Yesterday I worked at the annual Southbound Music Festival and earned myself a free ticket! ...by checking people's bags and kicking them out if they had any drugs or alcohol on them.
That's right, not a mere "oh, no, you're not taking THIS with you!" and confiscating of found items... these people were 'evicted' by security and had their ticket cancelled, their only option being to purchase a whole new ticket ($160!!) to get back in. Harsh.
I didn't feel so bad at first, because I thought we were only confiscating things. Any glass, flammable equipment, knives... drugs and alcohol. We searched thoroughly through bags and eskys, unrolled swags, and twisted off caps of all bottles before smelling them to make sure... I unzipped zips until my fingertips were throbbing. We took away people's salsa (probably five or six of them!) and energy drinks contained in glass bottles.
The first real 'controversial' find was two packets of weirdly coloured capsules we found in a guy's stuff. Each packet had the same combination of capsules - a couple white, a brown one, then hyper coloured ones including a half blue/half red one, and a neon orange one! The guy said that he'd come from the mines and had been given them there so he didn't mind if we took them. We didn't actually establish whether they were any sort of mind altering drug or not, but we just took them and threw them in the bin and let the guy go on.
THAT was when we were barely supervised rookies at the beginning of our shift... Later when we told our supervisor that we'd found pills and they were in the bin, she was pretty concerned and asked could we please put up our hand straight away if we found anyone with incriminating things and she would take care of them.
I think we still didn't quite understand that [just] alcohol was such a super offense, because later, when I found a really nice guy to have a JD & coke filled flask in his swag, I just told him he couldn't take it in. He seemed fairly gutted that I'd found it. I even told him I'd let him pour the alcohol out and keep the flask. He started doing this, but who should see the brown liquid pouring out? Miss Supervisor. I don't mean to refer to her as a feared and obsessive authority, she was really nice. She came over and said "Oh did you catch another one?" and then she told the guy: no, sorry, he had to be evicted from the festival. Whatttt! My bag checking team was astonished.
From there, our table was responsible for around two more people being kicked out and forced to pay an extravagant penalty to get back in. One girl cried. She had told Jess about one miniature bottle of Johnny Walker, hoping to get let off lightly for her honesty. Jess was just about to chuck it away and let her in, but again, our supervisor noticed and came over. Eagle eyes, hey? It turned out this girl had bought 'VIP' tickets so they would have been much more expensive than the regular day pass or 2 day camping pass... but luckily we decided she was allowed to just pay the $160.
...So yeah! Other than those few bad incidents, the 7 hours of bag checking wasn't so bad. I made a few friends, really enjoyed talking to the high spirited festivalgoers and learnt heaps about them by rummaging through their underwear!
The funny thing is I didn't even go in to the festival yesterday after the shift, thereby missing awesome shows like The Grates, Regurgitator, GroupLove, and Arctic Monkeys, because I felt so tired. One boyfriend had been waking me up at all hours during the night before, vomiting out excessive amounts of alcohol while I had to hold his head up and clean up afterwards.
He had to bail on his own volunteer shift in the morning :( so I did feel sorry for him. But guess who's working at Southbound right now instead, while I'm curled up on the couch and looking up bands who are playing today, getting in the mood to go back and partay? Yep. Good outcome of events. Tom will finish at 2pm and we can run around like mad dogs to see the likes of:
Josh Thomas and Friends
John Butler Trio
and hopefully a good deal of new sounds that I'm yet to discover from the bands I don't really know!