That's right, even someone as well known as Tom Hanks has to follow stupid festival policies sometimes.

Speaking on popular British chatshow, The Graham Norton Show, Hanks, sixty-two, told an anecdote about a recent experience that he had at California's country music festival, Stagecoach. Read on to hear more about this crazy story.


"Do you know who I am?"

Honestly, this story whiffs a little too much of entitlement on Hanks' part. I mean, I'm generally a fan of Tom Hanks and I like his work; he comes across really well in his Desert Island Discs interview and I'm sure that those that know him personally think that he's a really neat guy, but c'mon Tom.

Hanks was in London visiting a children's hospital.

via: Evelina London Children's Hospital

The week, Hanks appeared on The Graham Norton Show a short while after visiting The Evelina London Children's Hospital for a pre-release screening of Toy Story 4. The hospital visit was the real reason for his transatlantic trip and is more proof (if we needed any) that Tom Hanks is a decent guy. That being said, even nice guys can slip up from time to time.

Never demonize waiting staff.

I don't care who you are, it's not good tact to take out your frustration on workers who have no control over the regulations that their employers set. It's even worse when you use your celebrity or stature as a reason that you should be exempt from following the rules.

I once sent David Hasselhoff to the back of the line after he tried to cut the line.

Working at a Christmas Market a couple of years ago, serving cheesy potatoes and frankfurters, an old man with a much younger girlfriend tried to cut the long line, I sent him to the back before being told by a co-worker, "Don't you know who that is? That's David Hasselhoff!"

Even if it'd been David Bowie, I wouldn't have let him cut.

Being a successful famous person comes with its privileges and its disadvantages, but so does every ordinary person's life. Maybe I sound like a Communist here, but, unless we treat people equally, there is no equality.

I mean, sure, over twenty-one wristbands for over sixties is a dumb idea...

via: Getty Images.

But take that up with festival organizers, take it up with the company that runs the bar, take it up with the guy who's sitting on the money. Don't huff and puff at some kid that's trying to pay off their college debt by serving people privileged enough to afford the $349-$1399 tickets. Heck, I'm sure that Hanks probably got in for free.

Tom Hanks' exchange with the server was surprising.

On being told that he needed an ID wristband to purchase his drink, Hanks apparently said: "First of all, you know my name, and secondly, I'd like a beer."

Tom, you're making yourself look like a douche.

Hanks, on being told again that they couldn't serve him without the wristband ID, said: "Look, not only am I who you think I am, I'm also sixty-two goddam years old." Jeez. They get it; you're famous and you're old.

Eventually, Tom Hanks got his frosty cold one.

via: Getty Images.

Explaining the situation to chat show host, Graham Norton, Hanks said: "I did not have a beer until somebody went over and got me an ID bracelet." Notice that it wasn't Hanks that went and got his ID wristband...

"I had to get somebody to go and get me one."

What an ordeal that must have been for you, Mr. Hanks. I mean first world problems, or what?

This whole thing does open a bigger conversation, though.

Festivals used to be a place to escape the regimented formality of the everyday world. Now? Well, they're a policy policing nightmare. Herded around like the farm animals that normally turn the land, festival-goers need multiple wristbands, are made to endure constant bag checks, and aren't even trusted to keep hold of their bottle caps. What happened to free love and do whatever? Maybe that was the point that Hanks was trying to make. I think it all just came out a little wrong.

Check out Stagecoach Festivals' website for a long list of rules.

via: Stagecoach festival

I mean, sure, don't let people take in guns and fireworks, but frisbees and hula hoops? Talk about joy kills. And that's just half of the things that aren't "allowed" in the venue...

The price of festivals is getting steeper and steeper.

A Coachella ticket costs thousands of dollars and, although sister country-music festival, Stagecoach, might seem like a much cheaper alternative, with general admission apparently "only" costing $349 dollars, once you've paid for camping, parking charges, etc. you're actually going to part ways with over $600.

Joni Mitchell saw the downfall of "the festival" ideology as early as 1970.

via: Getty Images.

While on stage at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, hippy legend and folk songstress, Joni Mitchell was forced to momentarily halt her set and argue with the crowd. Watch the clip, in which you'll see Mitchell having to explain to the festival revelers what being at a festival is all about.

Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you got til' it's gone, eh?

Mitchell accuses her audience of "acting like tourists," rather than a collective gathering, which is what festivals were supposed to me about. A collective gathering of people sharing whatever it was that they had to offer. You might scoff at all that. For you, going to a festival might just be an excuse to spend a long weekend getting drunk with your friends, listening to your favorite bands, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Whatever you get up to, a festival is a space to be free. You don't want to feel like a tourist.

Nothing will make you feel more like you're a tourist than an airport-style entry check-in, a fanny pack full of identification cards, and a handful of drink tokens.

Tom Hanks should be allowed to get a beer without needing a card.

Underage drinking is a problem that modern society is actively trying to tackle, but the red tape does become ludicrous when a sixty-two-year-old man, whoever he is, has to prove his age in order to have a beer. I get the whole "ask anyone who looks under twenty-one" thing, but, obviously, someone in their twilight years shouldn't cause any confusion.

What's the solution?

How do we tackle underage drinking without penalizing those that are quite clearly old enough to drink? I guess instead of relying on bureaucratic rules, we could trust the common sense of the bartender. The bar staff that served Hanks explained to the Toy Story actor that their hands were tied. The Manager of the festival bar apparently said to Hanks, "I'm so sorry, but if I give you a beer I'm just going to get fired."

Rules and regulations can suck the fun out of a situation.

But the "need" to have a beer, is pretty fun-sucking, too. I'm not saying that Tom Hanks is dependent on alcohol, but his experience does allude to a bigger problem. Why do we feel like we need to drink for a situation to be any better? Hanks was at Stagecoach to watch his wife of thirty years, Rita Wilson, perform. Couldn't the buzz of watching his wife perform at the festival be enough? We get ourselves into habits like drinking that create all this mess that isn't necessary in the first place, it's not life or death, is it?

I'm not calling for a prohibition or anything, but couldn't everyone just chill out a bit?

You've bought your ticket, you've queued to get into the venue, you finally get in, and then you're straight to the bar. Why not try just sticking to water, have a coca-cola, and see if you still have a good time. You might be surprised to find that it's just as good an experience without the frosty cold one - and you'll have saved yourself a few dollars, too. Anyway, back to Tom. Keep reading to hear a little more about his visit to the hospital last week. It's wholesome af.