August 1998
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My Trip to the 1998 HORDE Festival at Blossom Music Center

A Journal

by Jessica Brandt

2:30- I call my friend, Lynell. "Hey, I'm gonna jump in the shower, then I'm a coming over. Did you just get up?" "Yes." Damn, I don't think I've ever said that to anyone before. Usually it's them asking me "Did I wake you up?"

3:00- I arrive at Lynell's. She's still in her pyjamas and has a towel on her head. Nice. I change my shirt, to the new one I had just bought at the mall the day before, so I could fit in with the other kids at HORDE. But I had left it at her house. It's a Peace Frog shirt. I don't even know what Peace Frog is.

3:15- We're finally on the road. What is this? Traffic? where the hell are all these people going?? They best not be going to HORDE.

3:45- We turn off to go "the back way," and avoid all the traffic. Apparently, "the back way" is also "the long way" and "the senic way," but we made it in a good 25 mins.

4:10- We pull onto the main drive from "the back way." Haha!! My plan worked...we cut in front of some yuppie teens in a shiny black Honda. The line of cars behind us is endless. WHAT?? I have to park in the GRASS lot??

4:15- We begin the mile-long walk to the front gates. I turn to Lynell and say "You know what? I already hate all these people here. I don't even know them, but I hate them." Lynell is a really nice girl, she can't understand why I hate anyone at all.

4:25- Already dripping sweat, we enter the main gates. Immediately, we run into the one person whom we were to look for- Someone Lynell works with. She is wearing jeans. It's 95 degrees and she is wearing jeans. Lynell says she never wears shorts. I notice that a lot of the other kids are wearing jeans as well. She fits right in.

4:35- I flash my badge at a security guard, in order to gain access to the backstage area of the second stage. (By the way, I work at the place where HORDE was at.) Why? Well, my cousin was catering a party for some folks there and I was promised some free grub. The secutiry guard, amazingly, happened to be a kid who was the star reciever for my high school's football team. Even MORE amazing, is that he somehow RECOGNIZED me. I felt very popular, with my Peace Frog shirt and all.

4:40- My cousin was not where I thought he'd be. I didn't really think about trying to snoop around backstage. Who was I going to meet? Marcy Playground? Pshyeah, like they'd talk to ME.

4:45- Dripping with more sweat, and starving, we head off to buy some food. There's the "Giant Eggroll People" and "The Burrito Oasis." Oh, and don't forget "Australian Kill and Grill," as well as the Smoothie stand. Lynell and I make a beeline for the regular concession. I buy a $5 Blimpie sub in a plastic wrapper, she buys a $3 hot dog. Yummy.

5:00- We go find our seats, because we NEED to sit. Our seats, despite the fact that I actually waited in line for these tickets, were at the very very back of the pavillion, only 5 rows in front of the lawn, to which I had free access. Disgusted, I suggest we move on.

5:15- We move on.

5:20- We begin to wait in line for some nachos. Lynell tends to eat a lot, despite the fact that the food here costs a small fortune.

5:35- Out of the nacho line, we pick a shady spot near the road, and on the lawn, to people watch. Slowly, we being to realize we look like a couple of dykes, what with the two of us just having got our hair cut VERY short (hey, we work in restaurants) and not being like those other pretty little girls with tank tops and daisy duke shorts. Not that there's anything wrong with looking like a dyke. It keeps the good guys away, yes, but there's got to be some losers it keeps away too.

5:45- "Mr. Lifeguard" and "Hottie Friend" sit down across the road from us. "Mr. Lifeguard" is for Lynell, and "Hottie Friend" is for me. This is a thing girls do, guys. They assign each other dates, even before they speak to you, if they ever do. We continue to keep an eye on "Mr. Lifeguard" and "Hottie Friend."

5:45- Some serious people-watching goes on. I declare to Lynell that there are only two types of guys here: Jock-types, with baseball hats (what's WITH those hats, guys???? You must all be balding under there), and malnourished geeky-looking guys with dyed hair, glasses with no lenses, 25 piercings, jeans 5 sizes too big (in this 95 degree heat!), and an ugly polyester shirts covering some sort of t-shirt bearing an advertisement for some Hostess product that appars to have been bought at the thrift store, but was actually just bought at Record Den. Neither of the two turn me on in the least.

5:50- I lose control and begin crushing heads. If you've never crushed a head, you are missing out. Some memorable flatheads:

  • Fat guy with no shirt, and even fatter guy with no shirt. They were together.
  • Lovely airheads with tanktops on. Make a nice "pop" when crushed.
  • "Michigan State Band" guy. Advertising geekyness?
  • President Clinton. Or, someone resembling him closely.
  • The same fat guys with no shirts, again.
  • "Trojan People" who didn't think that Lynell and I would have any use for free condoms. As if!
  • "Better Make it Two" girl, whom the Trojan People felt could use two condoms.

