A little while ago now I went to Psycho Ward, ‘an evening of immersive psychofetishism and perverse performances’ held at Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for ages. But before I go any further, a little disclaimer – the content of this post is 18+ and not really for the faint hearted…

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Now, if you know me, or follow my social media, you’ll know that over the last few months I’ve started attending a few alternative and fetish events. Quite a few people message me to ask what they’re like, or what I wear, as they’re thinking of going themselves. So I thought I’d just put it out there – so this will be the first of a series of posts about events like this, the next one being Sexhibition which I have coming up in a few weeks.

Anyway, about Psycho Ward…

The Event

Now if I’m honest, Psycho Ward was one of those events I’d been curious about for a little while, but with me being quite new to the scene, was a little apprehensive about.

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Photo by James Copeman

But I really don’t know what I was worried about. While in theory a medical fetish night has the potential to be a bit daunting and intense, in reality it was tongue in cheek and intimate. Everyone was so friendly, especially host Cynth Icorn, and it was actually one of the most comfortable atmospheres I’ve experienced at an event like that.

Perhaps that was a lot down to the attendees – this is an event that people primarily come to through an interest in medical fetish, or because they tend to mix in these circles as the norm, which resulted in a welcoming, respectful crowd. And pretty much everyone made an effort with their outfits, but more about that in a bit.

For once, I arrived at an event early, as at the start of the night Psycho Ward put on medical role play, and I wanted to get involved. Beautiful latex clad nurses dish out shots out of giant syringes, and group therapy has participants making animal noises. Another treat for early arrivals are the chance to play with toys like violet wands and vac beds. You can read a bit more about the ‘immersive therapy’ here.

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Photo by James Copeman

The venue, Resistance Gallery, is tiny, but perfect for a night like Psycho Ward. It’s dark and atmospheric, with clear plastic sheeting adorned with creepy words written in ‘blood’ giving the feel of an abandoned asylum. The ground floor holds the bar, stage and standing room, while the mezzanine level has a few pieces of medical furniture (renal beds, a proctology table, a traction table and ward beds), perfect for photo ops or a bit of play.

The Entertainment

Curated and hosted by heavy rubber model and fetish performer Cynth Icorn, Psycho Ward describes itself as a ‘hand mixed medicine’ – part fetish night, part goth club (the music played by DJ Darkstar and Heleness was my idea of perfect!), part art event and part theatre.

As would be expected, Psycho Ward featured a variety of performances along the medical theme. Here are a few pics of performers from the last couple…

I love tattoos, and beautiful women, and beautiful women with tattoos. So of course I love Aima Indigo.

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Photo by James Copeman

And Sophia Disgrace…

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Photo by James Copeman

Beatrix Carlotta put on a captivating performance as a hysterical, very bendy Victorian maniac.

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Photo by Zac Zenza

And you may recall the beautiful Syban from my post about The Goblin Kings Masquerade Ball?

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Photo by Zac Zenza

The Costumes

The dress code was ‘dress to distress’;

‘ward ware, lunatic chic, military medical, perverse patients, nyphomaniacs, demented dominas, disordered doctors, fevered fetishists, crazy club kids, art addicts, Frankenstein freaks, goth, steampunk, uniforms, alt, latex, PVC, corsets, leather.’

I was so impressed with some of the outfits. One of my favourites was latex designer Amy Statik in her own creation of pretty pastel latex and Iron Fist Glamour Guts heels with syringe headdress.

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Photo by Zac Zenza

And Cynth had the most amazing clear plastic cupped bra and head restraint.

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Seriously, look at this thing…

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Photo by Zac Zenza

And at one point in the night she randomly appeared with a cast on her arm – that’s dedication!

I also bumped into Dana Fox, the achingly cool life model I met at The Goblin Kings Masquerade Ball, with his friends looking on point. Oh yeah, these three are holding a witchy event, Coven, at Resistance Gallery at the end of August – definitely one worth a visit!

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Photo by Zac Zenza

What I Wore

Perhaps predictably, I went to Psycho Ward as a nurse – I mean, you have to, right? I was actually really pleased with my outfit, it’s one of my favourites so far.

I wore a Dexter inspired blood splatter print skater dress from my favourite clothing brand, Black Milk Clothing, but pulled down beneath my bust so my red Ann Summers bra was on display.

