After spending Saturday at Aftershock, which you can read about here, we made the 6 hour drive from Sacramento to San Bernardino for Knotfest (who knew California was so big?!)

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The Music

We arrived a little late so missed some of the earlier bands but made it in time to catch a little Cannibal Corpse. After that we skipped the music for a bit to check out what else was around.

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The line up for me later in the day was basically the same as that at Aftershock. Clutch were excellent, again. A MUCH bigger stage for them this time.

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Bring Me The Horizon played the exact same set that they did at Aftershock, and got pretty much the exact same crowd reaction. I’m still surprised that they’re so popular in the USA (not that it’s not well deserved) and also that Americans don’t know Chelsea Smile. But maybe the lack of knowledge of their older stuff is more of a new fan thing, rather than an American thing? Whichever.

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After the little bit of a disappointing show at Aftershock, Slipknot were back on form at Knotfest. It seemed much more of an enthusiastic performance, from Clown in particular – he actually walked through the audience at one point. And I was happy that they changed up the set list.

The sound at San Manuel Amphitheatre, in the actual fixed main stage area, is excellent and I think that made a massive difference. I actually really like the way the main stage is set up – it has a semi circular pit area (on concrete – ouch!) with tiered seating behind, both of these areas are for premium ticket holders. General admission ticket holders can watch from the lawn area at the back – but with the MASSIVE screens, that is by no means a bad view. I’ve been in both the pit area and the seats (because I’m a bit pathetic and girly and also sometimes my feet hurt) for varying bands, and both were great.

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As usual, apologies for the awful/lack of photography. Taking pictures just isn’t at the front of my mind when I’m watching a band. I know I need to improve on that…

Knotfest Museum

Despite being at Knotfest for the whole weekend last year, I managed to miss the Slipknot Museum, and this year I got lucky – I didn’t realise they were closing it at 7pm on the Sunday, and I managed to be the last one in!

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It’s basically a circus tent with a load of Slipknot paraphernalia (with no explanations), curated by the band themselves from their own collections – old jumpsuits, masks, art, previously used equipment etc.

I’ll leave you with a few photos.

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Outside the entrance are frozen goat heads on spikes – I was so lucky that, just as I was about to kiss one for a selfie, one of the security guys pointed out it was real…

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Here’s the outtake, haha!

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Vendors

One thing that struck me about Knotfest 2015 was that it was almost exactly the same in terms of layout as it was in 2014 – even the majority of the vendors were the same.

Quite a lot were generic festival stalls, and having browsed similar at Aftershock I didn’t spend too much time on them.

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I did buy the most me tshirt ever from the Bring Me The Horizon merch stand though. It’s a really colourful sublimated print with the umbrella motif, new for this tour. I absolutely love it.

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VIP Area

Like with the vendors, the VIP area was the same as last year, even down to having the same (very good!) Mexican food truck. The only real addition this year were clown statues, and not particularly Slipknotty ones.

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I like the VIP area at Knotfest a lot. It is handy to be able to access it – unlike Aftershock, Knotfest has no real shaded areas in the main arena, so the sun can get a bit overbearing. The VIP area has a lot of gazebos and covered areas. It also has a pool table, sports on TV and a decent bar.

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It is however a lot more expensive (about $100 more I think) to upgrade to a VIP ticket, but I think if you can afford it (especially if you aren’t used to the heat, like me!), do it.

Food

Last year, as it was my first American festival, I was really impressed with the quality of the food. The choice wasn’t huge – basically Mexican, Chinese or Italian, but it was all really good! And it was EXACTLY the same this year. I won’t talk about the food anymore really, other than to leave a pic, as I posted in details about what I ate here.

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And I really like the drinks on offer at Knotfest…

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Camping

Now, I didn’t actually camp at Knotfest this year, but I did last year, so I wanted to stick in a little section about that experience. It was completely different to camping at a UK festival – well, general camping anyway. It follows the format of VIP camping at UK festivals, where you camp next to your car. Except you pay for a camping pass per car, rather than per person, and it allows for up to 6 people. I think it’s around $120 per car. You can see here how idyllic the setting was! It did get surprisingly cold at night though.

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Other Stuff

Knotfest had a lot of other attractions on offer. I didn’t have time to see them this year, but they were repeats from last year so I didn’t miss out. They included the Ring of Fire ride, flaming carnival games, the Thunderdome fighting arena and steel drums. If you’re interested you can read more about them here.

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Overall, Knotfest is a great festival, and a must do for a Slipknot fan. But I do think that once you’ve been once, you don’t necessarily need to go again. I think I’ll give it a miss next year for an alternative event.

L xx

All photos my own.

