311 Day Contest: ‘How I Discovered 311’

311 Day Contest: ‘How I Discovered 311’

311 DAY 2016 will take place at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA on March 11th & 12th. We were thrilled to have a pair of tickets to this special event to give away with an exclusive contest, inquiring How You Discovered 311…below are the results!…

[Post Updated: January 14th, 2016 @ 1:15pm (PST)]


Contest Winners: Alisha & Symphony

Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest and a huge thank you to 311 who ultimately decided to make room for two winners instead of just one. We thoroughly enjoyed reading such passionate, emotional and inspirational stories of how your lives were changed from discovering 311.

We wanted to know how you discovered the group and what we learned from all of your stories is that there’s a fundamental difference between first hearing 311 and fully discovering them. Out of the 500+ amazing entries, The Pier has chosen 2 winners… Symphony (of PA) & Alisha (of ME).

In Symphony’s case, she discovered herself when she truly discovered 311 – and as a result, embraced her individuality. She recognized her own potential through the band. As for Alisha, she may have discovered 311 early on – but she rediscovered the band when 311 became the bridge to her dad after he had passed; she discovered just how significant 311 actually was to her and her life.

Congratulations to both winners — You’re going to 311 Day 2016!

Here is Alisha and Symphony’s story of how they each discovered 311…

Dear The Pier,

311 has been my absolute favorite band in the world since ‘All Mixed Up’ hit the air waves and I was 15 years old. I am now 35 with two little boys, (ages 4 and 18 months) who both have 311 t-shirts and share my love and excitement for this amazing band. I have lost count of how many times I’ve seen 311 live, but am definitely beyond the teens. I have seen 311 in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Kansas! My favorite show of all-time was at the State Theater in Portland, Maine. The year escapes me, but I was in my late teens/early 20s and the crowd got so crazy that we BROKE the metal railing! (haha) It was amazing because it wasn’t only in my home-state, but such a Alisha311small, intimate setting that no matter where you were located, you were close. In Kansas, I was able to experience the show from the 2nd row and being super-tall at 5 feet, this was amazing; I could actually see! I will never forget the adrenaline rush.

The most important thing I need to share is this: My dad passed away unexpectedly in 2006 in a motorcycle accident; he was 59 years old. He was healthy and just such an amazing presence; it was the last thing anyone expected to happen. As time passed and we slowly began going through his things, I found a sheet of paper with his computer passwords. Several were ‘Alisha311’ and it made me smile, then cry; then smile. I saw that he remembered how much this positive, powerful band meant to me. When I actually got the courage to read the coroner’s report, I noticed something so crazy – I just lost it. His time of death was 3:11 in the afternoon of August 10, 2006. Not 3:10, not 3:12. This forever has changed me. I see the clock on a regular basis at 3:11, and not only does it remind me of how much I love the band, but it tells me that my dad is reminding me that he’s with me. It is MY sign from my awesome dad in spirit. I will wake up out of a dead sleep and roll over to see the clock read 3:11am. It has such incredible meaning and emotion to me. I feel connected to my dad on a spiritual level now when I see 311 live and just know he’s rocking out with me. There is no other band out there like them. I have been planning a tattoo to honor my dad and 311 since 2006. With my sons being here now, I know the reason I waited was to make them a part of it too. I’ve found the artist and now I need a babysitter.

I got married in 2009 and 311’s ‘Amber’ was the music I walked down the aisle to in my wedding and I had a 311 patch on my garter. Dad couldn’t be there to walk me in person, but I got a double-rainbow out of it, so I know he was there in spirit.

Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and I hope that one day I can meet you guys and actually tell you that in person.


Alisha E.
Brunswick, Maine


Dear The Pier,

It’s funny how clear it is that I remember this. I was an angsty, black 14-year-old at an all white prep school in Connecticut, and was preparing for my class trip to China by downloading music on iTunes in 2007.

I was really into ska, really into punk, and really into Rage Against the Machine, but still discovering the intricacies of it all–all the alternative political tunes and trends of the generation before me. I was exploring iTunes suggestions–Incubus, Primus and 311, downloading only singles. I had been slightly familiar with 311 because of the ’50 First Dates’ soundtrack but the 30-second preview of the song ‘Unity’ from ‘Music’ sounded like perfection to me! I downloaded and listened to it maybe 100 hundred times. And I knew that I had to have ‘Music’ for when I was in China for 2 whole weeks, so I got it.
Now being a black punk in China was more difficult than I thought it would be, especially without any allies. My peers all white, and conservative in dress, couldn’t understand why it was so hard for me. I had long dreads, some dyed blue, a nose ring and a suitcase of only Kikwear pants and band shirts.

People constantly were taking pictures of me, and touching me as if I was the tourist attraction! Most days ended in tears. But everyday ended in me listening to all of ‘Music’ at least three or four times. There was something really comforting about a message of unity in this way that I had never heard. (311’s music) was hard like the punk I liked, it was funky like the music my parents liked, it was dance-able and catchy and made me feel good because I felt like shit! It proved to me that there’s nothing wrong with being a little different and a little mixed up–or All mixed up.

Upon returning to the states, I downloaded the whole 311 discography up to that point. And frankly, it has changed me. Keeping me happy when I’m feeling at my worst. Getting
me through college, being the conversation starter that introduced me to the love of my life. I even have a 311 tattoo.

We see 311 every summer, but have never gotten the chance to go to 311 Day. It would be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Since I discovered 311, I’ve felt like I have found the community that was always hard for me to have.

Thanks a lot,

Symphony S.
Philadelphia, PA


311 Day Contest Details:

It’s really simple…

Send an email to Contest@ThePier.org with a brief story of how you came to discover 311.
– Include as many details as you can: The first song or album, the date or time period, the name and/or relation of who may have introduced you. Please be detailed and legible. We’re going off the honor-system so please keep it honest!

You have from January 5th – 10th by 5:00pm (PST) to send your email.
Winner will be announced Monday, January 11th at 7:00pm (PST).

1 Chosen Winner Will Receive:

  • Pair of 311 Day Tickets
  • 311 Day Set List Signed By Band
  • 311 Day Photo Pass
  • ThePier.org Merchandise Package (and we will publish your story!)

    [Contest Disclaimer: Tickets & Photo Pass will be picked up at the box office on the day of the show. The signed set list will be for one of the shows and mailed to the winner. The winnings are non-transferable and do not include any travel or lodging.]

    311 Day Details:

    For 311 Day performances, 311 is known to play an extended set-list of hits, rarities, covers and classics, backed by a state-of-the-art light and effects show. The group returns to New Orleans where frontman Nick Hexum has told The Pier: “I’ll tell you, the real spiritual home for 311 Day was in New Orleans.”

    For 311 Day 2014, tickets were sold to fans from all 50 U.S. states and 14 different countries. The band played a five-hour show performing 66 songs and the bar has been set for their 2 weekend night celebration for 2016. 2016’s celebration will be held on March 11th and 12th, 2016 at Smoothie King Center. Tickets went on sale Friday, September 25th, available at all Ticketmaster locations and the Smoothie King Center Box Office. For more information visit 311.com/311Day2016

    Related Links:
    Exclusive 311 Blog
    311 Website
    311 Facebook