BEHIND THE SCENES: WARPED TOUR EDITION (ADAM DEANGELIS)
SAN FRANCISCO- DAY 6 OF WARPED TOUR!! 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 Adam DeAngelis, photographer and Tour Manager.
Position(s) held when on Warped Tour:
Tour Manager for 11:11 A.M. in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011.
Tour Manager for the Dear Jack Foundation 2010 and 2011
How many summers on Warped?
How did you first get involved with the tour/ any previous experience?
I had 0 tour experience. I founded the organization 11:11 A.M. and we decided to take the organization on tour to reach as many people as possible. It was a unique opportunity and along with a few other organizations, we were the first to tour the whole thing.
You have a Polaroid book out called ‘Tour Roots”; did you plan on making a book out of the pictures before, on tour, or did you gather up all of them after the tour and come up with the idea for the book?
Well, the year before I had come out with a Polaroid book called "A Glimpse…" I had first gotten the idea when everyone wanted a copy of the photos. Since real Polaroid film is very expensive, I couldn't just give them out. So I compiled them and designed a book. The next year I did the same with "Tour Roots". Both of the books have different themes though. "A Glimpse" was about the behind the scenes of Warped Tour. "Tour Roots" was more tour life based and compared previous years.
Would you ever publish another photography book?
Of course! I plan on putting together a book of my digital photography.
Besides the book, you also filmed the documentary “Fifty –Two: A Non-Profit Story’ about what it’s like to work for non-profit charities at Warped Tour. Even though this movie goes into detail what it’s like being behind the scenes of this tour, can you give us a brief synopsis of it? When is it going to be released?
"Fifty-Two" is a work in progress. I decided on filming it a few months before tour started. I kept on being asked "What's it like to tour on Warped Tour while working for a non-profit?" and "What's it like working with 11:11 A.M. and The Dear Jack Foundation?" So I took the opportunity and started filming. It's mainly about tour life, working for a non-profit. It gives some insight to Warped Tour behind the scenes. It's a traveling world and unless you work on it, it's hard to see that side of it.
As far as release date, I've been so busy with my new job and moving to Washington, DC that it's been on the back burner. The one thing I don't want is to rush it and have it be bad. This is my first documentary and I've never edited a video like this. I hope to have it done within the year though.
You have represented two incredible organizations, the Dear Jack Foundation and 11:11 A.M for two summers. For people who don’t know about either charity can you tell us a little bit about each of them?
11:11 A.M. started in June of 2005. Jenny, Melly, and I started the organization with only a hundred or so orange bracelets to raise awareness for cancer research. It was created when Andrew McMahon of Something Corporate and Jack's Mannequin was diagnosed with leukemia. We started it because Andrew's music inspired us through the years so we thought it would be great to do as a thank you. Overnight we got a ton of orders, to the point that we had to order more bracelets. By December we raised $5,000 and donated it to the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. As years went on we produced new merchandise, benefit concerts, collaborations with clothing companies, and touring the Warped Tour. Finally, we partnered up with the Dear Jack Foundation in the last two years.
The Dear Jack Foundation was founded by Andrew McMahon. We've had a close relationship with them over the years and it was great to join as a team for the Warped Tour. Andrew has a documentary out, "Dear Jack", which focuses on his battle with cancer. It's very moving and I recommend everyone seeing it!
You have to have had some amazing experiences with people and their stories; is there a specific story(s) that stands out in your mind?
Our friend Matt who lost his battle with cancer. Matt had contacted me a while back about 11:11 A.M. and corresponded during his battle. 11:11 A.M. started a project called "Cards for Matt" which we had supporters write him cards for when he was in the hospital. Matt wrote me shortly after a long email which I keep printed out in a book I keep, telling me how the project helped him. When he passed away, I was really sad. When I started this project with my two friends, we didn't think of where this would end up. We just wanted to sell a hundred bracelets. We weren't ready for something like this, no one is. His family started a foundation shortly after and we are starting to work with them. Recently, we did a project where if you donated to Matt's Foundation, you received a rare Something Corporate single signed by Andrew. We keep in touch with Matt's family, who are amazing people! I hope I get to see them one day since they live on the West Coast.
How do you think working as a photographer at a music festival influences your pictures?
It allows me to get pictures that the ordinary pit photographer can't get. Unless you work on tour, family, or a friend, you don't get the access. I love taking the unseen or documenting style with my photography. As much as I love photographing live music, it's nothing rare or unique. Anyone who works for a publication can get into the pit. Backstage or rare moments, that's another story; picture.
Do you have one photo that you’ve taken during a year at Warped Tour that sticks out in your head more than others?
I was photographing The Academy Is… from behind The Butcher (their drummer) and William threw his mic stand in the air. As soon as he caught it, he held it above his head with his head down. I snapped the photo and it was amazing. The sea of people, the band members, and then William looking like a rock god. I have a ton more of my favorites though.
Describe a typical day working the tour:
Whine and then complain how hot it is. Just kidding. Well sort of. Wake up around 7:30am, get breakfast, empty the trailer, get to the non-profit area (never know where it is or how far your bus is from it), set up, doors open around 10, sell merch, talk to kids about the cause, sell more merch, get lunch (sometimes Leah got it for me), count out, tear down at 6:30pm, RUN to get dinner because it's going to close at 7pm. From 8-9pm you add the data to your computer, post to social media sites, email your supervisor an update. If there's a bbq, I'd usually go to get food. 10 or 11pm, sleeeeeeeep!
Survival tips for Warped Tour (for both crew and fans):
Crew: Baby wipes. Have some cash on hand for the bbq. Take advantage of Wal-Mart trips. Keep your cell phone charged and on you at all times (you might get left behind by accident when the bus stops). Don't get a rock-star attitude.
Fans: HYDRATE and then hydrate some more. Don't wander onto someone's bus, it's someone's home. Visit the non-profit world and learn about some great causes.
Do’s and don’ts of Warped Tour:
Don't be mean to others in the pit.
Do wear sunscreen.
Do help your fellow concert goer if they fall down.
What to wear/not to wear:
Shorts and a t-shirt. Keep it simple. Maybe a sling bag for water and stuff you buy during the day.
Best live performance(s) you have seen at Warped:
The Academy Is…
Bring Me the Horizon
Best and worst part about working Warped?
Best: Meeting the most amazing people and calling them family afterwards.
Worst: The heat.
Was it/is it what you thought it would be like?
Nope. It really is punk rock summer camp.
Favorite city and/or best venue Warped Tour stops in:
Las Vegas, NV: After work we went to the casinos and it was awesome.
The Gorge, Washington: The venue is in a canyon and the surrounding area is so beautiful! Great for pictures.
Best place(s) to eat while being out on the tour:
Chipotle, c'mon now.
Favorite Warped Tour memory/ story/experience:
Hmmmmm…living with We Are the In Crowd is my favorite memory. We all had an amazing time and still are friends to this day.
Advice for first timers (for both crew and fans):
Crew: Take photographs. You will want to remember everything. Everyone always got mad at me for documenting everything yet afterwards, they all want the photos!
Fans: Get there early and look at the set times and plan your schedule.
If someone wanted to work on Warped Tour how would they go about it?
It's who you know. Network. Sometimes sponsors will announce opportunities but word of mouth is mainly how people get hired.
Anything else you’d like to share?
What I’ve learned over the years is that networking is extremely important.