BEHIND THE SCENES: WARPED TOUR EDITION (HOLLI PORRECA)
DENVER, CO- SECOND DAY OF WARPED TOUR! Here’s another ‘Warped Tour Edition’ of my series ‘Behind the Scenes’ with a 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!
Today we have Holli Porreca who has done a number of years on this tour and who has worked her way up to being a Tour Manager.
Tell us a little about yourself (name, current job title, ect)
My name is Holli Porreca. I'm a Tour Manager/Feminist/Vegan. Look out!
Position(s) held when on Warped Tour:
I started out selling merchandise for Shiragirl Stage in 2006. If there are any Warped veteran fans or workers old enough to remember us we hosted all-girl and female fronted bands (like Paramore in 2005). Since then I've worked my way up to Tour Manager.
How many summers on Warped?
2006 - 2012, skipping 2010. Although a couple of those years I did only part of the tour.
How did you first get involved with the tour/ any previous experience?
In 2005 I was the lead machine operator at an injection molding plant outside of Seattle. I had some vacation days and decided to spend them at the Warped tour. I was an entitled bitch and didn't feel like paying for a ticket. Shira caught me trying to sneak in and gave me a ride in her pink RV. When she showed me her stage I was in love and spent the rest of my vacation days volunteering for her. In 2006 the injection molding plant closed down so I moved out to Jersey to start my new life as a road dog and never looked back.
Describe a typical day working the tour:
There is a lot of fetching of water and lunches. Mostly just walking for miles and miles and usually carrying something. Not sleeping or showering enough. Basically it's paradise.
Survival tips for Warped Tour (for both crew and fans):
Everyone will say it and we all mean it: sunblock and water! Lots and lots of water. People lose jobs for getting heatstroke, not for taking bathroom breaks. By 2pm half of the fans in Houston go home because of it. If you can't afford to buy bottles of water all day, buy a Clean Cantine from their booth and refill it all day.
Do’s and don’ts of Warped Tour:
Do stay hydrated and don't be an asshole. We know you're tired. We are too and complaining makes it worse for everyone. Don't put Gold Bond in your underwear. It cools you down but I tried it twice and I'm not sure why I did it the second time.
What to wear/not to wear:
I'll skip the standard 'dress to get dirty and sweaty' comment to cast the following Public Service Announcement:
VERY IMPORTANT: If your friend gives you a shirt from their band, wear it proudly whether you like their music or not. When someone says, "nice shirt," say, "thank you." When you say things like "Their drummer is my bff and gave it to me for free. I don't actually like this band" it doesn't make you sound cool. It makes you sound like a shitty friend. A negative attitude will wear out your welcome quickly, no matter who your bff is.
Best live performance(s) you have seen at Warped:
I'm hard pressed to pick one performance that stands out above the rest because I find myself feeling lucky to be a part of history on a regular basis on that tour. I will say that Rise Against and Peelander Z have always impressed me.
Best and worst part about working Warped?
The worst part of being on any tour is being away from your friends and missing out on being part of anything ongoing such as school or a soccer team. The best part for me is spending every summer with people who are cut from the same cloth as I am. Warped Tour isn't like any other tour on the planet and the crew isn't like any other either. We're one part carnie folk, one part glutton for punishment, 2 parts unmatched pride in our work ethic.
Was it/is it what you thought it would be like?
I don't know what I thought it would be. You can't really know what to expect on this tour without doing it no matter how prepared you are. I'm sure I expected there to be more fun and hanging out and less pushing a hand truck full of gear through a mile of gravel.
Favorite city and/or best venue Warped Tour stops in:
Everyone says the Gorge and that's the closest to a hometown show for me. It was actually sort of shocking that most of the Warped dates are in parking lots or fairgrounds since I grew up going to the Gorge. I was so spoiled. This year they chose a different venue for the Washington date day. Bummer.
Best place(s) to eat while being out on the tour:
Well Tada! Catering is our caterer on tour and they are amazing and always have a delicious vegan option. On the handful of days off we have I look forward to Watercourse in Denver and Mothers in Austin.
Favorite Warped Tour memory/ story/experience:
If you had asked me last year I would have said running into my ex-boyfriend after not seeing him for 5 years, but 2012 is a new year. I can't pick just one moment but I met one of my best friends, Flash Bathory, on the Warped Tour and she passed away a few years ago. I feel blessed to have shared time and space with her for her brief run on this planet.
Advice for first timers (for both crew and fans):
Respect will get you everywhere on this tour, whether you're working or playing. A false sense of entitlement will get you nowhere fast. Also, where shoes with insoles, even if they look stupid.
If someone wanted to work on Warped Tour how would they go about it?
Say yes to ANY job you are offered. Even if it pays utter shit. When you get said job, bust your ass, even if you hate it. Bands and Tour Managers scout out crew for the rest of the year at these festivals and if you quit, get fired or word gets out that you're lazy, no one will want to work with you. If you do the best job you can with the job you have no matter what it is, people will know your name fast and want you to come with them. Always say YES.
If you're going to be on tour this summer, what are you most looking forward to?
I'm obviously looking forward to seeing my friends. To see what they've accomplished this year and show them how I've grown. The bands I will be Tour Managing this year, Stepdad and Champagne Champagne, have never done the tour, so it will be cool to show them around and teach them the ropes.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Warped has evolved with the new music and fashion trends over time but there could come a day when it is over, or at least over as we know it. In the future, Kevin Lyman will be a legend and I will tell my grandkids that I was a part of the famous Warped Tour.