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Over the top I wore a new favourite – a white leather harness that I bought from Psylo in Camden. I love this so much – I’d had this outfit idea in my head for a while but struggled to find a white harness, but this one I found in the Psylo store in the maze that is The Stables Market in Camden was better than I could have hoped for. The detail on this piece is fantastic, and it was a really great price – only £78!

I finished the outfit with a stethoscope, first aid kit bag and some bloody nurse accessories which I bought from Mad World in Charing Cross. On my feet were Jeffrey Campbell Coltranes in white.

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Oh and I almost forgot the Lush Wigs Red Sea wig, which I love. I wish work would let me have my hair this colour for real…

What My Friends Wore

Despite our outfits not actually matching, Georgia and I still managed to look like a cutesy nurse duo!

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With her pink Fever wig from Mad World, she had a bit of a Nurse Joy look. Her strapless PVC dress was from Trashy, which she’d bought a while ago, and she’d customised it into a halterneck using a bespoke white leather O ring collar made for her by Carapace London.

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Photo by Zac Zenza

Speaking of Carapace London, also with us was our friend Harriet, the creative genius behind the brand. She’d made herself the most amazing, beautifully crafted patient outfit for the night, complete with bandaged head and boots! She looked incredible and in my opinion had the best outfit of the night.

I had such a fun time at Psycho Ward, it’s definitely one I’ll be going to again! And I can’t wait to check out one of Cynths other projects, Rubber Cult, which I have a ticket for in October. I need to go latex shopping…

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated. Thank you Psycho Ward, James Copeman and Zac Zenza for the permission to use your photos!

If anything is going to have me up for a 10am start on a Sunday, it’s the promise of bottomless bubbles! So this morning I dragged my lazy self out of bed for the Rock’N’Roll Brunch, which Hard Rock Cafe London kindly invited me to for a review.

Let’s face it, a bottomless rock’n’roll brunch has everything I love – breakfast food, alcohol and live music. It couldn’t really go wrong, right?

The Drinks

Our table had a little tray full of garnishes to build your own Bloody Marys, which was great fun! Although, I have to admit, the Mimosas were my preferred drink. And they certainly were bottomless! Our waitress was fantastic, there wasn’t a moment for the entire two hour brunch that we had an empty glass – she was even bringing a couple each at a time!

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Tea, coffee, orange juice and water were also on offer.

The Food

There isn’t really much more I can say about the drinks, so onto the food. It was a three course brunch – the food wasn’t unlimited by the way, the ‘bottomless’ refers to the drinks, as I’ve found it generally does for brunch.

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We started with bagels and stacks of American pancakes – with a selection of toppings (whipped butter, maple syrup, warm strawberry compote and smoked salmon cream cheese with pickles). I’ll be honest, by the time I’d finished these I was already pretty full!

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The second course was my favourite – baked eggs with red peppers, spinach and feta, topped with grilled courgette and parmesan. Which was weird as I was sceptical at first, it was a bit like a Spanish omelette, and I’m not really an omelette fan.

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The final course, the one everyone was looking forward to, was your classic American brunch platter – Southern fried chicken and waffles, streaky bacon, huge chipolata sausages, diced potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, cowboy beans and grilled tomatoes.

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The Music

Entertainment was in the form of a live acoustic band performing covers of popular rock and blues songs (and everything else inbetween!)- with everything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Outkast. The band, led by AJ Moore and Jonathan Tingall, played three 15 minute sets to go with each course, and they were great!

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If they’d simply played the whole time, it would have perhaps stifled conversation as it was so loud, but the sets were well timed for when everyone had their mouths full, so it worked really well!

The Venue

It was a nice set up. We were seated by the window, with a view of the park, which was lovely since it was a sunny day. It messed up my photos though! (But let’s face it, I’m hardly a skilled photographer, haha!).

As a music fan, I do love the interiors of Hard Rock Cafe – there’s always interesting stuff to look at, and I love the laid back yet cool atmosphere.

Did you know that Hard Rock Cafe London was actually the first Hard Rock Cafe to be opened? It’s funny how many tourists we saw having their photo taken with the sign – and that must be why!

