So the last 12 hours have been interesting. I posted some thoughts on some shennanigans I witnessed backstage at T in the Park, and then got inundated with poorly-written bilge for a while on Twitter. You can have a read on my feed here.
I have no interest in rehashing the specifics of what happened, it’s not, in itself, a massive deal to me. I still don’t really know who Nicki (sic) Minaj is, and I don’t really care. I have no opinion on her music, for all I know she’s a genius. Good for her.
The central point I wanted to make, and the thing that got me pissed off in the first place, is about respect. A lot of bands (and me) spend a lot of time talking about respect for the people who listen to your music, the people in front of the stage, the “fans” (I still hate that word) or whatever, and rightly so; personally, I feel that showing up late and not apologizing is a little weak. But the thing that got to me yesterday was more about respect for a different group of people: the crew.
There are an awful lot of people who work on making shows and festivals happen who don’t get to stand in the middle of the stage and bask in anyone’s adulation. In fact, it’s the vast majority of people. This includes my crew (sound guy, guitar tech etc.), the stage hands, the promoter who books the show, and the hundreds of people who run the backstage organization, and more. These people all work their arses off, they’re there from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, and they don’t get paid as much as the musicians on the stage. Without them, nothing would get done, there would be no shows for anyone to enjoy. I couldn’t do what I do without my crew.
Running a festival is a logistical nightmare; it takes a lot of people an awful lot of time to make sure everything runs even vaguely smoothly. If there’s one person in the midst of this who has a pretty easy, highly paid job (show up, mime, go home) who refuses to do this, and thereby fucks up the day of all the hard-working, sleep-deprived, exhausted, under-appreciated festival crew, well, that pisses me off. It means everyone has to do a ton more work just to make sure that the people at the festival and all the other bands don’t have their day ruined.
For some reason, doing this when you’re holding a microphone makes you “artistic”, “difficult” or maybe a “Diva”. In any other walk of life it’s called being rude, selfish and inconsiderate. Of course, Henry Rollins already said this better than I ever will.