Back-to-back weekends as offical music festival photographer was not an experience I’d had before. First Reading Festival, and then Electric Picnic in Ireland had me running off my feet for days on end, with just a brief pause in between to catch my breath.
It was a wild time.
I can’t believe the amount of musical talent I saw in such a short amount of time. I feel like I spent those days dashing back and forth between top performances and wild crowds. The two festivals had very different vibes, but doing both so close together was really a level of diverse photographic and musical settings unlike anything I’ve done before.
But first, Reading. An absolute highlight of that festival was the quality work that went into the production and lighting at that festival. Good production makes a massive difference, especially for a photographer. ESPECIALLY if we’re talking about an afternoon show, when you have daylight to contend with. But the lighting meant that I was able to capture some incredible photos of a ton of great bands.
The biggest stand-out performance at Reading for me was Slaves--it was an absolutely wild crowd and the duo smashed it. Vocalist Jonny Craig launched the show by casually perched at the front of the stage and watching the crowd. It was a bold move, and there was nothing quiet or casual about the rest of that performance. Absolutely immense. They are the kind of band you kick yourself for not seeing in a sweaty basement as they started their journey.
Another great moment was getting to catch up with Otherkin, a band I’d worked with previously on my Unmade in Ireland project. Since the shoot I did with them last winter, when they were unsigned and had yet to release a single… now they’re touring, playing the BBC “Introducing” stage at Reading Festival, and tearing up the internet with their single Ay Ay. I’m really excited about where these guys are heading.
Overall, I’d say Reading was a top festival, hands down. Oh one more thing I got to catch up with this clown, clowning around.
This was my third year at Electric Picnic Festival. Both of my previous two years working with this festival have been incredible experiences--a real chance to push my skills as a photographer, shoot a whole range of different kinds of crowds and bands, and to really engage with a fabulous festival.
This year was another great experience at Electric Picnic 2015.
Florence and the Machine closed the festival out with an epic mainstage performance. I’ve really enjoyed her new album, and it was a joy to see her perform it live. The absolute last photo I took in this whole crazy string of events was this shot of an older woman, captivated in front of Florence’s stage.
Call me crazy, but I think it kind of sums up the whole festival experience. At least it does for me.