I am a fan of the Hard Rock brand – whenever a Hard Rock Hotel is an option I always stay there (the HRH Tower suites in their Las Vegas hotel are my favourite rooms, but that’s for another post sometime…) and I’m one of those people who tend to visit a Hard Rock Cafe in the cities I travel to (did you know that each Hard Rock Cafe has it’s own special burger, created to reflect local tastes?).

Enough, Hard Rock propaganda – I promise I’m not paid to say all this, haha! But I do get involved in a few things with Hard Rock Cafe London (remember the Grease Pop Picturehouse event?). I have a couple of events there coming up soon actually – Pop Picturehouse have some cool movies planned, and Yelp are holding a Beer Pong Bash in Hard Rocks Back Room Bar which should be super fun!

I’d definitely recommend the Rock’N’Roll Brunch for a casual Sunday breakfast – it runs every Sunday in April and you can get tickets from Design My Night here for £29.95 (not bad for a bottomless brunch in Mayfair!).

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated.

Psst… If you want to see someone elses take on the brunch (and some much better photography!) Lauren from Saharasplash wrote about it here.

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.

Remember I said that the WWE NXT at Aftershock would need it’s own post here? Well, here it is.

I don’t follow NXT, so I was a little clueless as to who everyone was, but I’d never been to wrestling before and I had a gap between bands so thought I’d give it a go. And I’m so glad I did.

I caught two matches. The first was between Alexa Bliss and local (San Jose) favourite and NXT Womens Champion Bayley.

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There was SO much love for Bayley in the crowd, it must have sucked to be Alexa.

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As expected, Bayley won.

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Anyway, Alexa vs Bayley was entertaining, but the real highlight was Samoa Joe vs Baron Corbin. As with the Divas, everyone was rooting for the local guy, Samoa Joe from Huntington Beach.

It was a little more interesting this time though, as Corey Taylor was in the audience and had a little altercation with Baron Corbin, which I’m sure everyone has seen or read about by now.

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Photo by Adam Cleland

I was lucky enough to be sitting right behind Corey in the audience (and we spoke/touched which is why I didn’t mind that I missed out on the meet and greet with him!) so I had a perfect view. And I think my videos are pretty decent. They won’t be anything you haven’t seen by now, but give the main one below a little watch if you like.

I also went to WWE Raw in San Diego on the Monday, so more wrestling here!

L xx

All photos and footage my own unless stated otherwise.

Saturday was my first proper day at an American festival. Ok, yes, I’d been to Knotfest before, but that was kind of just a huge, glorified 3 day Slipknot gig. Aftershock is more of an all round type thing – if I had to compare it to a festival in the UK, I’d say maybe Download? Although it has more cool different stuff like you’d find at Reading and Leeds, but the line up is a little heavier.

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Anyway, Aftershock is hands down my favourite festival I’ve attended, and I actually wish we’d camped and stayed for the full duration. But nevermind. We actually ended up at Aftershock purely by chance in the first place – the original intention was to just go to Knotfest, but I’m not really into Judas Priest (who headlined day one of Knotfest) and heard Slipknot were playing Aftershock so thought, why not?

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There is so much I need to cram into this post, that I don’t really know where to start. I’d normally do chronologically but it just won’t work here, so I guess I’ll go by topic.

The Music

Seems a good place to start, right? Since the music is why I was there and everything.

Aftershock had some great bands on the smaller stages. I say smaller stages, there was only one ‘small’ stage, the others were just three main stages in different places. Two of them were actually directly next to each other, so you didn’t really have to move for the last couple of bands (Shinedown and Slipknot) if you got a good spot kind of in the middle (which obviously I did).

stagesSo, the smaller bands… I was a little distracted by other stuff earlier in the day, so I didn’t see that many until later on, but I did catch a bit of Beartooth, Seether (I always forget I like Seether – although the radio station we listened to in the car for the rest of the trip, Octane, basically had them on repeat so they are now stuck in my head) and Breaking Benjamin (I’ve never really got into them).

