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How to be not dead come Monday morning at Newark Showground

The Monolith Tech Fest Survival Guide

Greetings and welcome, ladies and djentlemen. The advent of Tech Fest 2014 is almost upon us (really? You don’t say…) and a very merry time it’s looking to be: close to sixty acts across four days, from lunch-up to sun-down, with some absolutely cracking big names, as well as tasty morsels you might not have heard before.

We’ve made much ado about the music, but what no-one seems to have covered yet is everything else. If you haven’t been before, then prior warning: Tech Fest is a wasteland; a veritable badlands populated by dedjenerates and the lowest of the low.

But you’ve slung your £59.99 their way now, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be buggered if they’re getting away with it scot free, so fuck it; you’re going.

Fear not little Monoschlongians – we’ve got the knowledge and experience to impart to ensure you make it out the other side relatively intact.

Disclaimer: this may or may not contain any actual advice and all words are not to be taken as legal counsel.

1. Fruit and water are not for weaklings

Let me paint you a picture about last year:

Tech Fest 2013 desert

It was bleeding hot.

Now, as is customary when away from your parents for the first time, things can get a bit messy. You’ve started drinking with the first bands at 12:00pm and all you’ve had to eat is a melted mars bar and a flump. Tonight you’ll have a burger and chips and more beer.

It’s fun, but if you want the best chance of making it through, you should probably heed your mum’s pleas and buy some fruit.

I know, kind of lame, but also not: see, cider is made from apples, so that’s basically the same thing. Bananas look like willies and that’s hilarious, and grapes double up as ammo to lob at your mates. Total jokes!

Water’s a big one too. Try and have some that isn’t flavoured with hops, k? Big stamina enabler that one, and will stop you passing out and being taken to the medical tent, which will earn you 150 dweeb points and the ire of your friends. Take that, street cred.

2. Fuck fashion

Sort of related to the above, but if the temperature tops thirty and you insist on wearing a beanie, before long your brain will be potato aardvark balloon spaghetti. I know they’re cool and all, but they’re also sweaty and itchy as fuck when you’re in a field for four days.

Of course, that is completely your prerogative, but I know I’ll be taking the comfiest clothing possible. I’ve a pair of comfy board shorts that I probably won’t take off, even if I manage to hit the hallowed showers. Loose fitting tops, breathable footwear (with a rain contingency option) and you’re pretty much set.

James Hetfield in ear

One the subject of being cool, you know what’s not? Tinnitus. If you’re not wearing hearing protection, you will get ear rabies and you will die. There may as well be someone walking all weekend around punching you in the ear, and you’ll end up with something not unlike Justin Hawkins of The Darkness up in there 24/7.

3. Avoid the bloody press

Beware anyone with a camera. Paps, man; they did for Diana and they’ll do for you too. They’ll catch you at your worst, especially if you’re a famous guitarist in one of them successful djent bands and you find yourself outside your tent on a Saturday morning in your pants and more hungover than an entire company of Cossacks after Russia Day. Like this young man here:

Tech Fest 2013 James Monteith TesseracT

Avoidance techniques: throw yourself at them screaming “I’ll fucking beat the fuck out of you” à la J-Bewbs last August, who was clearly under the influence of some grade-A Eminem.


4. Don’t get roped into any pyramid schemes

Tech Fest 2013 human pyramid

As the Wikipedia entry on pyramid schemes I just looked up told me, pyramid schemes are an unsustainable model that involves promising participants payment or services, primarily for enrolling other people into the scheme, rather than supplying any real investment or sale of products or services to the public.

Much like every pyramid ever, which have all fallen down (those ones in Egypt are inflatable), this is particularly true in the bloodthirsty deserts of Tech Fest. Much like the pharaohs and X-Men villain Apocalypse, the despots of UKTMF will rope all and sundry into building ill-advised and structurally dodgy human pyramids to the glory of their lord and master, Simon Garrod, who is the whole event’s mastermind and architect.

Do not fall prey to these people. Keep your wits about you!

5. Guitar strings are lethal weapons

Have you ever wondered why so many modern progressive metal musicians use so many strings? Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity of seven and eight-string axes, and with good reason: certain members of the scene are a secret order of scruffy, long-haired assassins, and their M.O. is strangulation by guitar string: the more illustrious the target, the heavier the gauge.

Tech Fest is essentially a training ground; an opportunity to test their skills. ‘Djent’ is actually latin, and comes from the order’s guiding words “djentum in thallio”, which means “kill in a manner suggesting rhythm and progression”, as set forth by their grandmaster, Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah.

There is to be a workshop from the American chapter’s top agent Felix Martin, who comes packed with an arsenal of 14 strings – so many you’ll have to be careful not to garrote yourself as you approach the stage. Beware this man:

Felix Martin

Also avoid: Vildhjarta; Drewsif Stalin (AKA The Mountain That Djents); Monuments

6. Don’t be a dickhole, awight?

Lastly, and possibly most importantly: be a dude, yeah?

Other festivals are filled with right idiots. Vice have a line in articles on how shit most people at festivals are, but they’ve never once mentioned Tech Fest, and it’s with good reason: because Tech Fest has a real community vibe. Simon talked a bit about this already in his Ten Reasons To Be Excited For Tech Fest, but it’s like one big family gathering – only without being eyed up by your creepy uncle or your mum getting in a strop over the turkey. Christmas is shit; go to Tech Fest instead.

With a bigger site comes more people, and a higher risk of wankers, but as long as the majority keep them under control, we’ll do just fine.

So that’s all we can be bothered to think of for now, so we’ll let you out of class to spend your weekends preparing, and we’ll see you there. We’ll be wandering around in a variety of indicative t-shirts, so come say hi or punch us in the cock* for shitting on your favourite band recently.

*Don’t actually do this, ya bellend.