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This is Your Brain on Summer Sonic



Glastonbury, The U.K.’s biggest music festival, held in the Vale of Avalon since 1970 will this year attract 175,000 visitors to over 100 stages on 1,200 acres of land. It is, however, bracing itself for the arrival of so called ‘super rats’ – rats immune to conventional poisons such as diphacinone and chlorophacinone and growing to over 2 feet in length.[1] Matt Phillips, from Urban Pest Control told the Daily Star, a British tabloid: “If you show rats a food source they will flock to be near that food. So with festivals, rats will come in off [sic] the fields to the campsites.”

Giant Rat Facts

Giant rats, the size of cows or even bigger (gorillas, bears and big apes similar to gorillas) could one day fill a ‘significant chunk’ (0-100%) of Earth’s rapidly emptying eco-space.

The terrifying scenario could become a reality as super-adaptable rats take advantage of larger mammals becoming extinct (such as gorillas), an expert predicts.

Summer Sonic 2014 was my first foray into the societal petri dish that is the weekend outdoor music festival. A world where rats the size of giant rats roam indiscriminately and bands whose members write songs that don’t acknowledge the exponential but entirely avoidable growth of indigenous rodents to near gorilla sized proportions play impassively to inebriated rat deniers.

As I sat in an unfamiliar Kobe bar on a sticky Friday night with the smoldering embers of my planned budgetary constraints flickering in my ears, I ambled into the rear end of a conversation which revealed that, yes,The Pixies would be playing not but 24 hours later, and yes, less than an hour’s trip from the 豚まん bamboo steamer that is my not quite downtown but close enough downtown apartment building.

After loosely considering the facts and still in the midst of a four beer fuzz, I decided to head to the closest コンビニ and buy a ticket for Saturdays show, spending almost all of my monthly food budget in the process and condemning myself to at least three weeks of homemade tuna mayonnaise onigiri fashioned into gorilla sized giant rat shapes.


Long Sentences


Being from England, I’ve always been dubious as regards the benefits of the traditional British festival experience; two to three days of sanitary capitulation and a more than sixty percent chance that your tent, its contents and possibly even you will be stolen during the night by a stocky, trainee carpet fitter called Lee whilst you stand in a slightly larger tent a mile away listening to Croatian techno surrounded by giant rats the size of gorillas, but with my attitude placed firmly on the outside of caring I placed a trembling hand on the counter and handed over the money.


festival goers_photo courtesy ScottMyself and two other JETs, let’s call them Louis Bertenshaw V and Sean Mulvihill for the sake of argument, rendezvoused slightly outside the festival site amid an intoxicating fug of hot dogs, hastily applied sunscreen, untrammeled optimism and the latent fear that giant rats the size of apes had overtaken the festival site and were running wild. Less than four hours later (twenty five minutes to be exact) we were there. After a minor skirmish applying the obligatory wristband that signifies access and turning my right hand into a moderately useful aubergine in the process, we were in.


Obscuring a lack of proper pre-planning and overall content deficiencies with spurious facts


Upon entry we were each handed a complimentary bin bag and let loose. After an

inauspicious opening involving some Koreans in tight Robin Thicke-esque outfits, driving rain and an almost complete embargo on doing any kind of anything (no smoking, no drinking, no photos, no climbing), things started to heat up. One of the joys of going to a festival that elevates it above a mere gig is the sense of discovery; splintering off from the pack and stumbling upon some band, someone, something that has been an essential part of someone else’s life for some time but up to that point completely unbeknownst to you.


Over the course of the weekend (I managed to repeat Friday nights debacle and bought a ticket for Sunday too) many discoveries were made and in no discernable order here are seven of them:


ghost_photo courtesy Scott

Old Italian men masquerading as Swedes whilst adopting pseudo Transylvanian accents are tons of fun and you should listen to them – Ghost

Eating lipstick whilst drinking Diet Coke and jogging is usually less nauseating than listening to Kawaii J-Pop but not when it’s being relayed through giant aircraft hangar sized speakers that make the walls shake and there are midgets on the stage (or are they children?) – Kyary Pamyu Pamyu


Padding out your set, and subsequently getting the biggest response, with someone else’s material ten minutes into an hour long show is not a good sign. I was frowning then and I still am now – Avril Lavigne


Don’t buy bottles of liquor with names like Gibleys, Lancelot, Gypsy Sunrise or David Copperfield.


Azealea Banks sounds great anyway but somehow sounds even better when dressed like a de-masked luchador, has gold paint running down her face, and there’s mud everywhere.

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu_ photo courtesy Scott

Although very curious animals, rats are also shy, and prefer to run away than confront a potential threat.


Without companionship rats tend to become lonely and depressed.



Scott Patterson

Summer Sonic 2014, August 16(sat) Open 9:00am/Start 11:00am, August 17(sun) Open 9:00am/Start 11:00am. 1DAY TICKET ¥13,000 (incl.tax), 2DAY TICKET ¥25,000 (incl.tax),

Osaka Loop Line Sakurajima station.

[1] Zolfagharifard, Ellie. “Rise of the genetically-mutated SUPER RATS: Giant rodents that are immune to poison are spreading at ‘rapid speeds’.” Daily Mail. 26 June 2014. Web. 21 Aug 2014.


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