The Best Festival Pranks and Near Death Experiences

Categories: festivals
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Andrew Youssef / OC Weekly

By: Heidi Darby

Festivals warrant endless tales of shenanigans, close calls, extreme bladder control, and of course, unforgettable live music. Overflowing lineups and constant interaction with strangers virtually guarantee festival fans a handful of outrageous stories -not to mention a bit of wisdom for the next go-around. But what happens on the opposite side of the barricades? What mischief lies beyond those VIP fences? Fans are only part of the equation, and the time has come for the other half to start talking. Members of Dropkick Murphys, Imagine Dragons, Bat For Lashes and Local Natives pull back the festival curtain and reveal the highs and lows of festival season.

Best Festival Prank

"[At European metal festivals] we'll take empty t-shirt boxes that are all nice and new and we'll put 'em out in the middle of a field. Gangs of metal heads come by and realize there's something in the middle of this field that hasn't been completely destroyed or urinated on yet, and they'll just pounce on it and tear it to shreds. It's never ending fun watching that happen. A couple times we actually hid a roadie in the box to scare 'em before they started to tear it apart. They barely make it out alive but it's good fun." --Ken Casey, Dropkick Murphys

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Mary Bell / OC Weekly
Vital Festival Advice

"Get over showers because everybody's gonna be stinky. You can be clean when you retire." --Dan Reynolds, Imagine Dragons

"Festivals can be quite muddy. Make sure you have a pack of tissues on you at all times, and be careful when you're running around in the mud. You never know what's hiding there, in the mud." --Natasha Khan, Bat For Lashes

"Back in the day I met Jimmy Pursey of Sham 69 and you'd a thought he was Billy Joel the way he treated me. Sometimes you don't want to meet your idol because they'll let you down." --Ken Casey, Dropkick Murphys

Unexpected Upsides of Playing a Music Festival

"When someone is a big shot at festivals in the catering area or backstage I'll walk up and introduce myself and purposely call them by the wrong name. I usually wait until my band mates are talking to him so it's extra uncomfortable for everyone around. That's what I like to do." --Ken Casey, Dropkick Murphys

"You never really know who you're going to run into to. We did Oya Festival up in Oslo, and we were sandwiched between Big Boi and Tony Allen. Anyway, we were back in the hotel lobby and we were staying at the same place as Big Boi. He was there with his crew of people and when we walked in he made a comment to our guitar player, Ryan, about his skinny jeans. Everyone laughed at him. It was really bad but really hilarious at the same time. He basically got called out by Big Boi for wearing skinny jeans. It was awesome." --Matt Frazier, Local Natives

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