The first band I really paid attention to were Clutch. Which, if you know me personally, may make you laugh a little as I have been so resistant to liking Clutch for like, forever. But when I saw them at Download this Summer, I had to admit they were pretty good. And they kind of blew me away at Aftershock. They played on the smallest stage, the Coors Light stage, which was in such a beautiful setting, it was kind of nestled amongst trees, on the other side of the arena to the other stages. So standing back a bit, watching Clutch, in the sun, with gorgeous scenery – well that was pretty perfect, and not an experience I’ll ever have back home.

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Next up were Bring Me The Horizon. Have we established on the blog yet that Bring Me have been my favourite band for about ten years now? Admittedly I prefer the older, heavier stuff, but the new album still works for me – and it really helped get me through a heartbreaking Summer this year. As always, they were so, so good. It really surprised me how well received they are in America, and the amount of Bring Me shirts that I saw on people was great. As per their Reading performance this Summer, a lot of the crowd didn’t seem to know anything much pre Sempiternal. When they left some lyrics out during Chelsea Smile, just like they did at Reading, no one shouted them back – in fact I think most people actually didn’t know anything had been left out. It didn’t spoil it though, and I have to say I really respect Oli for not Americanising for a US audience, he still kept with his accent despite most of the crowd not having a clue what he was saying!

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One of the good things about the VIP area was the big screen showing whichever band was playing – and, while I think of it, one of the good things about Aftershock was that there weren’t really any band clashes, at least not later in the day. So I watched Marilyn Manson on the screen. Not much to say about him really, but he was better than the last few times I’ve seen him.

I also watched a bit of Shinedown on the screen before heading back out into the crowd for Slipknot. Shinedown aren’t a band that have ever gripped me – some of their songs aren’t band, but they’re kind of background music for me, the kind of music I can get away with playing in the car when I’m driving my Nan around without her complaining.

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And then it was Slipknot. As I think is pretty obvious, I love, love, love Slipknot. But I have to admit, and it may be the sound at the venue, I’m not sure, they weren’t at their best at Aftershock, which was a shame. I still enjoyed it though – I’m one of those people who isn’t over fussed about sound quality at a gig/festival, it’s more about how much fun I’m having. And despite by this point being jet lagged and exhausted, I was still having fun so it was all good.

Sorry there are pretty much no music photos past Bring Me, I tend to get lost in the moment and not take photos. And the ones I do take are generally a bit rubbish anyway, so it isn’t much of a loss.

Jack Daniel’s Experience

I’m not sure exactly when I started drinking a lot of JD, it only became my drink very recently, but I think it’s become kind of obvious. So of course I went into the Jack Daniel’s Experience truck – a mobile museum with some interesting facts about Jack, a display showing whiskey dripping through charcoal (it mellows it apparently), how it’s aged and stuff like that.

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I did learn that Jack was the same height as me and we have the same shoe size! And he died after getting an infection from breaking his toe when he kicked a safe in frustration.

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I had a nice chat with the guy in the museum, who liked the JD Meat & Whiskey hat I nabbed at the JD x Vice event a few weeks back (it is the best hat ever, so obviously he liked it!) and he told me that in some parts of America you can’t actually buy alcohol! Including in Lynchburg, Tennessee where JD is made.

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Outside the truck was a JD bar with generous servings. So Saturday was obviously a good day.

Crazy Dave’s Music Experience

This was an ‘interactive exhibit’ in a large tent where they held meet and greets – I missed Corey Taylor (he and Oli are the only people I’d bother seeing) because I was busy drinking JD, but you’ll see a future post that I didn’t end up being so sad about that.

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Other than that it pretty much just sold instruments and accessories. Nothing too exciting.

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Although I thought this skeleton hand guitar grip was pretty cool.

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Make Your Mark

Dividing the main arena from the outside part of the VIP area was a cool graffiti wall, with a load of spray cans so you could do your thing. I didn’t actually know at the time, but there was a famous graffiti artist there called Vyal from Risk Rock Studios. I didn’t know there was a thing of famous graffiti artists. Actually, would Banksy count? Is Banksy graffiti? Anyway, that’s totally not the point, just check out the pretty UV wall in the dark.

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Lawn Games

There was mini golf which I missed (I LOVE mini golf), but I was adopted by a bunch of guys who showed me a playground game called Cornhole in the Sacramento Kings area where you throw bean bags into a hole on a special board. Surprisingly I didn’t totally suck. They were convinced I was faking my British accent though… Actually, I get that a lot. Weird.

