All Photos Credit: Pete Mason
All Photos Credit: Pete Mason

What IS The Rage With Rage Sticks?!?

If you have been to a concert or festival lately, then I am sure that you have noticed that rage sticks are all the rage. In fact you might even be the proud owner of one of these creative works of art.

I am here to tell you that yes, I agree – seeing George Clooney’s head bopping around at different concerts is cool – but that does NOT mean that I love rage sticks. In fact , I kind of have the opposite opinion – I was the victim of some rather unpleasant rage stick experiences at this year’s Summer Camp Music Festival.

I could go on and on rehashing the pros and cons of these things, but that’s been done – instead, I’ll try to give you some helpful advice about rage sticks based on my bad experiences.

No Respect – The Raging Drunk Stick

If you were at Summer Camp, then you know that it rained nearly the entire time that we were there.  Finding a dry, relaxing spot was a rare treat, but we managed to do just that after Keller Williams put on a great set.  As we were relaxing, a cold splattering of liquid began falling all over me and my stuff.  I looked up, shocked, to find a man trying to balance his beer and a rage stick at the same time.  I don’t have a problem with beer, or rage sticks, but I have a problem with people thinking that they can handle both together when they can’t!

Rage Stick Advice #1: If you are going to get drunk, then don’t take your rage stick with you.  If you are going to take your rage stick with you, then don’t drink.  I understand that you are just trying to have a good time but so am I and the last thing that I want is you spilling your beer on me or worse dropping your rage stick on my head.  If you can not follow this suggestion, and you decide that you need to drink and rage… then how about steering clear of people?

Blocked Views & Black Eyes – The Limp Noodle Rage Stick

Later that weekend, I encountered a rage stick made out of a pool floaty noodle. Limp Noodle Guy kept hitting me with his rage stick, as it’s decorations weighed the noodle down. Uncool. You HAVE to be aware of how your Rage Stick affects the festival experience for those around you. For this I have a few pieces of advice.

Rage Stick Advice #2: Building a Rage Stick? Make one that will stand up! Nobody around you should be ducking for safety.  If you want something that is soft and squishy, then push a tent pole through the hole in the middle of the pool noodle for support.

Rage Stick Advice #3: Size isn’t everything. We get the “it’s a way for me to meet up with my friends” argument, but don’t push it. You aren’t making any NEW friends if those around you can’t see, and you can bet that’s even more true if you are affecting the ability of those working to do their job. Build your stick tall and narrow. Put something recognizable, but not large and distracting up top. If you build it right, your friends will find you AND your fellow festival-goers will be able to see. Everybody wins.

Rage Stick Advice #4: Pick Your Spots. If you ARE rocking a stick / umbrella / flag of some size, spend your time off to the side or at the back of the crowd. Anywhere between the stage and the soundboard at front of house should be OFF LIMITS.  

It’s kind of like when Trey told people who were holding signs at a Phish concert in Indianapolis that the people behind them had spent the same amount of money so they could put their signs down.  You can show respect for those behind you.

You can have fun with your rage stick all you want but remember not everyone that is at the show thinks that your rage stick is the greatest thing there is.  In fact there are probably those that are thinking that it is pretty annoying or in the way… so try to respect their experience too so that we can all enjoy the show that we came to see!

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