Tuesday Jan 16
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 MP3 Massive (FREE MP3)
    311 Website
    311 Facebook

  • 22 Responses to 311 Day Contest: ‘How I Discovered 311′

    1. I first heard 311 on the radio and I went to Warehouse Records and asked if they had any 3lbs. They were playing Grassroots then they played Music , I loved it so much I bought the “Blue one” Music and Grassroots needless to say it’s been a steady relationship. Through the years. I first saw 311 at the Greek , it was spectacular!!! That’s the only time I ever went to buy one albumn and liked the group so much I had to have them all. I’ve taken my son and my granddaughter to 311 concerts…3 generations!

    2. Ethan says:

      311 is the greatest band of all time!

    3. James Murff says:

      I was in a play, my Junior year of high school, and we were setting up the back drops, and doing basic stage hand stuff, and I saw this dude grooving out. I asked him what he was jammin’to, and he says 311 “Grassroots”. I asked if I could listen, and he hands me the cassette. I start dancing and the rest is history. Been a fan ever since then.

    4. Fini says:

      Initially, I discovered 311 at about 3am in the morning while feeding my new born son in 1996. “Down” video came on MTV’s Alternative Nation and I thought ‘wow’ what a great guitar riff! My top bands at the time were everything from Morgan Heritage, Steel Pulse to Metallica, the Beastie Boys, (old) Van Halen, the Police and Rush.
      “Down” was as if somebody combined all my favorite bands and genres in a blender and made a perfect 7 layer salsa dip!
      I quickly bought ‘the blue’ album and it went to #1 in my car’s 12 CD deck!
      Due to my growing family, I was out of the music loop for a few years until my Reggae roots brought me 2 years in a row to the Caribbean to visit most of the islands. This is when I ‘rediscovered’ 311! In particular I wanted to find out who the locals were listening to on each island. There were many obvious artists named and some that were very obscure. I was floored at the number of mentions of 311 and the respect they garnished from the islanders. In particular, “Music” was a popular album that must have made the radio down there.
      When I returned home from my trip, I purchased all the albums and have been ‘shuffling’ all of them poolside here in Phoenix for years…..nothing is better than cranking the 311 vibe for the entire neighborhood to hear while lounging in the pool with a drink in the sunshine!
      311Rule – Learn it, Live it, Love it!

    5. I remember back when I was a freshman in high school and my best friend back then told me ” we are going to see my favorite band 311″. It was a midnight show at the roxy in the ATL in 1993. You guys opened up with “freak out” I have been a fan ever since. I have seen you guys 88 times live and I can wait to close out 89 and 90. I am so looking forward to a Friday – Sunday in New Orleans for 311 Day. Much love and respect to you guys ?
      Stay positive and love your life!!!!

    6. Ashley says:

      My love for 311 started my sophomore year in high school (2003). All the boys loved 311 and I wanted the boys to love me so I gave them a listen. I ended up being completely immersed in their music and they soon became my favorite band. In 2008, I met my husband; not long after we left 311 and DMB dropped an album the same month. At that point my husband and I figured out we both have the same love for the band we learned about in hs. Fast forward to 2016, we are now married with two kiddos and one due in a few weeks and spend our summers traveling the Midwest to see 311. 311 is responsible for expanding our love even further into this type of music like Slightly Stoopid, The Dirty Heads and SWR. We have always wanted to come to a 3/11 day or cruise but we are a young family with (almost) 3 kiddos and can never seem to swing it.
      Winning this would be amazing. Good luck to everyone and thank you to 311 for blowing our minds and being ever evolving. We cannot wait to see what’s next and also super pumped to see what the collaboration with The Dirty Heads and Nick Hexum is all about!

      Thanks for the Love
      Ashley i

    7. Justin says:

      I was getting ready to go to sleep one night when I was a senior in high school (1995), watching MTV, when I saw a big Buddha floating in the air. The first rifts of “Down” started to play, I was floored. I was so pumped after the video that I couldn’t sleep. Ever since then it loved 311. Seen them in concert over 30 times and each one gets better and better! I can’t wait to see them this summer. Keep rockin’ boys!

    8. Andrew skaggs says:

      I discovered 311 in 6th grade. My friend had a 311 cd and I heard all mixed up. That was in 1996. Ever since then I always listen to them. I have the Soundsystem logo 311 tattooed on my arm. Put inspired me to learn how to play bass when I was 16. I’ve seen 311 3 times. But now I cannot afford to go see them. My family always tells me on Facebook it’s 311 day haha. But I already know and I only listen to 311 only on that day.

