The 2012 punk rock festival called Riot Fest is, admittedly, a pretty unusual place to research Barack Obama’s demographic appeal with younger U.S. voters. But we aren’t afraid to go the extra mile for our readers.
It was a mud pit, Riot Fest was, and situated (improbably) at Toronto’s historic Old Fort York. Inside the gates, thousands of grimy, gritty tattooed punks were in attendance — and hordes slamdanced in the mosh pit in front of the stage, as bands such as the Lawrence Arms, the Descendents and Toronto’s F–ked Up cheerfully broke assorted municipal noise bylaws. Facial tats, piercings and swear words in abundance. Anarchy and chaos reigned.
Backstage, Fat Mike — nee Michael John Burkett — soberly reflected on the electoral chances of Obama. Sporting a Mohawk hairdo and a T-shirt with something on it that cannot be published in a family friendly newspaper, Fat Mike surveyed the ceiling of his trailer.
“I don’t think (Obama) is in an impossible situation, at all,” says Fat Mike, brows furrowed. “In fact, given that he inherited the Titanic, politically, he’s done very well.”