Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My Sonisphere and snakepit experience

It was my 15th weekend festival, but my first time at Sonisphere. As a seasoned Download and Leeds goer I've grown used to knowing my way around and where the best places are to pitch. Usually it's the slightly quieter fields we go for, shattering the peace with our cock n balls balloon modelling and the shit celebrities shouting game. That's the kind of stuff that kicks off when my best friend Steve comes along anyway, because he's a troublemaker like that...

Being on unfamiliar territory was weird, but Sonisphere quickly became my favourite festival. It's spacious, it's clean and there's little queuing for anything, particularly getting into the arena which Download and Leeds manage to balls up every year. Anyway, let's get on with the gloating... sorry, I mean the fun stuff.

Let's start at the end. Sunday headliners, Metallica, were the main reason we opted for Sonisphere over Download this year, but our excitement about the show increased tenfold when we discovered we'd be watching their set from... THE SNAKEPIT. Yeah, that's right. We're a pair of lucky bastards.

As part of the By Request tour we had the opportunity to vote for the setlist. In the end most people voted for the songs they usually play anyway, so it was pretty much a greatest hits set. For me, there were two main songs I wanted to see on that list, 'For Whom the Bell Tolls' and 'Whiskey in the Jar'. I got both.

 The pit wristbands. We're going in...

This is our arrival in the snakepit, which is reserved solely for around 100 Metallica fan club members. We are about third/fourth row from the front. The chances of us weeing ourselves with excitement are off the scale right now. As you can see Dan has gone into James Hetfield man-crush stalker mode and I can't believe this is actually happening.

It was actually quite weird getting into the pit, as we had to walk along the front between the barrier and the stage, with everyone at the front narrowing their eyes at us as we did so. I can't really blame them, they'd probably spent eight hours or more on there, desperate to get a good spot for Metallica. Probably desperate for a piss too.

The rest of the snakepit.

The main crowd is out there somewhere, but weirdly we can't see or hear them from where we are. That is until they start raining bottles down on us. That's jealousy for you.


We've both seen Metallica many times over the years, but it's always been from quite a distance, so it was weird to suddenly be able to make eye contact with them.

I'm sure for about the first five minutes I just stood there with my gob open.

The arse of Hetfield

The people you can see at the side of the stage are also Met Club members who won the chance to watch the band from there.

Mid-set selfie.
What we're thinking at this moment: 

I've never known a two-hour set to go by so quickly. We were having so much fun that we hadn't even noticed that it'd got dark. The band stayed on stage long after they'd finished playing, as they always do, throwing plectrums, fist bumping and the like. The flag they're holding up was thrown on stage by a dude who was stood just behind us.

By far the highlight of the set was 'Whiskey in the Jar'. Like us, everyone else had probably waited forever to see it live too, so the whole snakepit went mental, even singing along with the riffs. I suffered the next day though with a pretty severe bangover.

James Hetfield's plectrum. He threw it into the pit and it landed on Dan's foot. I believe my words of congratulations went something like this: 'You are the jammiest cunt I know.' I later took it back once I bagged my own plectrum! It landed next to my foot and as the girl next to me reached down to get it I stood on it. All is fair in love and snakepit warfare. At least I didn't punch anyone in the face trying to grab one, which the guy in front of me actually did. In his defence it was accidental, but his victim was not impressed.

We also bought a Metallica frisbee. Just because.

Other awesome things that happened 

Dancing to Chas n Dave in the rain while wearing a bin bag as a coat. They had a circle pit going and a crowd surfing rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit... It was amazing.

Getting on the barrier for Kerbdog and The Bronx*, then seeing how mental the tent went for both of them.
*I think I can hear myself screaming at the start of this video.

Feeling 18 again while watching Hundred Reasons perform their debut album 'Ideas above Our Station' in its entirety. I used to go and see that band a LOT when I was in my teens.

Listening to the bunch of 18 year olds that were camped next to us plan which bands they were going to watch on the Saturday: 'Hundred Reasons are playing today. Whoever they are.' HAHAHA.

The boy from the same camp who talked about finding a 'vinyl shop' in the shopping village. HAHAHA. Oh God...

The World War I dogfight, including Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson. 
Here we are joining in.

The guy who was off his face on pills dancing to Slayer like they were the kind of act you'd get at Creamfields.

Blaas of Glory, the amazing marching band that trooped around the arena every day playing metal covers.

Seeing Black Dogs get a wall of death going at 1.30pm. That's basically 6am in festival land.

Living off cheese and marmite toasties from the Tea & Toast stall.

Smuggling gin tins into the arena every day without getting caught *smug face*.


Some dude asking Dan if I was his daughter. HAHAHA. He wasn't impressed, but I'm still laughing about it now...

We had sunshine, we had Metallica, I think as first Sonisphere experiences go it was a winner.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a total winner! Amazing! I can't believe some dude thought you were Dan's daughter though #wounded! Dude must have been on something, like the raver :) Loving the overload of selfies in this post btw :)