When reading this, bear in mind I'm 5'7", blonde and have no experience whatsoever doing security. I guess I get asked to do these sorta things because I'm the sort of impulsive person who goes, sure to hell with it - why not!
So, late last Friday, I was on my way home from Dublin to Limerick (4hours on bus) to spend a nice quiet weekend with my family.
My friend Aisling calls me out of the blue – quick! 16 people who were supposed to do security ran off - taking their Access-All-Areas wristband with them. We’re in a lot of trouble and REALLY short-staffed – you in?
Why not! I tell my parents when I come in the door... "Sorry, I can’t stay long… Know how I couldn’t afford to go to Oxegen? Well… I’m going for free!"
10am the next morning I’m back in Kildare at the Oxegen music festival and ready to start work.
I’ve never experienced anything like it.
Where was I stationed? Only the Dance Arena – the epicentre of all the drugs, violence, and general dodginess at the festival! I’m sick to death of dance music after it (been hearing the “nnsk nnsk nnsk” in my head ever since!!)
You may think “wow cool! Being paid to go to a festival!!!” And that’s what I thought. But, no, not so cool. Throwing water at people, throwing people out, beind sicked on, carrying drunk girls to Med-centre, breaking up fights, wading through muck and mud, checking the portaloos for drug-dealers, guarding barriers, stomping tablets into the floor, trying to talk sense to people who's eyes are popping out of their heads...
The only act I got to see was the very last one of the weekend, just before I ran for my bus (had work at 9 the following morning!) And that act was… Rage against the Machine!!! Absolutely AMAZING gig, I saw the last hour of it (so really didn’t miss much) including their dazzlingly good encore…
Naturally they closed with Killing in the Name Of, and, even though I ran for the bus immediately after, I was an hournahalf late for work this morning. So… exhausted…
But, who cares!!! They were the only band I REALLY wanted to see and were mind-blowingly good and it was free… apart from the soul-destroying labour…!
Saw some crazy stuff over the course of the weekend. Being sober, and spending the whole time watching the (wasted drunk) crowd like a hawk, means you see some really REALLY odd goings-on! Here are some of the weirdest moments:
Told a fello to put out his cigarette (no smoking/cans/bottles allowed in Dance Arena building) and… he took it out of his mouth, turned it backwards, and put it back into his mouth. Quenching it with his tongue. I gaped at him and he smirked at me (cig still in mouth!) and, speechless, I walked on!
Roughly snatched a can out of a guy’s hand and yelled at him… he turned out to be one of the DJs – oops.
Saw 3 girls stooped on ground in front of a Portaloo, went to investigate. As I got to them, they were just standing up and one girl was showing the others a handful of E tablets (about 15 maybe) – as I couldn’t prove they were theirs (they insisted they’d just picked them up) I just took them away and said nothing to them, then threw them in a puddle of filthy portaloo-run-off water and stomped them into dust, then kicked mud over them and went back inside. 5 minutes later, another security guard tells me he saw a guy (in aviator glasses and a Hunter S-style hat) on his hands and knees picking around in the puddle and eating them. Urgh.
Asleep in fellow-security-guard’s Chicky-chento in the security carpark, and in the middle of the night the lads (all big securty-type fellas) picked the car – and us – up and spun us around, shook us, bounced us, and left us down a few meters from where we started (pointing a different direction) - I was so tired that I slept right through it! I didn’t even hear my Aisling (the other guard in car with me) screaming “FUCK OFF LADS!!!! COP THE FUCK ON!!” as we were held in the air (strong sleeper I guess!!)
Was asked HUNDREDS of times by people whether I would sell them the stuff I’d confiscated. Unbelievable! (Besides, anything I found was MINE!)
Fella from the Fratellies got in fight with one of the other guards – pulled the whole “don’t you know who I am?!” routine when told he couldn’t exit through an entrance-only door.
It was nice that I got to see Rage, (and buy a tshirt!) but I don’t know if I’d go again. It was good craic in the security carpark (drinkin all the confiscated cans and bottles and stuff – very cool!) but the hours were too much, 15hours Saturday – no break (and only got to sit down when on toilet – that was pretty much it.) and 11 hours on Sunday with a 10 minute break… Ate out “dinner” (our only meal in whole day) standing at our posts.
Feet still killing me.
Also saw 2 dudes dressed up as the 11850 guys.
And that’s not even the half of it…!