Vendors

As well as the usual alternative clothing stands you’d expect, Aftershock had a few more interesting vendors.

Hands down my favourite was Rock Out For Rescue – a collaboration between Take Me Home and A Dog’s Life Rescue in which they go on tour at rock festivals, selling ROFR merch and raffling off prizes. I’m a massive dog lover and advocate for rehoming, so this is a cause I really believe in.

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And the designs were awesome! I bought a hoodie (which is the softest thing ever!) with a French bulldog in Ozzy style round glasses and a studded collar graphic, and a Get Licked shirt which one of the lovely ladies at the stand cut up and weaved for me. I love it.

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At Aftershock they were raffling off some cool prizes, including a guitar (signed by Corey Taylor, Marilyn Manson, Jim Root, Gary Holt, Alex Skolnick, Lizzie Hale, Chris Wayne and Michael Wilton), special bottle of Angels Envy and signed drumheads.

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Another favourite was Mosh It Up Clothing. I actually saw their Adventure Time parody shirt on someone the night before at the Aftershock pre party and thought it was awesome.

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Image from https://moshitup.myshopify.com/

They kindly gifted me one of the Back To The Moshpit shirts, which got me loads of compliments when I wore it later in the week. You’ll see it popping up in an outfit post soon!

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Another stand I loved, and one I couldn’t buy anything from because I would never have got it home in one piece, was a collaboration between three artists; Sean Dietrich, Kai Martin and Erik Arreaga.

They actually each produced a print for a triptych exclusively for Aftershock.

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Here are a few prints I particularly liked…

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oz

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WWE NXT

This deserves a post all of its own so have a looky here.

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VIP Area

The VIP area, in association with Thunder Valley Casino Resort, was pretty handy. Nothing spectacular, but it did have shorter queues for the bar, bathrooms and food trucks.

Have a selfie of me in the VIP tent, because y’know, I’m always being told I don’t post enough pictures with me actually in them. It’s hard when you’re by yourself at things. Maybe I should get a selfie stick? Sorry, gone off topic again…

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Anyway, the VIP area – It also had loads of tables and seats, and a screen showing whichever band was on at the time, with cute haybales in front of it to sit on. Which was quite nice when I wanted a break from the crowds.

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It also randomly had chandeliers. Which I quite liked.

Would it be worth paying extra for? Not really, but I wouldn’t turn it down. A VIP ticket is about the same cost as a standard UK festival ticket though, so maybe? Well, that was indecisive.

Food

I won’t post too much about the food, as I have done a whole post about the food I had here. But I will leave you another picture of the INCREDIBLE grilled cheese I had from Drewskis.

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I had such an amazing time at Aftershock, and would definitely consider going again!

L xx

All photos my own unless stated otherwise.

 

 

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.

dennys

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.

drewskis

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.

tricycle

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).

carlsjr

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).

knotfestfood2

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!

knotfestfood1

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!

olesmoky

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

L xx

All photos my own.

 

Some of you may have noticed I’ve been AWOL for a bit, having been on an epic mini American festival roadtrip which I’ll likely be boring you to death about with posts for the next few weeks.

I may as well start by telling you about day one, so here goes! We had a ridiculous 16 hours of travelling from London to Sacramento (via Amsterdam and Seattle). It started off quite interesting, on the first leg of the journey (London to Amsterdam) I was sat next to an ex convict who was being deported back to Ghana. We actually had a really nice chat, about mistakes, positivity and looking to the future. His crime wasn’t horrific, and I believe in second chances – I think he was pretty happy that I didn’t just recoil away from him in horror when he told me his story! He’s actually keen to give blogging a go – to help get him through an unwanted move back to a homeland he hasn’t visited in almost 20 years.