    9. Holly Shows says:

      I was all of 16 way back in the day and my boyfriend at the time was touring through Omaha with his band. They stopped in a local music store and were recommended the ‘Music’ album by the nice lady who worked there. If I’m not mistaken she said she was related to one of the members and was really proud of her son. The guys brought the album home raving about the music. I first heard ‘My Stoney Baby’ and fell in love. That album played until it couldn’t play anymore and has been replaced countless times until digital downloads became the norm. It’s still one of my favorite albums to go back to and ‘My Stoney Baby’ will forever be my favorite song. I’ve been a huge fan ever since then (hard to believe it’s been 23 years!) and have the ink to prove it since 311 Day back in ’08! But the meaning and story behind that are, perhaps, for another day suffice to say that 311’s music has helped me stay true to myself and been a comfort through some very tough times and ever present in so many of my life’s biggest moments. And it all started for me with some guys in a van chasing their dreams across Nebraska. Almost poetic.

    10. Ashlyn monohan says:

      I discovered 311 from my best friend we were driving in her car and she started playing 311s music and I instantly fell in love with the sound! I was so happy she introduced me to my new favorite band! We went on a road trip from Wyoming to Las Vegas where we saw 311 perform to Salt Lake City then on to Denver to see our fav band!! 311 has helped me thru a lot of things through out my life the music calms me and makes me forget about the things stressing me out!! I’m so grateful for all the friends I’ve made listening to 311 plus I get excited anytime sees my tattoo because what can I say 311 is amazing!!

    11. first heard 311 on the radio from Richmond, va. in 1995.
      then went on to see them for my first time, and then three times wthin two weeks,
      first show in woodbridge,va 8-29-1997,
      then two days later on my first birthday show on 8-31-1997, and third show in Atlanta,ga on 9-13-1997. Those shows I will never forget..

    12. Sean Murray says:

      First heard of 311 from my buddies in high school. Listened to Music and fell in love instantly. We saw so many shows, hung out with them afterwards, smoked with them, had great discussions. They were part of the best times of my life and were integral to it. The best show I ever saw my buddies and I took a road trip to Kill Devil Hills, NC and saw them at this place called the Beachcomber. It might have held 300 people but it felt like there were a thousand. And everyone was having a great time, no pretension or bad vibes in the place. I look back at that show as what might be the best day in my life.

    13. Ethan Brandenberger says:

      I first learned about 311 when I was in band class in the 9th grade, while the drum line was warming up our percussion teacher put on a playlist of 311 songs from various albums. After the practice, I asked my teacher what band he played during warm up. He said 311 and that they were his favorite band. I went home and looked up 311 on YouTube. The first video i discovered was beautiful disaster live at 311 day 2006. They instantly became my favorite band. And since then they have been a huge positive influence in my life and in my drumming.

    14. Adam says:

      Any word on the winner?? I entered and I’m really hoping… I can’t deal with the anticipation!!

    15. Steve says:

      Who won??? Lol I’d love to read their story!!

    16. Brandon says:

      Any word? Did the luck one get an email?

    17. Bdiddy says:

      I would love to read the winning entry! Who won?!

    18. Brian says:

      Please post anything about the winner, even if it just that they have been chosen and notified so everyone else knows. Otherwise it seems that you are just cashing in on the “clicks” to your site from those looking for info in the meantime… Thank you in advance!

      • Mike Patti says:

        Hey Brian,
        We are just waiting to confirm & to assure we’re on the same page as 311 with the winner before notifying the winners and the public. I assure you we’re not cashing in on clicks to the site – There’s more to it, being discussed behind scenes, than The Pier using this as a tool to cash in on “clicks”. 311 wouldn’t go through The Pier, much less allow that if that was the case.

        • Brian says:

          Thanks so much for the response Mike. I completely understand and hope that it wasn’t taken personally! I appreciate you getting back to me so quickly as well as the process of determining the winner… I guess it was just confusing b/c it said that the winner would be announced on 1/11. Thanks again!

    19. Trevor Smith says:

      Any update on when we can expect to hear an announcement?

    20. Sean says:

      So Alisha won because she has a sob story? She didn’t follow the rules one bit.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *