Greetings from the fringes of the Northern Powerhouse (stealing a trick from Warren Ellis and Klint Finley there, having a codename for my homeland. I think it needs some finesse; it’s not personal enough. I’ll continue to work on it in future posts).
I live in Manchester, so “summer” basically means that the clouds are a bit brighter and the rain is warmer, and a real scorcher of a day will have old men looking at the blue sky and crowing “Aye, lad, we’ll pay for this.” It also means that it’s festival season.
The sun has got its sou’wester on and the crowds are digging out their wellies, trying to ignore the faint and fusty smell of dried dung-mud and incipient trench foot from last year’s festivities. Whether or not the rain will come is a bit of a gamble, of course — and in truth probably won’t make all that much difference to the hardened festival-goer. From a festival photographer’s point of view it’s guaranteed eyeballs on your work: people love to see the masses bespattered with mud and yet somehow managing to continue their revelling. Sun-drenched revellers just aren’t as much fun; perhaps it’s something to do with the British love of schadenfreude.
With some luck, and a bit of paperwork, I’ll be shooting at a festival this year. Details to be confirmed because I don’t want to jinx the gods that handle the press-pass process. But should it all work out I’ll be making sure that I’m armed with wellies, waterproofs, towels and plastic bags for my gear. And then I’ll have a damn good time whilst I work.
Because when you’re in a field, in the rain, covered in mud, and hearing some of your favourite bands… What’s not to enjoy in all that?