V for #VictoriousFestival – The Music

I’m going to let you into a little secret. I’ve never been to a music festival, so when I decided to join some friends and go to Victorious Festival over the bank holiday, it’s safe to say that I was pretty excited and as a musician, as well as a photographer, it was the perfect opportunity to combine two of my passions.

Having looked at the line up for the weekend, there weren’t actually many acts that I knew of, but for me this was even better as I could hear the wide range music that was happening across the festival, and photograph the musicians. One key thing to point out here is that as I didn’t want be carrying loads of camera gear around, I only took my walk-around set up (60D and 17-50mm lens) so if I was to stand a chance of getting decent photos of the bands, I had to get in amongst the action.

Arriving at the festival on the Saturday, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the whole atmosphere that was building as more and more people arrived, and soon after, the first couple of bands (The Boomtown Rats and The Selecter) that I wanted to hear and photograph took to the Common Stage in the main area. At the start of the day is was relatively easy to move around, but as the day went on, it became much busier and as you may be able to tell from the photos of the Editors, I really needed to get in amongst the crowds to get the shots I wanted.

On the Sunday, it was much busier for the whole day but there were also more musicians and bands that appealed to me. The day started back at the Common Stage with Will Young who as it turned I had filmed much instead of photographed (hence the lack of images) and I then headed to the Seaside Stage where there was a 90’s style rave going on. Though it was again a brilliant atmosphere, it did feel slightly strange raving in the mid afternoon! I then decided to go on a wander around the other areas of the festival to see what other musicians I could find including coming across a band called Little Violet who had an amazing way of fusing swing style music with modern beats.

After this, I returned to the Castle Stage (where Editors were the previous evening), catching the end of JP Cooper and getting myself in position right at the front to see Jack Savoretti. My original plan for this part of the afternoon was to see the opening few songs and then go to the Common Stage to see Public Service Broadcasting, however when I tried to move through the crowd, it quickly became clear that this was going to be near impossible, so I instead, positioned myself on the highest point I could allowing me to get images of the crowd and listen to the rest of Jack Savoretti, which was fantastic. The weekend finished with a return to the Seaside Stage to see Fleetingwood Mac and capture some more shots of the crowd.

It was a wonderful couple of days, with a very wide range of music styles and while there are some images that I am much happier with than others, the whole experience of photographing in this context was a great. Aside from capturing the music based images, the festival also gave me the chance to get more documentary style shots which will feature in the second part of this post, so look out for these in a couple of days time.

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