Instagram posts, with people having fun, and I get that FOMO and start thinking, like, maybe I should try to scalp a day pass, and, and crash on some hotel floor, I just need to know that I’m not alone, you know? That I’m not the only metalhead who can’t–who–

Sorry, I just… I think I need a second. I’m sorry. Please, someone else. Someone else go.

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