BEHIND THE SCENES: WARPED TOUR EDITION (SELENA ROX)
Summer is officially here! With Warped Tour starting in 2 days here’s another ‘Warped Tour Edition’ of my series ‘Behind the Scenes’ with another Warped Tour veteran to try to get an idea of what really happens, and what really goes into working this very long, very hot, tour. This will give you some tips on what to wear/ where to eat/ how to get involved with the festival/ the do’s and don’ts of Warped Tour and some bands you should check out while there. Let the countdown begin!
Here's Selena Rox, who has done everything from Tour Managing to being Brand Ambassador.
Position(s) held when on Warped Tour:
Tour Manager/Brand Ambassador for District Kills Records (2009), Brand Ambassador for Topshelf Records (2010), Guest list/Box Office Assistant/Volunteer (2010), Sales for Umbrella Clothing (2010), Production Office Assistant/Intern (2011), EIY Host/Coordinator (2011), and this summer I am the Artist Manager/Back Up Emcee for Kia (2012)
How many summers on Warped?
This summer will be my 4th summer on Warped.
How did you first get involved with the tour/ any previous experience?
Warped in 2009 was my first tour! When I was living in Maine I used to book shows and festivals in my area. I started booking when I was 16, and my school had me book the entertainment for a few environmental festivals we did. Through the years of doing that and attending local shows and helping out my friends, I made a lot of great friends and connections in New England and one of those connections invited me to go out with them and their label to promote on the 2009 VWT. After that I just kept working hard, meeting new people, and getting more tour experience.
Describe a typical day working the tour:
Depends on the job! As a brand ambassador, I would wake up pretty early, get dressed, brush my teeth and then grab an iPod and some cd’ s and start hustling in the lines. After doing that for a couple hours, I'd help out in our tent and just sell CDs and talk to kids and educate them on the product/label we were promoting. End of the day we'd count out, pack up and get ready to do it all over again. As a Production Office Assistant/Intern, I would wake up super early, explore the venue to figure out where everything was, write up the day sheet, deal with beer and water, set up the office, take in laundry, unpack the production cases, send out the day sheet, answer questions and direct people all day, then pack up at the end of the day and do it all over again. As the EIY host, I updated our social networks; picked out a meeting time and place, scheduled time with Kevin and Lisa and whomever else I was having speak at the meet up, taking photos and uploading them to the Facebook and setting up our mailing list. Doing merch for Umbrella Clothing, I would load-in, set up, hang out in the tent and take care of customers, then count out and load out at the end of the day. As Guest List, I would help sign in guests and press and wristband kids during the busy part of the morning.
Survival tips for Warped Tour (for both crew and fans):
Water, sunscreen, cheap sun glasses and sneakers. All extremely crucial items. I broke both of my big toe nails last summer because I was wearing sandals. Some days, sneakers are too hot, but other days, it's worth it. I also broke one of my big toe nails in 2008 when I attended the show, one of the worst feelings; the other things I mentioned are pretty self-explanatory. Also- if you can map out the venue in your head, you don't ever have to worry about missing your favorite bands or getting lost looking for real bathrooms or showers.
Do’s and don’ts of Warped Tour:
Do support your favorite bands and also check out some new ones. Don't day drink on hot days. Do check out sponsor world and get free stuff and play games. Don't try to sneak into the backstage area/BBQs/Venue. Do drink lots of water and bring some small snacks so you don't have to spend a fortune at the venue. Don't over exert yourself, if you feel your body getting tired/weak; take a break in the shade. Do introduce yourself to as many people as possible, we love meeting new people and it makes our days go by quicker. Don't linger, if you're not buying merch and the signing is over and conversation feels a bit awkward/disinteresting, move on. You could be preventing other sales from happening or making it harder for people to do their jobs.
What to wear/not to wear:
Wear: Sneakers, flats, shorts, tanks, sun dresses, sunscreen, sun glasses, socks, underwear/bathing suit. I always end up wearing pants but everyone says I'm nuts and makes fun of me.
Don't wear: high heels, sweaters, sweat pants, leather, wool, lingerie as clothes.
Best live performance(s) you have seen at Warped:
This is always so tough. All-American Rejects put on a great show, Foxy Shazam, The Dangerous Summer, The Wonder Years, there are so many others, but those are just the first ones that came to mind.
Best and worst part about working Warped?
Best: All the friends and traveling.
Worst: Missing my friends and family at home.
Was it/is it what you thought it would be like?
It was definitely more difficult than I thought it would be, but it also was just as fun and awesome as I hoped it might be.
Favorite city and/or best venue Warped Tour stops in:
The Gorge in George, Washington had been one of my favorite venues, but all in all, Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, FL is the best date/venue. So sick, it's right on the water and the weather is usually pretty great.
Best place(s) to eat while being out on the tour:
Voodoo Donuts in Portland, OR, Sushi Deli in San Diego, Z Pizza in SoCal, and all the vegan philly cheese steak places in Philadelphia, PA.
Favorite Warped Tour memory/ story/experience:
I have such a hard time picking just one. Drew (my boyfriend) and I got trapped in an elevator in Las Cruces, NM last year and the fire department had to break in to the elevator to get us out and pretty much everyone that was out with the production buses was waiting on the other side, haha. Epic.
Advice for first timers (for both crew and fans):
Don't bring TOO much stuff, don't act like you're entitled to anything, be friendly and take care of your fellow tour mates/fans.
If someone wanted to work on Warped Tour how would they go about it?
Look for internships and opportunities, volunteer at as many dates as you can. So many of our volunteers end up coming back and eventually some of them will get hired if they do a great job and show a lot of potential.
What are you most looking forward to this summer on Warped?
I'm really looking forward to my new job. It's pretty much my ideal position and I am still going to be able to pay my bills while I'm on tour. I am also really excited to reunite with my friends and to make new ones. I also am going to learn how to surf on one of my days off and go to Vegas for the first time as a 21 year old. I get to see my uncle and his family for the first time in five years this summer because the Washington date of tour is right next to Seattle. So fantastic.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Nothing else comes to mind, thank you for your questions, I enjoyed answering them! See you guys this summer!