What does an 18 hour drive, an attack of a 20-foot tall pirate, and an emergency room have in common? Answer: The “Worst. Gig. Ever” for 5 guys and… a really funny story for us!
This gig was bad from the setup! The group had to drive 18 hours, from Orlando, FL to Hidalgo, TX (2 miles from the Mexican border). But, wait, we must back up and add that one of the guys in the group brought his new puppy along for the ride. So… five guys and a dog made their way to the Mexican border (sounds like a joke, doesn’t it?), traveling in a white van with tinted windows and a whole bunch of mystery equipment (stilts & drums to the entertainer trained eye). They traveled to within two miles of the Mexican border during the beginning of the drug wars in 2008. Suspicious, much?
From the beginning, the hits were non-stop on this group. On the way to Hidalgo, the group managed to get pulled over for speeding at 3 AM. Once they made it to the hotel at 4 AM, the client wanted to get everyone up for an unplanned show at 7 AM. At no point during the event (which was a week-long) did the actual contact of the client feel he needed to meet the group. This means the group 1) found the venue on their own, 2) found their show times on the schedule outside of the venue, 3) did not have a parking pass, 4) had no credentials 5) and had to pass mountains of equipment over the fence that gated the festival in. Sound like fun? Absolutely not…but sure is funny!
If this wasn’t enough, there was no break room. So all the guys had to dress and undress hiding behind tents and lights. Did I mention that these guys also play instruments? There was background music on the entire event that drowned out the sound of the show. Oh, and during every show the tech crew thought it was ok to walk straight through the show to set up for the next entertainer. At this point, things started to get comical to the group. That is until a giant pirate fell right on top of one of the guys.
That’s right! You read right. Apparently, as part of their “contract,” the guys had to participate in, according to their boss, a “short” parade. Well, this short parade was actually 2 miles long. Need I remind you these guys were walking stilts? Uh Oh! In addition, the winds on the border of Mexico were 40+ miles an hour. After arguing with the people in charge of the parade, the guys ended up sitting and waving on the Pirate float. What happens when you have a 20-ft tall pirate on a float with 40+ miles per hour winds? You guessed it, about 1 mile into the parade, Mr. Pirate fell right on top of one of the guys in the group! The parade stopped, the EMTs consulted, and the group was off to the emergency room with a guy in a wacky vibrant costume pouring blood from his head. As a side note, they also were not given any extra costumes, so every show done after this was done with blood on the costume. Eww…
If all this was not enough, in the middle of the ER visit, someone from the festival finally contacted them. But, they did not want to know if they were ok...They wanted to know why the group just missed a show…
This was definitely a trip where everything that could go wrong…did! In fact…when interviewing this group, I had to stop them from telling me all the things that went wrong. There was no way I could fit all of it in one article! However, if there is one positive note, the group did get paid on time for this event. Whew! A slight positive note to end the “Worst. Gig. Ever.”