Riotfest in Chicago is one of the world’s biggest and most hyped punk and rock festivals in the world and scoring a spot on the lineup is a major win for an Aussie band. Our very own Clowns did just that at the recently held 2015 edition and ahead of their glorious return home this October we got the lads to run us through the five raddest things about their time at Riotfest.
The Line Up
The Line up. Where to begin? Have you seen that thing? It’s a rough trade in Australia running a music festival because bringing high profile international artists to our shores can cost thousands more dollars than it does to have them appear in the states. But I mean, just look at that fucking line up! There’s maybe 10 years worth of major Australian festivals crammed into that three days, and if you grab your magnifying glass out you can see our band name on their too.
I don’t want to sound like a snob or a wanker, but a pet hate of mine can be certain festival crowds. I’m a pretty tolerant dude but sometimes when you are trying to watch a band the last thing you want is some sweaty douche bag on drugs, with no shirt on, injuring people with his dance moves during the songs and creeping on your mates in between the songs.
I’ll honestly say that I didn’t encounter any of these kinds at Riot. The crowd that I encountered were respectful of each. If someone feel over in the mosh, they were lifted to their feet. If your drink was spilt, you were given a sip of someone else’s. If you wanted to get closer to the stage, you were let through. But most of all, the crowd were open minded.
This was our first ever show in Chicago and even though 99% of the crowd probably hadn’t heard of us before, it didn’t stop them from circle pitting and crowd surfing by the end of the show. It was a pretty mind blowing experience, and we can’t wait to get back to IL to play again now!
Watch: Clowns – Alone With You (JJJ Like A Version Sunnyboys Cover)
The Way They Treated The Artists
We’ve played a hand full of festivals in our time, and a big factor in its experience as an artist is the way you are treated. Commonly, as one of the opening acts of a festival you get treated like dirt. It’s likely to not get a green room, rider, artist pass or even a certain measure of respect. However, Riot was the complete opposite!
The staff were incredibly helpful, we were given a meal and an artist tent on the day of our show and we were given an artist passes which was valid for the full three days. Even when our manager Glenn got too wasted and lost his backstage pass, the staff were quick to give him a new one, no questions asked. They really looked after their artists, no matter how big or small.
It’s something I wish more festivals would do because when the artists are in a good mood that will have a direct correlation to the quality of the performance they give and create a positive ripple effect on the punters at the event, and at the end of the day, that’s really what it is about.
As a punter, food at festivals can be a big deciding factor in a music festivals environment. Riot were more than hospitable in this regard. There was a huge section of food trucks ranging through mexican, thai, burgers and of course Chicago deep dish style pizza with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options to boot!
Watch: Clowns – Euthanise Me
The City of Chicago
Riot Fest originated in Chicago IL, and there was a certain sense of patriotism which flowed through the air at the festival. You could definitely tell that the people at the festival were stoked that their city was home to one of the worlds most rad and relatively new festivals. This created a massive positive vibe through the crowd, which really makes it more than just a music festival but a community of music lovers having a sick time!”
Clowns hit the road at the end of October, grab all the tour deets and dates below!
Watch: Clowns – Never Enough
Clowns Never Enough National Tour 2015
Supported by Cosmic Kahuna
Tickets on sale 9am Thursday, 17th September
Thursday, 29th October 2015
Friday, 30th October 2015
Factory Floor, Sydney
Saturday, 31st October 2015
Monday, 2nd November 2015
Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne
Tuesday, 3rd November 2015
The Bendigo Hotel, Collingwood (AA)
Saturday, 7th November 2015
The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
Friday, 20th November 2015
The Boston, Perth
Friday, 27th November 2015
Enigma Bar, Adelaide