About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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A Day in the Substream Tent at Warped Tour
Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Sunday, July 17th, I spent the better part of the day volunteering in the Substream tent at Warped Tour. As a writer for the magazine I wanted to help the cause. I’m also a big fan of interesting life experiences and I had no idea if this opportunity would coincide with me having the time ever again. In other words, I did it because I wanted the story to tell afterwards. Now that I can tell that story, I gotta say, it was a great experience.

The day started a little late because the tour was coming from Montreal and all the busses and vans were stopped at customs when crossing the border, but once everything was in full swing I was there with Dana, Substream’s tent general, holding up a sign that said “Free Stuff,” handing out stickers (mad props to the girl with the ample bosom who put the sticker right on her chest and shouted “free advertising!” You, miss, are a hero), and talking people into coming in to sign up for the email list and subscribe to the magazine. Thankfully we have a really good deal at Warped Tour: $10 for a one year subscription, a compilation CD, and a t-shirt. This made it a lot easier to talk to people about it because actual value is being offered. I wasn’t just standing there trying to get people to purchase an overpriced t-shirt that had a band name on it.

The “Free Stuff” sign created an interest and as I handed out stickers I had my routine of what I’d say to people down to a science - a very quick science because as a volunteer you only have a few seconds to hook someone. I’d usually talk about the deal, how someone’s shirt was a mess, or was going to be a mess later in the show, and how not only did we have the least expensive shirt in town, it came with a CD and a magazine subscription. I’d throw in that the only other thing someone could get at the show for $10 was half a slice a pizza, or a sip of water. In the early afternoon I lucked out when one girl, who happened to be an actress, decided to hang out for a while and let me put the “Free Stuff” sign right above her head (thanks, Jessica!). We received quite a few interesting looks, including one from a dude who seemed to really believe we were giving away the girl.

Our tent was situated very close to one stage, so even without leaving the area we heard a ton of bands, including Black Veil Brides, Abandon All Ships, and Woe, Is Me. Dana also hooks up the volunteers who have a band or two they want to see that are performing at other stages. For me this meant that I could visit my friends who were performing and/or working in other tents (big ups to Matt Flood of Asbestos Records, and Kelsey).

Overall, volunteering was a fun experience. I highly recommend that if Warped Tour is coming to your area this summer, and your entire plan for that day involves nothing but sitting around, reach out to Substream and ask to help out in the tent (if you're on Twitter you can hit them at @substream, or hit Dana directly at @danasubstream). You’ll meet a bunch of people, see some bands, and have an experience you’ll talk about for years to come. Really, the only things you need are the ability to be personable, the ability to handle people saying no, and sunscreen (forget the latter at your own risk!)

You’ll have another chance to see me at Warped Tour (I know, super exciting!) this Saturday, the 23rd, in Uniondale, NY. I won’t be in the tent this time, I’ll be covering the show, but I WILL be stopping by the tent, most likely in my Substream t-shirt. Hope to see you there.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:23 AM  
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