Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

At homage to metal music in Vinoy Park, a time warp

ST. PETERSBURG

The lightless tent was packed with men and women, not so much seated as sunk in folding camp chairs. They sipped water and cold beer and stared vacantly at a television playing Blazing Saddles with closed captions.

With its crowd dodging the heat and an atmosphere of sheltered boredom, the place felt like a refugee camp. More or less, that's what it was.

This was the Reverse Daycare Tent at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour, an annual festival that came Sunday afternoon to Vinoy Park. At the sun-saturated homage to metal music and skater culture, the quiet, air-conditioned tent was an oasis for parent chaperones.

"It's like heaven," said Lutz resident Ray Bonn, 44, a dad who took his 16-year-old daughter and some of her friends to the event. "It's cool, it's dark and it's relaxing."

The need for respite became apparent to anybody over the age of 18 who passed through the gates at the Warped Tour. Vinoy Park teemed with teenagers sporting garish trucker caps and gauge-plug earrings, listening to live bands with names like Every Time I Die and I Fight Dragons.

At its most gentle, the music was a nasal braying faintly reminiscent, upon close listening, of a more august era of punk rock. More aggressive bands offered vocal stylings similar to those of Linda Blair's character in the final scenes of The Exorcist.

In all, the event resembled a large-scale incarnation of the sucrose-rich, 16-ounce energy drinks sold at gas stations. Sure enough, the beverage manufacturer Monster Energy was one of the sponsors.

"The only way I came this year is because this is here," said Tampa resident Rhonda Cosgrove, 51, who was sitting out the melee in Reverse Daycare. Cosgrove took her teenage daughter and friends to the event, but said she "doesn't enjoy that type of music anymore."

Tent manager Shilpa Hareesh, 26, said Reverse Daycare is usually busy on the tour, especially on hot days. The tent serves as a good meeting place for parents to touch base with their kids periodically during the festival.

Like every paradise, Reverse Daycare comes with its own inviolable laws of conduct and the potential for banishment. Adults can take food and beer inside. But they can't drink so much that they start to spoil the peace and quiet.

"That's my general rule," Hareesh said. "When they start acting like kids, they go back out there with the kids."

Inside Hareesh's tent, the men and women gazed at the television, docile. The mere threat of expulsion seemed to serve its purpose.

Peter Jamison can be reached at pjamison@tampabay.com or (727) 445-4157.

At homage to metal music in Vinoy Park, a time warp 07/29/12 [Last modified: Sunday, July 29, 2012 10:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Souza returns to lineup

    Blogs

     

  2. Actor John Heard dies at age 72

    Blogs

    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.

  3. Linkin Park cancel tour, including Tampa concert, after death of singer Chester Bennington

    Blogs

    This news is not a surprise, but it is now official: Linkin Park has canceled their upcoming North American tour following this week's death of singer Chester Bennington.

    Linkin Park's Chester Bennington
  4. Nurse backs Kriseman in St. Pete mayor's race

    Blogs

    Council member Karl Nurse has endorsed Mayor Rick Kriseman.

    St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman, left, is seen with Karl Nurse in the combination of two images.
  5. Spring Hill woman, 24, dies when car hits tree in Pasco County

    Accidents

    LAND O' LAKES — A 24-year-old woman died early Saturday morning after her Hyundai Elantra hit a tree, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.