Groovin the Mud
Yesterday I photographed a festival for the first time – Groovin the Moo. It was possibly the most nervewracking and exciting experience I have had in terms of concert photography.
I have only been to a handful of music festivals, mostly because a lot of festivals only have a few bands that I like. I have thus been reluctant to spend nearly a hundred dollars on tickets for festivals. I think, if I recall correctly, Homebake and Big Day Out were the only two festivals I have been to in the past.
There was a bit of an issue with my media accreditation for photographing and it got mixed up with just being a reviewer, but I got it sorted in the end. I was thrilled to be quite honest, because usually only very good photographers are chosen and accepted to photograph festivals.
Groovin the Moo was up in Maitland, a regional town about three-and-a-half hours north of Sydney. I took public transport there, which meant that I had to catch three trains and leave at 6:30am. I brought my laptop, so that I wouldn’t be bored on the train journey. Even though it was long, it seemed to go by pretty quick. I listened to music and I worked on the new theme I’m building for my blog.
I took 2603 photos in total. I had to cut that down to a glorious 120 for Casual Band Blogger (photos will be published super soon, depending on when you read this, they might be already!), but there were about two hundred more than that that I really liked. As you can see from the handful in this post. They are mostly different from the ones that will be posted on Casual Band Blogger!
In the morning, it was a long walk from Maitland station to the showground where the festival was, but I made it in time to catch some of the first band. I had bought some licorice from the train station earlier and that became my sustenance for the next five hours.
It was also really muddy.
I had felt like wearing a skirt instead of jeans, because I love skirts and dislike jeans, but I am glad I wore jeans considering how muddy it was from the rain the night before. It didn’t rain on the day at all, which was lucky, but also annoying because I brought a raincoat. The mud got considerably worse over the course of the day, the more people stepped in it. Sometimes, your foot would get stuck.
I wore my favourite boots, made of suede, so they were pretty much ruined. But as magic would have it, when I scrubbed the dry mud off them today, it came off alright, and washing them got rid of the mud. I hope they look okay once they finish drying overnight.
I felt sorry but also laughed a little inside at the people who had worn sandals or flip-flops, and skirts and shorts with bare legs. Instead of being an issue, though, the mud became an opportunity to get dirty without giving a damn. A lot of people fell over, or walked or ran in the mud and left the muddy stains on their legs.
It was really hectic running from stage to stage. I didn’t intend on photographing all the bands, of course, since some of them were on at the same time – but since we are only allowed to take photographs during the first three songs, I attempted to photograph most of the bands.
I saw a few familiar faces in the pit, some people I had seen photographing before. It was a tiring day for everyone, and often when we went to the media tent, we would express our exhaustion.
I remember I managed to grab a waffle for lunch between photographing two bands, but I had to eat it ridiculously fast. Not to mention, my memory card had been filled up by then, and I was transferring the photos to my laptop and it was taking forever. I should have brought a spare memory card, but I only have one because I lost my other one some time ago. In that sense I wasn’t prepared well, and I didn’t think it would take that long to transfer photos to my laptop.
The issue I came across was that my laptop ran out of space.
What the hell.
I sorted that pretty quickly, because the other case on my hands was that I had already taken over a thousand photos.
But I couldn’t worry about that, because I had to run all the way to one of the stages to photograph Parkway Drive. No way was I missing that. The first metal band I have ever photographed. It was wicked.
I enjoyed photographing a lot. I didn’t feel like photographing (or even watching) a lot of the electronic acts. I liked listening to them from way at the back of the crowd. They aren’t as interesting to photograph most of the time, and I don’t feel the need to be up the front to watch.
At about 7:00pm I was very hungry and grabbed some hot chips, and again, scoffed them down before running to the stage again. At some point, a security guard offered us Tim Tams and gummy candy, and some of the people in the crowd kept calling because they wanted some.
The security guard said, “Hey. I got boys and girls here that need to be fed, so it would be nice if you were patient!”
It was an exhausting day. Towards the end I got a bit bored because I didn’t like the artists that were performing, but that is all good. Cos I had a great time. Even though I was pretty damn tired. I got to see a lot of bands I liked and hadn’t yet seen before, like Architecture in Helsinki. And I got to see a lot of old favourites, like Violent Soho and Gang of Youths. And I got to see a bunch that I don’t often listen to but love to watch, like The Gooch Palms.
holla@ to Jess, Matt, Adriana, Ruben, Erin & all the cool peeps I holla’d at, and especially Geneva for driving my black suede boots back to Western freakin’ Sydney.