The Guy Who Designs Music Festival Posters Explains Himself

Okay, I’ve been pretty busy lately typing out names on music festival posters. Overpriced concerts in a muddy field are officially back, bro, and I’ve returned to my seasonal design job, life is good. But boy, did I forget the commotion around my little psychedelic Photoshop job! Lucky for you, your unsolicited feedback is music to my ears and I don’t need $300 to pay for that!


Listen closely. Actually, look closely. Yeah dude, you’re not at your annual eye doctor exam, you’re just reading one of my babies online. Go ahead, grab a magnifying glass to see if one of those indie bands you like is playing. Chances are, they’re playing at 10 a.m. on a stage three miles away from everything else. Take it from me as a design pro that does Photoshop two days a year, font matters. The bigger the font, the more my boss is yelling in my ear, “MAKE THE FONT BIGGER! WE SPENT OUR WHOLE BUDGET ON THEM.” Just design 101, babes. So sorry that your favorite obscure band is in the smallest font, but you try fitting 300 bands on one poster. You’re going to be passed out from dehydration by the third band you see anyway.


Come on, are you still freaking out about how I ordered the artists on my little poster? Listen man, I can give you a real good deal for the right price. $1,000 for moving Arctic Monkey one row up. I can only do one Monkey, sorry. But dude, ordering artists on a poster is the most brutal part of the job. Do I put Foo Fighters at the top or do I put an EDM DJ you’ve never heard of? It’s a tougher choice than you think. Either way, I know you’ll be pissed. Just like you’ll be pissing through your bodysuits when you can’t get out of the mosh pit during Coldplay’s set.


Also, speaking of that EDM DJ you’ve never heard of, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of them because, well dude, he ain’t real. Fuck! That feels so good to get off my Hawaiian-shirted chest that I like to keep unbuttoned, like, halfway down. Believe it or not, designing the festival posters are not nearly as lit as the festival themselves. So yeah, maybe sometimes I improvise and spice things up. Like, there was this really good one I made up a few years ago—Panic! At the Disco. So fucking stupid-sounding, right? But I know you guys eat that up like an overpriced vegan hot dog stand by the Bud Light Stage.


Maybe to you, the fans, these actions are dumb as hell. Well you know what, don’t get your flower crown in a knot because I couldn’t help it. I was drunk! And high! And drenched in an unidentified liquid! I work for a festival goddammit. Did you really think I’d be sober creating this poster? For me to do my job, I believe in making our vibes, vibe. Being inebriated beyond recognition and doped up on acid from some guy I just met waiting in line is part of the gig.


So get off my sunburned back please. I’m doing the best I can, and let’s be honest, half of you are just going for the drip and substance abuse anyway. We’re all in the same mosh pit, or boat, whatever.