Sweltering heat, smelly porta-potties, thick mud and massive crowds ... the last thing that you'd want to fuss about is taking the best photos of your favourite bands without being kicked in the face by a hyperactive crowd-surfer. We give you some tips on how to survive a music fest!
Music festivals are great. Where else can you chill out with your friends from daytime ‘til twilight, relaxing on the grass, staring at the sky and the stars while listening to live music? Yes they’re fun and even romantic but it can be a drag if you’re not prepared for it.
Prepare for the heat. Dress comfortably, bring a light jacket when it cools down come nighttime. Make sure that your precious cameras are stashed away in protective cases. Baby wipes are handy for your sweaty pits. Don’t forget a soft cloth to wipe festival dust off your camera lenses!
Prepare for the mud, too. It can be sunny, but imagine hundreds (even thousands) of people stomping on the same grass over and over again. Expect shoes sinking in the mud – don’t let it bring you down.
Mud can be fun, too:
Keep drinks at bay, but … Ice-cold beer? Hell yeah! It’s cool if you have your drinks handy, but keep in mind that porta-potties are a staple of music festivals. So prepare yourself for when the time comes that you have to use one.
Don’t forget to bring lots of film. So that you won’t have to scrimp on your shots. Favourite band not on yet? Waste rolls on your friends!
Sick of your friends’ faces? Roam around the fields and be on the lookout for strange sightings. People in funny costumes, for example:
Don’t hesitate to go up close to take pictures! The front row can be very rowdy but it’ll make for interesting photographs. Maybe you’ll get kicked in the eye, or your hair will be pulled – it all depends on how much you’re willing to risk for a good shot of your favourite band.
Take the shot from the hip! Yes, your view will be blocked. Arms will flail and legs will be kicking wildly so forget about the viewfinder – raise your arm and take the hipshot!
Staying overnight? Don’t forget high ISO film! Pack a mix of film. Maybe a 100ISO Slide Film for super-sunny daytime shots. 400ISO Color Negative for excellent shots when the sun’s setting. Max it to 800ISO when you want to do away with flash and want to use the available light. (Ahem, Lomography Film is highly recommended!)
Go easy on the Flash. If you’re one of the lucky folks who made it right in front of the stage, remember that musicians don’t usually like flashes randomly popping in their faces while they’re playing (it hurts the eyes and can be quite distracting when they’re playing the guitar, etc.).
Any more tips or suggestions to add? Let us know – post in the comment box below! :)