A sign language interpreter’s translation of a heavy metal set at a music festival last week is being dubbed as “amazing” after 700,000 watched her work on TikTok.
Last week, Leicestershire in England hosted Download festival, a five-day rock festival. Scottish heavy metal band Alestorm was among the line-up, performing on the main stage on Sunday. Although the group was the act, their sign language interpreter has captured the attention of fans too for her impressive role.
Alestorm fan @positivelycharlotte_ shared what she called the “highlight” of her weekend on TikTok, in the form of the band’s sign language interpreter.
The band is a heavy metal group whose music has a “pirate-theme”—so much so they’ve been labeled a “pirate metal” group by their own fans. With lyrics including, “F**k you, you’re a f***ing w***er. We’re gonna punch you right in the balls” it doesn’t take a lot to imagine how unconventional the sign language was.
“Watching this legend interpret ‘your pirate ship can eat a bag of dicks’ was the highlight of my weekend,” Charlotte wrote on-screen.
The interpreter, captured on video near the crowd, was working at full-speed, signing along to the music with gestures that many have likely not seen before, including, as Charlotte explained, “bag of d***s.”
Sign language interpreters are an essential part of festivals for many, with research finding that over three million deaf and disabled music fans attend them each year.
“Oh my god. I think I love her,” wrote one user.
“She was an amazing interpreter when we went to download last year,” added another.
“The interpreter at Steel Panther got a standing ovation after their set,” wrote a TikTok viewer.
Newsweek has contacted Alestorm and Charlotte for comment.
In recent years, sign language interpreters at festivals have become somewhat of a fan favorite themselves, with interpreters regularly winning praise online and going viral for their work.
Last year, Cardi B’s interpreter during her performance of “WAP” at Lollapalooza went viral. As could be imagined, the sign language turned out to be arguably even more explicit than the song itself.
The snippet of the song caught on tape featured the lyrics: “P**** A1, just like his credit. He got a beard, well, I’m tryna wet it. I let him taste it, now he diabetic. I don’t wanna spit, I wanna gulp.
“I wanna gag, I wanna choke. I want you to touch that lil’ dangly thing. That swing in the back of my throat. My head game is fire, p****** Dasani. It’s going dry and it’s coming out soggy.”
The interpretation of the song used such universally recognised suggestive gestures that even those with no knowledge of American Sign Language claimed to understand it all.