I love my food, so this will be a long post! I had planned on just doing one food post for the whole trip, but that’s just not going to be possible…

Day One – Airport Food (Amsterdam, somewhere over the Atlantic and Seattle)

Ok, so technically this isn’t really US trip food (at least not until you get down to the McDonalds, haha) but I like to be concise.

I started the trip with a breakfast pretzel from Starbucks at Amsterdam Schiphol airport. It was AMAZING. I love pretzels, and I love pretzel bread even more. This one was filled with prosciutto, provolone and sun dried tomato spread. Why does England have the dullest Starbucks options in the entire world? Trust me – more Starbucks to come.

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We flew with Delta for the main flight, and I have to admit the food wasn’t bad for plane food. I’m not someone who’s particularly negative about plane food, although after an awful food experience with Swiss to Tokyo I tend to take my own snacks. But Delta provided a decent chicken option, and it was served with a pretzel roll – and we’ve already established how I feel about pretzels.

Do you like my attempt at making plane food look semi decent…?

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Delta also provided a really good vanilla ice cream pot swirled with chocolate. I don’t normally like vanilla or chocolate sauce but this was crazy good!

My final meal of the day, and my first in actual America, was at McDonalds at Seattle-Tacoma airport. I went for the chicken bacon club – it was way better than anything I’ve ever had at a McDonalds before, anywhere in the world (I have this thing about trying the McDonalds in every country I visit). Even the bun was a soft brioche – delicious.

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For my drink I tried the sweet tea I always see Americans raving about. That was a mistake.

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Oh, and obviously I grabbed a Starbucks for the final flight from Seattle to Sacramento. I went with the Beast Mode frappuccino – a special created with Marshawn Lynch (the running back for the Seattle Seahawks) which I assume is unique to Seattle? Anyway, Beast Mode is the name of his clothing line.

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With mocha and mint and topped with matcha and berry drizzle, it looked really pretty, and had extra protein powder. Which obviously I really need in my diet, but whatever.

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I love how, in America, they’re so supportive of their local sports teams. The McDonalds at Sea-Tec was covered in Seattle Seahawks flags, and wreaths in their colours.

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We couldn’t have that over here, places would just get vandalised by the fans of opposing teams. And that kind of behaviour people of England, is pretty much why WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS. Rant over.

Day Two – Sacramento & Aftershock

Obviously when in America you have to go to Denny’s right? And with it being October, and me being the pumpkin obsessed basic white girl I am, I had to order the pumpkin pecan pancake breakfast. They were delicious and pretty much tasted like Christmas. Another reason England sucks – severe lack of pumpkin products.

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I should have just got the pancakes on their own really, but I went for the full breakfast which included eggs (mine were over hard – I’d never heard of that before, only over easy), streaky bacon and hash browns. I love American hash browns.  But, SO MUCH FOOD.

I kind of regretted the big breakfast because I love festival food, and American festival food is a million times better than British festival food (are you seeing the trend here? USA>UK, haha!). So I only managed a sandwich at Aftershock.

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But it was an AMAZING SANDWICH. The ‘Tricycle Sandwich’ from Drewskis food truck (which has apparantly been voted Sacramentos best food truck three years in a row – and I see why!), it was described as the ‘ultimate grilled cheese’ containing cheddar, havarti and swiss cheeses on sweet French bread. And of course I added bacon.

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Actually, looking back, I didn’t actually eat that much for me on day two. Especially considering the numerous JD cocktails… Oh well.

Day Three – En route to San Bernardino & Knotfest

So I made up for Saturday’s minimal food on Sunday… We didn’t bother with breakfast but stopped off en route for my favourite, Carls Jr. I normally go for the teriyaki burger at Carls, but this time I tried one of the thickburgers. It was good. And I’m crazy for the fried courgette (or zucchini as they like to call them).

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Last time I went to Knotfest I was really impressed with the food – the Chinese and Mexican stands were amazing. I’ll touch on this a bit more in an actual post about Knotfest, but those exact same food stands were there again this year in the exact same places! So for lunch I went for orange chicken (orange chicken is yet another thing I love that we don’t have here in England).

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And for dinner I went for Mexican from the truck in the VIP area. Carne asada quesadilla, yum. You can tell by the picture I was a little worse for wear by this point… I think I just really wanted to get my favourite Black Milk Clothing lace up leggings in the picture, haha!

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I also really, really like the drinks available at Knotfest – cocktails made with Coldcock Whiskey and Ole Smoky Moonshine. LOVE. I keep meaning to buy some of the moonshine to bring home, but I can never find anywhere that stocks it!

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So that’s days one to three, check out the next instalment!

L xx

All photos my own.