One of my secret pleasures is browsing through my photo archive looking for series. Like these public sleepers at rock festivals trough the years.
I´ve been going to rock festivals for years now. There´s nothing better than hanging out with your friends in the sun (or rain…) drinking beer, listening to great music. And if I’m tired of that, I like to walk around the festival terrain, taking pictures of my fellow music lovers. Except that I’m not a big hero when it comes to street photography. I get nervous taking pictures of landmarks when there are strange people around, let alone when I take pictures of those strangers themselves. Luckily, there’s an ideal category of photo subjects on the average festival: the sleeper.
Thanks to the beer, the sun, the short, music filled nights, there is a lot of sleeping going on at a festival. By beer stiffs, drunk and passed out, by young couples, who perhaps had other things to do at night, by people who just have had enough of everything for a bit, and close themselves off by closing their eyes. Walk around for an hour on a hot afternoon, and you’ve got quite a collection.
Seen all together, these pictures can be a bit lugubrious. It’s almost like there is a mysterious sleeping disease, catching young, healthy people on the go, dropping them where they stand. Thousands of other people around, they don’t care. In the grass, on wooden floors, next to heaps of trash… Sometimes I want to wake them up and ask, did you remember to put on sun screen, mate? Instead, I take a picture.