This year's Self Help Festival came to Orlando, Florida for the first time since the creation of this festival. Which featured bands such as Wage War, Attila, Underoath, and A Day To Remember (who created Self Help Festival) on the lineup who's hometowns all happen to be in Florida where they first started.
The festival was divided up into two different stages, the Red Stage and The Black Stage. Bands that performed on the Black Stage were The Plot In You, Wage War, Attila, and State Champs. Bands that performed on the Red Stage were Bad Omens, Dance Gavin Dance, Real Friends, The Story So Far, and the headliners Underoath, and A Day To Remember.
The day started with The Plot In You, who had crowd members already going crazy as soon as they started their first song, as well as a circle pit and a plethora of crowd surfers to go along with it. They brought energy to the crowd, being the first group of the day.
Above: Underoath performing at the Self Help Festival in Orlando, Florida on September 30th
Then came Bad Omens, who had a new found energy quite different then The Plot In You. They had fog emerging from both sides of the drum set when the band first walked on the stage. With a few audience members dressed in a Spider-Man suit, as well as black and blue morph suits. The crowd surfing started as soon as everyone heard the first few beats of the first song. The guitarist, bassist, and drummer were definitely fun to watch as they would every so often flip their hair back and forth in sync.
Wage War had a very excited crowd, as they were chanting for the band before they even came on stage. The drum set was sandwiched between speakers on either side. But once the band came on stage the crowd was chanting to the point that it was deafening for anyone in the area. Crowd members were jumping off their feet as soon as the very first song came on. They had a few interesting crowd surfers, including a re-appearance from Spider-Man, a Mighty Morphin Red Power Ranger and even a Teddy Bear.
Dance Gavin Dance had an energy that the audience just had to sing along with as the band performed. Even when they had some members of the crowd surfing among the audience, everyone was still singing along.
Real Friends brought a new form of hype to the crowd, having them jumping, singing along to the lyrics, and clapping to the beat of their music. And when the band asked the crowd to make a circle pit, they got a circle pit, due to the amount of energy that was in the atmosphere. Within the crowd, they had not only some people in the mosh pit, but a few people crowd surfing.
Above: Attila performing at the Self Help Festival
Now the crowd went crazy when it was time for Attila’s set, even before the band was on stage. They had a huge amount of speakers surrounding both sides of the drum set. The first song on the set was “Mosh Pit,” which had crowd members throwing bottles in the air, some still with drinks in them so liquids were flying in the air as well. The crowd for Attila was crazy, but even then the band had complete control of them. It was at one point, that Chris Fronzak, lead vocalist, told the crowd that he had a crazy idea for them to set a world record for the largest circle pit at Orlando Self Help Fest. The crowd listened, forming a circle so big it surrounded the tent at the back of the crowd area, this during their song “All Hail Rock and Roll.” During Attila’s performance of their song “Public Apology,” there was a nonstop amount of crowd surfers, including Jesus Christ himself.
State Champs closed for the Black Stage, even having someone on stage with them as an ASL interpreter. People even started crowd surfing during their first song, the energy already ready to go as soon as the music started. Drinks were flying once again during State Champs’ performance of their song “Elevated,” featuring Dan Lambton, lead vocalist of Real Friends. There was even someone from the crowd holding an actual pineapple up in the air, as well as someone in a banana costume. Their song “Losing Myself,” had the crowd jumping and surfing.
As soon as The Story So Far came on stage the spotlight was on them, smoke covering the stage. Bringing a newfound energy from the crowd as everyone was jumping up and down, with people crowd surfing, as well as someone in a chicken suit. The Story So Far even performed their new son “Out to Fit.”
Once Underoath came on stage the crowd went wild. Smoke was covering the stage, strobe lights were on as the band came on stage, the first thing you hear were the beat of drums. The crowd fist pumping as rain had started to come down, but that didn’t deter the band for a second, performing their hearts out. It was then that the stage went dark, the lead vocalist Spencer Chamberlain went into the crowd, singing to them, the crowd singing back. Crowd surfers began to emerge soon after, one even was surfing with his beer in hand.
But it was when A Day To Remember finally came on that the crowd at Orlando Self Help Festival became one. Music started playing just as confetti canons went off, making the crowd go wild, the rain now pouring down. Everyone was either crowd surfing or in the circle pit, while A Day To Remember was pure energy as they performed with such an amazing amount of passion, that anyone just had to dance to. The lead vocalist, Jeremy McKinnon, even went around different parts of the stage waving and smiling at the crowd, showing pure happiness while interacting with the crowd. There were huge beach balls as well as a huge inflatable alien bouncing throughout the crowd as the band performed.
Orlando Self Help Festival delivered a good time.The energy level was high, with everyone at the end of the night leaving happier than when they first arrived. For this being the first time for Self Help Festival in Orlando, it can definitely be marked down as a success.
Self Help Festival Photo Gallery: All Photos By: Roxy Faith Alexandria