Board games for bored bands,

How do fes­ti­val acts re­lieve the te­dium of tour­ing? From Kanye’s and Bey­oncé’s Con­nect 4 dog­fights to Fight Like Apes’ shoplift­ing game and The Strokes’ card schools, a bit of competition passes the time nicely. Well, it’s bet­ter than tak­ing drugs, writes

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back­stage rider that doesn’t have en­ter­tain­ment among its re­quire­ments, es­pe­cially among cer­tain de­mo­graph­ics. Boy bands, rap­pers and younger male solo artists need their Xboxes and PS3s. For a while Amy Wine­house wouldn’t go any­where that didn’t have a pool ta­ble nearby (which ex­plains why she ended up in the Palace on Cam­den Street in Dublin one night pre-Blake.) Juli­ette Lewis watches box sets of Fam­ily Guy back to back on tour. Lil Wayne watches Amer­i­can sports on a satel­lite feed to his tour bus, or springs his pop-up stu­dio into ac­tion. Justin Bieber spends hours play­ing the NBA 2K com­puter game se­ries.

Ac­cord­ing to a pre­vi­ous rider, Ox­e­gen head­lin­ers Foo Fight­ers like DVDs as long as they don’t con­tain Martin Lawrence, Jamie Kennedy or sport. Arc­tic Mon­keys, who play be­fore the Foos to­mor­row, are fans of word games. In fact, when Alex Turner was on hol­i­days with his then girl­friend Jo­hanna Bennett (now mar­ried to Matthew Fol­low­ill from Kings of Leon), the song Flu­o­res­cent Ado­les­cent was de­vel­oped from a word game, earn­ing her a song­writ­ing credit.

Keep the cards away from tonight’s per­form­ers The Strokes. Bassist Niko­lai Frai­ture is a poker fan – that’s how he met Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zin­ner, who ended up work­ing on his solo al­bum.

As for fes­ti­vals them­selves, back­stage ar­eas tend to transform into teen play­grounds laden with amuse­ments. The Beni­cas­sim fes­ti­val on the Costa del Aza­har in Spain re­mains high on bands’ wish lists of fes­ti­vals to play thanks in no small part to its fa­mous back­stage swim­ming pool. At Ox­e­gen this week­end, games will be laid on again for vis­it­ing bands, who will spend the week­end com­ing from or go­ing to T in the Park in Scot­land and else­where.

In the past, Ox­e­gen has tried its hand at a va­ri­ety of games back­stage, in­clud­ing beach vol­ley­ball, which gale force winds and driv­ing rain did their best to trash. The com­plex that houses the large net­work of dress­ing rooms and cater­ing fa­cil­i­ties at Ox­e­gen comes

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