This Bloke Has Been To Over 250 Gigs And Festivals & My Wallet Has Some Questions
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I feel like it’s a legal requirement in Australia to have at least one person in your friendship group who always seems to be perching on someone’s shoulders at a music festival any given weekend.

Now, take that mate and times it by 10 – we found a lad who has hit up so many music festivals, your brain will malfunction trying to do the calculations on how it’s possible.

We’d all bloody love to be amongst it with our collarbones vibrating from banger-after-banger every week, although that doesn’t seem wildly realistic. But, what if we’re just holding ourselves back?

It certainly hasn’t held David James Young back – as of 2017, the lad had been to over 1100 gigs (not including festivals). That was three years ago, keep in mind. The number has undoubtedly ballooned since then.

Come with me for a look into David’s hectic gig count, how he managed to do it and all of the chaotic rides along the way.

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P.TV: How many festivals do you think you’ve attended in total over how many years?

David James Young: My first festival was one called FeelGood, which was this blues & roots festival that ran out of Luna Park. My sister and I won tickets. Xavier Rudd and Ash Grunwald played, as well as The Audreys and Jen Cloher, both of whom I met that day and couldn’t contain my excitement. Funnily enough, Jen has gone on to become a friend of mine and I always remind her of the annoying punisher yapping in her ear while we watched Mia Dyson play.

Across 15 years I’ve probably been to between 40 to 50 festivals – every Big Day Out from 2008 to 2014, every Soundwave from 2008 to 2015 except one, a couple of Groovin the Moos, two Splendours, Download, a stack of Laneways (including two in Brisbane), Yours & Owls every year from 2015 onwards, three Farmer & The Owl festivals, three Fairgrounds, about four Homebakes, Come Together and probably a couple more that I’m forgetting.

P.TV: How do you save money for each festival?

DJY: I’ve been pretty lucky – Big Day Out and Soundwave were almost always Christmas presents, and when we outgrew that I was lucky enough to get to cover festivals for the places I was writing for at the time. So in reality, I’ve only really had to fork out a relative handful of times for festivals. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to go to as many otherwise – I don’t know if you know much about music journalism, but we’re all out here basically making hundreds of dollars a year.

P.TV: What’s the best gig you’ve seen?

DJY: Prince at the State Theatre in February 2016. It was about two months before he passed – but even before we knew what we know now, I still walked out of that show knowing it was the best show I’ve ever seen.

P.TV: What’s the wildest (legal) moment you’ve experienced at a festival?

DJY: At Fairgrounds in 2018, I had the honour and privilege of meeting two of my musical heroes – Billy Bragg and Kim Deal. They could not have been kinder or nicer to me, and it was a complete thrill to know that these people I’ve looked up to were also really thoughtful and sweet people in real life. I had the same joy the next year at the same festival, where I got to meet Evan Dando and Kasey Chambers.

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P.TV: What were your top 5 places to hit up?

DJY: In terms of festival grounds, I really love places like The Domain in Sydney, Stuart Park in Wollongong, the Riverstage in Brisbane, the Showgrounds in Berry and the University of Canberra. Wide-open spaces, lots of green, clear blue skies. Bliss.

P.TV: What do you recommend to people who haven’t been to a festival yet?

DJY: It sucks you’re gonna have to wait a while, but this gives you time to be prepared. Wear bike tights over your underwear, as you’re going to be walking around a lot and it will get very sweaty. Wear earplugs when you’re watching bands. Constantly keep yourself sunscreened up. Drink plenty of water. Keep in contact with your friends, but don’t be susceptible to “dragging” friends to shit they don’t want to see. You can literally do or see anything you want. Take advantage of that.

P.TV: Do you have any standout stories of meeting new people?

DJY: Apart from meeting Jen Cloher at my first festival and the aforementioned meetings with some musical heroes, I made some great friends at the unofficial Yours & Owls after-party last year that took place in catering in the centre of the backstage area. I talked shit about Rob Zombie with the guys from Fucked Up, I chewed Conor from Bugs’ ear off about the Dirty Three and I rapped all of “Spread” by Outkast to Toby from Skegss.

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Alright, you heard the man. Start begging for tickets to gigs and festivals for Christmas, hunt for dollar-dollar bills in your old jeans, grab a Set For Life ticket and cross all fingers and toes – just get creative, team. After ~this~ all blows over, there will be many-a gig awaiting your presence and the time starts now to get our butt to ’em.

In the words of the famous alt-rock-metal band from the ’90s – Spice Up Your Life.

Image: Instagram / @djywrites