6:00- "Mr. Lifeguard" and "Hottie Friend" take turns going to the restroom. Apparently, guys do not travel in pairs.

6:03- I decide that it's a good thing that Lynell and I both have tattoos, or else we REALLY wouldn't fit in. Too bad we forgot to wear our bikini tops, tho.

6:05- The pavillion is cleared of all humans. Everyone must re-enter, using their ticket this time, darnit!

6:15- We make a decision to move.

6:25- We move.

6:30- The Barenaked Ladies begin their set. We watch eagerly from the 1000th row! We have the whole row to ourselves, except for the sweaty group of four who have the seats RIGHT NEXT to us. We move.

6:50- Finally, someone tells us what HORDE stands for. According to the 'Ladies, it stands for "Hot Oreo RightOn! Dextrose EggRoll." They sing a song about it. Incredible.

7:20- The uncooked Kraft dinner is flung.'s funny EVERY time, guys, believe me. Yeah right.

7:35- Amazing BNL set over, Lynell sees some other guys from work. They dog her, big time. Who needs them? We wish for them to rot in hell! Hoorah!

7:45- We meet up with the girl from Lynell's work. Her boyfriend MUST see Marcy Playground. I decide I don't really like him then. Us girls shop. Tee hee.

7:50- We peruse the necklace stands, the TOBBACCO ONLY bong stands, the toe ring stands, the $20 Brand Name Sunglasses stands, the "one-size-fits-mozt-girls-with-no-shape" clothing stands, and the 100% Hemp stands. We each buy a necklace, only $8 and I think the guys were REAL Jamaicans!

8:00- While perusing the TOBBACCO ONLY bong stand, I am jumped by some kids from work. I have never seen them out of work...and I don't think they really know anyone outside work, because there they all were...with people from work. I opt to stay with them as Lynell and her friend catch the Smashing Pumpkins show in the pavilion. We stand under a tree.

8:15- Still standing.

8:30- Still standing. The sky turns black and the wind picks up. Suddenly, it's not so hot anymore. People begin to scream and clear the lawn. A tornado! The TOBBACCO ONLY bong guy tries to sell his wares as he packs them in their special TOBBACCO ONLY bong cases. The Jamaicans freak out and close their stand down. Tie-dye tapestries blow in the wind. People take shelter in the Yahoo!/Sony Playstation tent.

8:30- We stand under the tree, speculating on whether it will blow over or not. It does not. The lightning begins, the rain begins.

8:45- We stand some more, wondering if it's better to be under a tree or un an open field during a lightning storm. We keep under the tree-- That is, those of us from work who have stayed. Most of the other people scamper off, afraid of a little wind and water.

9:00- It drizzles a bit. People begin sliding down the grassy hill on their stomachs. They don't get far before screaming out in pain, realizing that you need a little more water for a mud slide. They continue to get grass burns. We stand under the tree.

9:30- Finally, the Pumpkins' set is over. I say farewell to my friends from work, and go to meet Lynell. She informs me that she was chased out of the half-full (or half-empty) pavillion because, although she had a pavillion ticket, she was not in her CORRECT pavillion seat. I tell her "Guess what, I can get a free hot dog with my badge!"

9:35- I attempt to get my free hot dog. The girl at the register asks "Well, did you work today?" "No." "You can only get a free hot dog if you worked today." Shoot. Never fear, I have a PLAN.

9:45- We trek up the hill, like two 60 year olds with heart transplants, huffing and puffing all the way. We stop at the OTHER concession stand. "Did you work today?" "Yes, we catered a party over there" . "Okay, sign here." Yay! And for that, I got TWO hot dogs.

9:50- Lynell buys some more $5 nachos. She does not like free food, I suppose. We eat in the shelter of the condiment cart's umbrella.

10:00- We leave before Blues Traveller begins. On the way out, I buy a hat that says "Barenaked." Haha, they'll love this at work. I'm so hip. I have to borrow $5 from Lynell, because their ATM is out of money. It's a free-standing ATM, and on the side there's a door that has a DO NOT ENTER sign on it. We decide not to enter.

10:15- After the mile walk back to the car, we almost get into three accidents trying to find our way out. Half way home, we see that the road is closed. I turn down the "back way" and laugh at all the city-goers who will be lost out here in My Country.

10:30- I drop off Lynell. Had we any cash left, I'm sure we would have gone to Denny's. We're crazy that way. I return home take a shower and wash off that dirty feeling of 90's Music Festivals, and the go to bed to dream about "Hottie Friend."

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