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Working at the Dave Matthews Band Concert: Music, Drunks, and Bliss

     “I have an internship. (pause) But, it’s unpaid.” This is the statement that I’ve made quite a few times this Summer. I have to laugh now as I continue to catch the faces of people who care about me during the process of repeating these two short sentences. First, they light up (reaction to the first sentence) and then they strain (at the second). It’s an honest, unavoidable reaction that I’m sure many collegiettes have encountered with family and friends during their college experience. Internships are important. Finding good ones are difficult. Finding PAID ones can feel like you are searching for a specific grain of salt in the ocean… Ok, that MAY be dramatic. But it’s how we feel!

     “What does this have to do with Dave Matthews Band, drunk people, or bliss?” you ask. Everything. After deciding to accept the opportunity for an internship this Summer, I simultaneously decided to become a hustler. I was determined to find odd jobs, gigs, clean houses, walk dogs, and do whatever my family would pay me to do. Hence, I wound up at the outdoors Dave Matthews Band Concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Dos Equis section log rolling. Literally. Not as easy as it sounds or looks.

     However, I did get the chance to spend three long, beautiful days at the traveling Dave Matthews Band Caravan listening to music from a bunch of talented bands. The most difficult part of the job (other than mastering the log roll) was dealing with the drunks. Rather, it was attempting  not to laugh too loudly at the absurdity of our petite, dainty, blonde, British manager kicking out large, hairy, drunk (possibly something else too), obnoxious men. “I wann win tee shirt. You’re on a power trip, lady!! ughghfjgsjh.”  (That’s how I spell when a caveman groans).
     Despite making fun of Dave Matthews Band fans (along with Nickelback fans), I’ll admit I enjoy the occasional DMB song on Pandora. He’s got talent, I know. I get it. However, the real fun was simply the Summer atmosphere, admiring the cute outfits the girls had on that reminded me of a mini Coachella, and the awesome time everyone seemed to be having. You could just feel the energy of the happy, relaxed people. It seemed everyone was holding hands, joking around, cracking up, eating cheesy fries while juggling a cup of beer, smooching, smiling, and singing, despite lack of any talent. I’ve never been to an outdoor concert that large and I enjoyed taking my break everyday for lunch to sit, people watch, and listen to whatever band happened to be playing at the time. I did get to see Grace Potter and the Nocturnals! The whole experience was a refreshing escape from computers, cell phones, cars, and buildings.

The last night our manager set us free early, yet we all decided to stick around, grab some fries and see the man who brought all these happy drunks together. I have to admit I grabbed a spot on the pavement, kicked my flip flops off, and dug into some fries, bopping my head like a regular DMB fanatic. I blended right in. It was impossible not to enjoy the warm night, the huge, floating moon-like lights they had set up, the several couples I caught slow grinding, and the solo dancers in front of me who somehow managed to stanky leg it to none other than the Dave Matthews Band. And true, I was thinking “I have an unpaid internship. But now, I have money too!” 

Derilyn Devlin graduates from Pitt in April 2012. She is excited to leave the University of Pittburgh Her Campus to Mandy Velez and Claire Peltier as the new campus correspondents. 
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