So with a new website, comes a brand spanking new blog and what better way to start off a blog than to start talking about the upcoming festival season. I most music circles, the official beginning to the festival season doesn't start until the music megathon known as SXSW. A week long music convention in the heart of Austin, where every coffee shop and bar opens up their arms to a bunch of hipsters, music industry types and up and coming artists. The festival is unlike any other with thousands of bands and no official schedule to speak of, its truly morning to night music overload. After SXSW theres Cochella, and Bonnaroo, Lollapolooza, Sasquatch, Glastonbury and Isle of Wight and way more in between (it really seems like every week a new festival pops up)
But to music Photographers, February is the official beginning of line up announcements, media applications and travel planning. To those who are unacquainted to the world of music photography, basically if your not shooting for a major publication or the event. You wait till the lineup is announced, ask your editor if you can request press credentials. If you get the go ahead from your editor, you then go ahead and contact the promotional staff of the festival. Pending on how big and how organized the festival is, there might be a application you need to fill out, this will give them a idea as to who you are and what you plan on doing with your press credentials.
Then you play the waiting game, normally the rule of thumb states that the bigger the website you shoot for the better your credentials will be and the easier it will be for them to approve you. But none the less you still won't be officially approved till most likely May. So when the festival sells out and you are still waiting for your photo pass/ ticket it becomes a stressful and annoying reality.
But for those who have stood in a photo pit at a major festival know there is no feeling like it. The photo pit is a area directly in front of the stage, so you come in 15 minutes before the band comes on. You walk directly in front of people who have been waiting for hours, fighting off dehydration and the strong need to pee. Just to have a front row to the one artist they have been waiting all summer to see. I have been yelled at, called various racial slurs and even hit on wile standing in the pit. The intense energy of 20 or so photographers all fighting for a key position in a space smaller than a Manhattan studio apartment, is unreal. To stand that close to your favorite bands is euphorical, addictive and will ruin any other concert experience you may have after it.