In this Crazy Tour Stories segment, the emo rock band, Lonely Spring, shares one of their stories from being on the road. You can check out the story below:
The year is 2016 and we are trying to play every gig we get. We don’t have a management, label, booking agency or anything else yet, it’s just the four of us trying to get our band out there. Therefore, we organise a not so professional tour throughout Germany ourselves. We didn’t grow up poor but never really had money either, so the gear we load into a rented bus is exactly everything we can afford at that time, which means it is rubbish. Jules, Mandei, Madsn and I (Simon) pick up a friend we went to school with, who then joins us on this tour as some kind of a backliner, at least that’s what we call him officially. Honestly, he just wants to have a little party with us and that’s fine, because we’re still just four emo boys, about 19 years old, not really knowing how to pull off a successful musical career but trying so hard to get heard.
We play show after show and not getting paid well would very much be an understatement. It’s obvious we can’t afford hotels or so at all. So, we sleep where we must in order to keep this tour going. Sometimes it’s at a friend’s flat, sometimes it’s at some place of some people we hadn’t even known before the concert, but we do what we got to do and somehow, it works out, mostly. We even sleep in backstages on couches or on the floor, if there’s a nice rug you can get some shut eye on.
One day on tour, we stage a show in Cologne alongside two other bands that we think are from Cologne. Unfortunately, it turns out that none of these bands live in Cologne, so we can’t sleep at their places. Well, we could have still figured out places where we can rest but we were so sure that we could stay at one of their places that we didn’t really think about it, like at all. And now, since this is not an option, we’re trying to find solutions without having to pay a lot of money which we don’t have.
Me and my bandmates brainstorm: the festival we’re going to play at tomorrow is a five to six hours drive away from Cologne, if we get moving now, we could arrive there at about 7am, we’ll be playing at around 4pm, so we would still get some sleep, if there’s a place where we can sleep at and maybe a shower. We call the person from the festival we’ve been talking to before and pitch our crazy idea, telling them we don’t really have any other option at the moment. They say yes and we get going.
We drive through the night lights and every single one of this travel party is extremely exhausted but no matter what, we must keep moving and that’s what we do. Flash forward, it’s 7am and we arrive at the festival. The bus smells, we smell, but everyone’s just glad we made it. There’s two people who welcome us as they walk up to us and say: “we’ve been up all night waiting for you, so we decided to fill up the fridge with drinks and get ready to start a little party as soon as you arrive, so it would be worth the wait”. As you can probably imagine, at this point we can’t really say no to that … and we don’t even want to.
The clock shows 7am, it’s us and a few people from the festival sipping one drink after another, dancing around the festival court, listening to emo songs from the noughties. It’s amazing and even though we haven’t slept in more than 24 hours, we love everything about what’s happening. I don’t know how nobody’s fallen asleep yet but later than sooner reality hits us and we notice that five hours have passed since we arrived: it’s 12pm.
No time to waste on searching for places to get rest at anymore now and we’re drunk anyway, so we all together decide to just sleep on the stage of the festival, and we do so. Jules and I are just laying somewhere as Madsn gets to the drum riser and himself comfy using the stage molleton fabric as a blanket. Meanwhile, Mandei is attaching his hammock to the traverse at the top of the stage, so high up that we’re a little worried he might hurt himself trying to get down in a few hours. We just let him do his thing. And finally, we sleep, at least for a very short time.
Two hours later we get up. Very much hungover but still so young that we can so easily take it that it doesn’t even bother us. In about two hours we’ll have to enter the stage, so we need to shower as soon as possible and get ourselves ready. The festival doesn’t have any showers, so one of the festival’s crew members who was partying with us just a few hours ago takes us to an outdoor swimming pool. They do have showers, of course, but before we proceed getting ourselves ready for the stage, there’s still one thing we’ve got to do before that: sliding. The outdoor swimming pool has a huge slide and we’re not holding back, for the next half an hour we behave like we’re little kids, slide, scream and laugh.
Eventually, the time has come to finally get ready for the show. We shower and the festival’s crew member who is with us leads us back to the festival court. We put on our onstage clothing, enter the stage, and give it all we got. There’s only like 50 people in front of it but we don’t care, we have the time of our lives.
As we get offstage, the life of the party continues and we’re about to dance through the nighttime again but that’s a story for another time.