the gig life tour


They call her St. Vincent, and she exists among the forward-thinking, boundary-pushing art-pop elite–here, as we look ahead to the upcoming year in music, Guitar World digs in deep with Annie Clark, a modern day guitar hero.

[By Brad Angle, photos by Travis Shinn]

Annie Clark is officially one step ahead of us. We’ve always suspected as much, but this fact was confirmed the moment she emerged from hair and makeup for her inaugural Guitar World cover shoot holding a guitar… and wearing a dress that featured a print of a bikini body, just like the kind you’d find hanging in the window of a kitschy beach shop.

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First order of business: Guide to Warped Tour

I’ve been going to Warped Tour since 2007 and in that time I’ve learned a lot about suriving a festival such as this. Keep in mind you can find a huge amount of helpful material on any official Warped Tour website, blog, social media outlet, etc. This is just my take and I am not professionally associated with Warped Tour in any way.

Every year I have a sort of check-list/game plan for every date (as since 2011 I have done no less than three dates every summer).

First, you need to plan what you need to have with you at the festival. It’s important to prepare but not to overdo it with the items you bring along; you don’t wanna carry around a bunch of unneeded crap all day.

My list of items is simple:

- SEALED water bottle (they will let you in the gates with it and you can refill all day for free at a designaed location - otherwise it’s like $3-$4 for a bottle of water)

- Sun screen - DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE OF NOT APPLYING SUN SCREEN. You WILL burn and it WILL suck. I reccommend a high SPF and the spray on type. It’s easier to apply throughout the day and less messy.

- Phone/portable charger

- ID, cash and a credit/debit card (optional). I usually don’t bring in my whole wallet.

- Sunglasses

- Sharpie

- Small draw string bag or back-pack or shoulder bag. (Please don’t be that person to bring a back-pack/bag big enough to travel Europe for three months with).

**Keep yourself updated on the projected weather for your date so you know if you need to add any rain gear to this list which would be either a poncho/hoodie and a plastic sandwhich bag to keep electronics safe.

Moving onto what to wear…I keep it simple/practical every year.

Hair - If it’s long, tie it up and if it’s short you’re good to go (if you plan on dying your hair a vibrant color don’t do so the day before because you will sweat and it will bleed all over your skin. Dye it like a week or so before to prevent that as much as you can)

Upper body - Tee-shirts, tank tops, sports bras (with or without a shirt), badeus, etc. Anyhthing light and airy that you can also get physical in and still be comfortable throughout the day.

Below the waist - Shorts. Don’t try to wear jeans, it’s fucking summer and it’ll be hot. I like to wear shorts that I can get at a Model’s or any other sporting goods stores because the material keeps me cool and they’re MADE for physical activity. But jean shorts are good too. High-waisted shorts are a good way for girls that want to stay cool and functional but also keep it on the stylish side.

Shoes - VANS obviously are acceptable. I either wear those or regular running sneakers because they offer more support and you’re on your feet all day. TOMS, sandals, flip-flops or anything that leaves your feet exposed or easily fall off are just a NO. Doc’s are a good option but are heavy on your feet - that’s up to preference really.

***And for God’s sake WEAR SOCKS. You’re feet WILL sweat and no socks = a smelly ride home later.

Make-up/accessories - This comes down to preference/how motivated or not motivated you are. At Warped I personally don’t put on make up or wear and type of necklace or bracelets (with the exception of my NTIO bracelets). If you don’t get the right make-up you’ll just sweat it off or it’ll run everywhere and an arm full of rubber bracelets will make you sweat on your forearms so much faster than if they were bare.

***Again the accessories/make-up you wear is your choice, as is everything you choose to wear. This is just my take on what works best for the setting/weather.

How to handle the day…

Warped Tour is a long, hot day. But it’s also fucking amazing. That being said, it can be an overwhelming environment for first timers. So, here are some tips.

- If there’s a band you want to make sure you get a wristband for meeting then you NEED to get there early. In additon to that, make sure you bring $5 bucks, canned goods or an old cell phone with you to hand into the Feed Our Children tent for an early entry wristband (they will be located outside the main gates at every date)

- Going off that ^^ turn on notifications for the bands you would like to see/meet and the tents they’re signing/meeting at (I.E. Alt Press, Kia, Journey’s, etc.) because then you’ll know as soon as it is released as to WHERE those bands will have wristbands available for meet and greet.

- If you’re trying to meet high priority bands (like Black Veil Brides, Pierce The Veil… basically the main stage bands) as soon as you’re in the gates run in and find the tents you need to, to get wristbands. They’ll go fast.

- After I get my M&G stuff for the day I make my way over to where the bands and set times are listed (you can’t miss it, it will be a big, blow-up wall that says ‘VANS’ on it and all the stages, bands and set times will be listed). Put all the bands and their times/stages you would like to watch into your phone (or bring paper if you’re scared if you’re phone dying later) and then you have you schedule for the day. Make sure to also include any M&G times you’re doing in that schedule.

- Now usually I go with a group of people and I’ll tell you right now if you’re in a group of like 4 or more it’s very unlikely you’ll stay together all day because you’re going to want to do different things and not always see the same bands/performers/artists. So, make sure to have everyone’s number (maybe make a group chat) to stay in contact and make a place to meet at the end of the day (or a certain time of day) if anyone’s phone should die and they can’t get in contact.

- As far as merch goes, if you’re planning on buying A LOT don’t load up on it at the beginning of the day. Because who wants to carry all that? I know I never do. If you just want a few pieces or small things, then I would get it ASAP and just get it out of the way. However, shopping for merch is a good way to kill down time between sets/meet and greets.

That pretty much covers it… other than that, just have fun! Warped Tour is the highlight of summer every year for me and hope it will be for anyone reading this too.

Before I leave you, a few words on safety…

- STAY HYDRATED. I cannot stress that enough. It is HOT. You NEED water. And try to eat at least once during the day. Your body will need it.

- Be AWARE of yourself in the crowd. There will be moshing, pushing, shoving, crowd-surfing, etc. If you feel overwhelmed get yourself out and if you can’t figure how to do that or you’re about to pass out/have a panic or anxiety attack ask for help in the crowd. We’re family and the people surrounding you should know how to help get you out. If you happen to be on barricade or very near it get securty’s attention and get pulled out.

- DO NOT leave the festival with anyone you DO NOT KNOW. I don’t care if they’re in a band or not. YOU DO NOT LEAVE THOSE GROUNDS or EVENT AREA without someone you know/came with.

- KNOW THE LOCATION OF THE FIRST AID TENT. If you’re hurt, feel sick, etc. go to them and get help. Seeing/meeting a band isn’t worht getting hurt or getting sick or passing out.

That should be it I think. If you have any remaining questions about anything specific in this guide feel free to inbox us!