And I had to take a picture of these really cool pillars at Sacramento airport…

sacramento

Anyway, I digress. As soon as we’d arrived in Sacramento, picked up our hire car and checked in to our Motel 6, we headed straight to Slipknots Scream Park where they were holding a little pre party for Aftershock Festival.

hoh

Image from http://www.hellorhighwaterofficial.com/

We’d missed most of the bands, but were in time to watch Hell Or Highwater – a band I’ve never come across before but really enjoyed. It was quite a bizarre setting for a gig to me, it was basically a stage in a parking lot. Everyone was so into it, none of this standing at the back on your phone that I’m used to seeing. It felt really American!

hoh3

I spent ages trying to figure out why the vocals were so familiar, and then I realised it was Brandon Saller from Atreyu. We had a nice chat after the show, and I even bought one of their shirts for $10. Bargain.

hoh2

Image from http://www.hellorhighwaterofficial.com/

Onto the bit I was looking forward to – Slipknot’s Scream Park. I love Halloween, I love horror, I love being scared and I love Slipknot. So it couldn’t really fail, right? But if I’m honest it was a bit of a let down.

slipknots scream park

For what it was – just 3 horror mazes, it was decent. Not hugely scary, although the clown following you around in Clown’s Playhouse was creepy as.

sspcp

I guess I just had higher expectations? Named the Best Haunted Attraction in the West by Forbes, and being described on the site as ‘produced by the twisted minds of Slipknot, Slipknot’s Scream Park features outrageous haunted houses and live horror entertainment.’ I was anticipating a bit better production, a bit more elaborate settings and for it to be not just in a pitch black empty building. I thought it would have some atmosphere, a bit of smoke setting the mood, or some people in costume wandering around making people jump. Still, I had fun, and I’m glad I went.

You can check out the trailer below if you’re interested…


L xx

All photo’s my own unless stated otherwise.

I’m a metalhead at heart – I think that’s pretty obvious! But I’m always open to trying new things, so when Bulmers invited me to their Live Colourful LIVE event at One Mayfair last week I was really excited!

bulmers live colourful live

Image from www.facebook.com/bulmers

I found the concept really interesting – Bulmers brought together grime artist Lethal Bizzle, British composer David Arnold and soul singer Sinead Harnett with a live orchestra to unite three distinctive genres in one track.

bulmers live colourful live

Bulmers have been promoting their Live Colourful campaign all Summer – their ethos being to open your mind, eyes and ears to all great things in the world. This really speaks to me, because about a year ago I grew tired of just listening to the same music, and going to the same kind of events, and decided to broaden my horizons. You can read more about Live Colourful here.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

One Mayfair is a really beautiful venue. Built in 1825, it’s a Grade 1 listed building, formerly St Marks Church. It was such a majestic setting for live music, and the acoustics were fantastic. I really hope I can manage to attend another event there before it closes its doors for good in March next year.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

Anyway, back to Live Colourful LIVE – the evening started with a solo performance by Sinead Harnett – who has a really powerful, beautiful voice.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

Sinead isn’t an artist I’d previously been aware of, and if I’m honest her music isn’t really my style – but I can’t fault her performance at all and look how cute she is! This isn’t Sineads first collaboration with a grime artist, she featured on a track with Wiley called ‘Walk Away’ in 2011 and has since worked with other artists including Rudimental. She’s currently working on a solo career.

lethal bizzle live colourful live

Lethal Bizzle followed, and I really enjoyed it! I have to admit, much like Professor Green when I saw Fall Out Boy, grime is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine! Lethal first came into the public eye in the early 2000s, as part of More Fire Crew, before branching out as a solo artist. He’s been pretty successful, and is one of the better known UK grime artists, but has also done a bit of acting and has his own t-shirt company, Stay Dench. He’s also been on Mastermind!

Once Lethal Bizzle had done his bit, Sinead returned to the stage, along with David Arnold and his orchestra.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

I didn’t know who David was until the evening, but I found out he composed the scores for five Bond films, as well as Independence Day, Stargate and Godzilla (and TV shows Sherlock and Little Britain, and the 2012 Olympics!).

I was surprised that I really, really liked the track, entitled ‘A Story’, which was premiered at the event. You can download it for free here.

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

As well as the performances, there were Sennheiser headphone points where you could watch and listen to the promo video and we were given wristbands with LED lights that flashed in time with the music. Pretty cool!

live colourful live bulmers

Thank you Bulmers for a lovely evening, and for getting myself, Milly from Mini Adventures and Luisa from Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat a little tipsy!

Look at this selfie failure, haha!

bulmers live colourful live one mayfair

I’d love to hear what people think of A Story?

L xx

All photos my own unless otherwise stated.