Charlotte, NC 7/30 Vans Warped Tour
This year, Cait from The Encore Media had the pleasure of working with the wonderful non-profit Feed Our Children Now, an organization founded in 2007 holding food drives to improve the lives of children in the United States. She was also working under the EIY (Earn It Yourself) organizaton, an organization and a philosophy that encourages members of their local music scene to make a difference.
After completing my search and destroy mission to find a parking spot, I met up with Natalie Dickinson, founder of music business blog We Are The Kids and the rest of the volunteers to begin working. Usually, the volunteer’s work would begin with setting up the merch tent, but since things were running a little behind schedule, we started load out. As we were unloading, it was brought to our attention that the fence wasn’t pushed out far enough, so all the crew banded together to literally expand Warped Tour. Laughing the entire time, we all managed to push back the fence and continue load out, only after we received our earned applause. We set up both FOCN booths and started giving Skip The Line wristbands to the enormous flock of kids giving either 3 cans of non-perishable food, an old cellphone, or five dollars. After we got things under control, everything went smoothly and our pile of food and cell phones kept growing.
After the line subsided, we were let loose to see a few bands (mine being Man Overboard and Yellowcard) before returning to pack up the food for local charity The Relatives, who provide multiple services for children who have run away from home, are homeless, or in need of help in Charlotte. The charity had many helpers, so the food and cellphones loaded in quickly. We took down the outside tent, and moved into the tent inside the venue, where we sold FOCN merch, collecting donations and sold raffle tickets to see All Time Low side-stage. I put out an email list on the table and talked to kids as they came up to the booth about EIY and getting involved with the local music scene. EIY Carolina came up with our catch phrase that I had written on the email sheet “We can’t do it without you!” to encourage local members to take responsibility and help the local scene grow, because it’s true, we REALLY can’t do it without you!
One of the volunteers was brought back stage for Breathe Carolina’s set on the way to get my press pass from the press trailer, so naturally I went along to see the set. Breathe Carolina definitely killed it, with huge bass drops and the crowd going absolutely wild. Seeing the energy from the band pull in the crowd reminded me of why I do all of this in the first place. Music is, and always will be, where I belong. Music isn’t just noise. Music is a place, a mind set, a way of life, a therapy method, an escape, a friend, and a lover.
Although I did receive a press pass, it was late in the day and the bands I had planned to interview had already closed their interview sessions, but I did get a quick glimpse of behind the scenes in the press trailer. Photographers, videographers, and journalists had arrived early and snagged interview spots on the clipboard, and claimed their territory. If I learned anything from being back there, it was that the music industry is no doubt a dog-eat-dog world, which ties right back to EIY beliefs. You have to get out there and earn it yourself.
We wrapped everything up around seven PM, after everyone’s tent had blown over the fence from the notorious Carolina weather. We were thanked for volunteering and went our separate ways. Working with FOCN was a wonderful opportunity and a learning experience for The Encore Media and EIY Carolina.
Feed Our Children Now:
We Are The Kids:
The Encore Media: