Having recently come to the realization that I’ve reviewed 100 music festivals in the last 10 years, I started to wonder how many photo galleries I’ve churned out over the last half decade. Turned out to be quite a few – 100 photo galleries of music festivals from over the past 5 years.
I always took photos at festivals, but my snapshot game went into high gear once I embarked on 100 Nights of Summer and it’s been an amazing (and occasionally overwhelming) experience. While waiting for the late and great Charles Bradley to take the stage in the Netherlands, a festie on the rail asked me if I ever got tired of being in the photo pit. My answer, as true five years ago as it is today, is not one bit.
Festival photography itself has gone through a seismic shift in the last five years. The advances of cell phone cameras combined with connectivity changed everything. Accredited photographers are no longer the sole gatekeepers of the music festival visual experience.
And while festie photography can be an endless barrage of orange and teal selfies, blurred artists, and on-site influencer shoots, I’m also chuffed to see so so many new photographers capturing the magic of music festivals and dipping their toes into different styles. We’re on the edge of an artistic revolution in photography and the next ten years should be very interesting.
Like everything else, COVID-19 put a hard stop on my festival photography. It turns out that working, traveling, and living in a festival while also trying to teach yourself live photography along with editing leads to a bit of burnout, so for the first time in five summers I have some time to breathe and revisit the past. The galleries below contain something like 3000+ published photos. It’s only about a third of the actual photos that I’ve taken.
So until the time that I can return home to the photo pit, I’ll be curating and editing and learning and trying out new styles of photography like street art and landscapes. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even learn how to take a proper selfie.