When Touring Goes Wrong: DZ Deathrays Recall Unfortunate Events

13 April 2022 | 12:33 pm | DZ Deathrays

Currently on the road as part of their ‘Positive Rising: Part 2 Tour’, Aussie favourites DZ Deathrays share some less-than-ideal moments from previous stints across the globe.

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Falls Fest

Over the years, we’ve been very fortunate to play many festivals. One of our all-time favourites is Falls Fest in Lorne Bay, Vic. Shane and I used to make the journey each year as punters wishing one day our band would be able to perform, so to be asked to play it is always a very big surreal deal for us. 

However, touring that festival is brutal! When you’re a mid-size band playing during the day, you have to be up at 4am to catch the early flights in order to make it to site on time, before driving back out to the airport hotel for like three hours sleep all the while trying to cram as many other bands sets and as much partying in as possible. 

In 2018, we were asked to play and we wanted to make it as epic as possible, so we blew a bunch of our show fee on big confetti cannons, which we’d never done before. That morning, we were up before dawn and off to the airport ecstatic to be playing the main stage. A few hours later we had arrived and were standing side of stage with everything set up ready to go. The crowd was huge and everyone was starting to get loose. You could see the booze and anything else they had in their system was starting to kick in and they were so ready - it was like watching the fuse burn down on a stick of dynamite. However just before we could set it off, someone from the festival had to make an announcement. 

Unfortunately, that announcement happened to be, “It’s going to be cold and potentially raining later tonight so could everybody please go back to your campsites, grab your jumpers and make sure your tents are zipped up.” 

Before we could realise what was happening, he repeated it again. And with those few sentences he had single-handedly convinced half the crowd to bail. From what I recall, we just stood there with our mouths agape, hands in the air in absolute disbelief as we watched thousands of party-goers leave and literally head for the hills. It was like someone’s Dad shutting down your birthday party as soon as all your friends had arrived x1000. 

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By the time they started returning we had only two or three songs left and to top it all off all of the confetti we ordered ended up getting blown back onto us instead of the crowd and just got stuck to all our gear. It was still an awesome two or three songs, so very grateful for that, but after all our preparations and anticipation we had been dogged. Still love Falls Festival but yeah, that was a bummer.

USA Disaster Tour

This one happened whilst on tour with Dune Rats in North America on the second part of our aptly named “International Disaster Tour”. We were just a few days into this leg of the tour in our very first night-liner bus! It was awesome. Reaching a level where you can hire one of these is like a rite of passage for every band. 

On our way to the Los Angeles gig our driver had taken a risky route to turn the bus around on Sunset Avenue (one of the busier streets in LA) and unfortunately it did not pay off. All of a sudden everything, everyone and every drink got thrown forwards as the front of the bus slammed into the ground, leaving us completely wedged. The slope of the road was so great that the nose of the bus ploughed into the road on Sunset Avenue, and the tail and tow bar dug deep into ground up on the hill - leaving all the wheels in the middle stuck in mid-air. It was like a triangle of doom and the bus was the hypotenuse.  

After an hour of us all wandering around, watching some very kind and generous local crackheads throw debris under the bus to leverage the wheels, we decided to abandon ship and took the shoelace express to the gig. Fortunately, it was only a few blocks away and to this day I still don’t really understand how they got that bus out by the time the gig was over. Despite all that went wrong on it, that bus tour was legendary. Would ride again. 4/5 stars.


During a European summer tour with the lovely These New South Wales gentlemen, we rolled in to play one night in Hamburg. For anyone who hasn’t been, Hamburg is a hell of a party town. For whatever reason (I think we were a little late getting into town and assumed the hotel was 24hr check-in, which is usually the case in Europe) we just went straight to the venue. 

The show was great and even Murray from The Wiggles managed to make it who was coincidentally in town that night! After the show, we decided to go hit the bars to celebrate and catch up with Muz whilst our TM (Photographer Extraordinaire David “Bunnyman” Herrington) and two of the TSNW guys went to the accommodation to get some sleep. 

Little did we all know at that time, not only was our check-in not available anymore but every hotel/hostel in the city was also fully booked! By the time I had received the phone call from Bunnyman, we had settled into one of our favourite bars, the Gun Club. It was clear we had a choice: spend the next few hours cramped up in the van on the side of the road trying to get some sleep with the others or bunker down in the bar until they woke up and came to collect us in the morning. 

Obviously, we chose the latter, and upon informing the bartender of our lack of accommodation situation she graciously allowed us to stay as long as we wanted on the provision that we “do not let her have any vodka shots”.

Anyway, a few hours and two bottles of vodka later we were standing behind the bar midway through pouring another round of shots when all of a sudden I received another call from Bunnyman to tell us they were out the front waiting to pick us up. So, although it turned out a horror story for those stuck in the van all night, I thought it was just a hell of a memorable party night. Cheers Gun Club!

As well as promoting their latest album, DZ Deathrays are also celebrating 10 years of their debut LP, 'Bloodstreams', which recently received a limited edition run of translucent blood-red 12” vinyl via I OH YOU. For more details on the limited-edition release and all upcoming tour dates, click here.