The Henna Page Journal
Ozzfest Diary 2
Shanon W. Lavender
Page 1 of 5

Previous Article Next Page
Front cover


It's Thursday so it must be Cleveland. We are told to show up at 7:30 in the morning. We were really supposed to be there at 6:30 in the morning. We've got a beautiful grassy spot overlooking the amphitheatre. I'm excited. I've never done a big henna venue before - only small parties. We go for the catering at $25.00 a head and this later proves to be a bad idea.

Booth set up is less than a 1/2-hour so we have a leisurely breakfast and look around. The gates open at 10:00am and by 10:02 we have our first customers. We have a steady stream of them.

Soon the first bands of the day get going and Catherine realizes why I spent the money for earplugs. I brought extra and she seems real grateful as she enthusiastically shoves them in. I worked security for heavy metal concerts while in college so I could see bands I couldn't afford to buy tickets to. I wish I had worn earplugs then. I miss the hearing that I lost, but when you are 18-22 you just don't think about things like that. People could bring it to your attention but at that age you think you are immortal and nothing bad can ever happen to you. This is the attitude of many festival participants. Alcohol and testosterone seem to exacerbate this condition as the average festival day gets later.

This is a mostly fun crowd and a lot of them know what henna is. This is a real plus. There are some bell-bottoms out there that are sooooo wide you could house homeless families under them. Tiny tops for girls are mostly the rule of the day. Many of them look rather triangular. Damn near everybody wants their lower back hennaed. I don't appreciate until later gigs how few people were obnoxiously drunk. Would somebody please explain why people suddenly starting uprooting and flinging sod when Drowning Pool was on stage? You can spot the Marilyn Manson fans at 30-50 feet. Damn- some of those leather/vinyl outfits look like they would chafe in uncomfortable places.

Gwyn is great as booth bitch/idiot sieve and gets rid of the worst of the human excrement for us. She allows absolutely no barfing in our booth. She answers the same questions endlessly until she is losing her voice. Rich, her husband helped with set up and front line. He is easy going, cheerful, and helpful. At some point we put henna in his hand and recruited him to help with the line. He is a beginner but learning fast. The next day he sets up a book of Chinese Kanji that we use for the rest of the shows. It proves quite valuable. I notice the pot smokers are much calmer and less aggressive than drunks.

If one more person asks me "do you have to know how to draw to do this?" I cannot guarantee their safety. They are looking at me working and I'm wondering what the hell they think I am doing with the cone that would indicate I wasn't drawing? I'm grateful that they ask Catherine the same question so I no it isn't just me looking untalented.

It lets up slightly so I go to lunch around 1:30pm. This is an expensive mistake. I later learn business will drop to a trickle after about 4pm. The bands people have come to see have started. Oh well, next show I know better than to take a lunch.

Earlier in the day we had power but as dusk approaches we realize that it has been removed or stolen. We stuck around only long enough for me to recover from the food poisoning that resulted from the caterer's attempt at dinner. Blossom amphitheatre has nice restrooms but I hope to never see quite so much of them again. We saw a few bands and carried our stuff out to the vehicles.

It is a short drive back to Catherine's and we are tired, euphoric and giggly. I made some money above and beyond booth costs and Gwyn's service fee. I need to be faster to do really well but I did a lot of work that I was really proud of. God I'm sore from all those lower back designs.

    Previous Article

Next Page

Back to the Cover

    [Home] [How] [Why] [What] [Where] [FAQ] [Forum]