Tyler and I are woken up in our bunk beds by a still wasted long hair man wearing spiked gauntlets who Brett has brought in to be our alarm clock. We are to leave at 9am because today’s fest promoters say we should be there by 1pm. However, the gate to the street is locked and no one knows where the key master is. Timo is stuck outside on the street with the van and Greg is talking down to him from the window telling him our situation. Eventually, the person holding keys gets out of bed somewhere far above us in the upper stories of the squat and we make our escape.
Sometimes mixed drinks are served in plastic bags
We arrive in Biel, Switzerland and park next to some port-a-potties at a park. Upon exiting our vehicle it becomes clear that all the people that we saw driving up were not just here for a punk festival but some of them were attending a cookout/organized, pick-up 5 on 5 soccer tourney. There was also a stage set up next to the soccer field which we originally thought might have been for the punk festival. It turns out however that the stage was the home for a 5 hour set of a aging 70’s rock band with lots of lyrics about smoking weed. Appropriate since the smell of burning hash was inescapable throughout the park.
To the left of the soccer pitch we noticed what looked like a graphiti covered Thunderdome with a smashed apart car atop it. We would be performing within. We wandered around stepping over human crust wreckage passed out from the party the night before. Any other punks awake at 2:00 PM when we arrived had obviously not yet been to bed, though their dogs probably had, as these several dozen bandanna clad beasts had plenty of energy to bark, run, fight, and sniff ass. I found a truck trailer next to the graphitt-o-dome that has been made into a burrito factory where ordering was made especially challenging due to the inclusion of an enormous sound system blasting a porpouri of thrashing-ripper-piss drenched boot-crust (later they added some Beastie Boys, and classic rock to the mix). The burrito was decent to good. We put up a valiant effort at the kicker table, conveniently located next to the soccer grounds. We realized that apparently the soccer tournament was open to all comers when a pro looking team of 5 Swiss bros started a match against a mish mash of a team that included a kid, someone with a broken arm, a rando crustie, and a guy who could have been an extra in This Is England. Eventually Brett joined his friends from St Entiene and took the field against 5 guys who looked like the practiced soccer kicks often. Bretts team was obviously on performance dis-enhancing substances and most of them were wearing combat boots. They lost 1,548 to 0. Troi eventually was brought off the bench but couldn’t muster up a goal, though he did lose his shoe while trying a double rainbow kick.
Play time was over and it was time to join the other punks drinking in the grass. We had endless hours to pass testing our levels of inebriation, recovering and starting again. One woman rolled a joint that must have been 10 inches long and fat as a baby’s arm. Next to our van was a giant puddle of standing water that stood in for a water dish, urinal, and vomit receptacle for many a dog and a few humans. There were fires, competing boom boxes, and a lovely mix of punks, resident park goers, and randos wandering through. After several hours the band food was ready. We ate some greens, and several types of skin like fake meat products which were pretty tasty. A chocolate cake and tiramsu dessert rounded out the menu. Most impressive tour feast thus far
The crowd thinned out around 8 PM or so, I assume its finally time to catch some shut eye before the second night of bands begins. Around midnight the throngs return and the first band starts to play French punk cover songs for well over an hour. We finally get to play at around 3 AM, we are the fourth of six bands to play this evening. The sound guy is apparently too fucked up to mic one of the guitars... who cares. I found out later that he was forced into indentured servitude after traveling to the fest with no money to pay the entrance fee. Dan did a boot touch jump and landed in a huge puddle of liquid, he’s lucky he didn’t break something falling to the ground. The entire festival was powered by speed and hash which kept the venue full even at such a late hour, but also meant you were asked the same rapidly spoken question by the same person over and over again anytime you ran into them. There was still at least one more band to play, probably a dance party to come and a fire being started next to the busted up car on top of the amphetamine-dome by the time we headed to the sleeping place at around 5 AM. Long drive tomorrow, so we need to get up before 9.
More photos to come