Lovebox 2010

Thanks to the people running Lovebox 2010, I had a weekend pass to the festival, instructed to come back with “wide shots that show off the scale and beauty of the park” as well as whatever else caught my eye.

That’s actually a tricky brief: to get a sense of the scale of Lovebox’s Victoria Park setting, you really need aerial shots. Without access to balloon or microlight, I decided to take the brief as a ‘creative starter’ rather than attempt a too-literal interpretation which would have been doomed to failure or cliche: I was keen to avoid the ‘generic stock-shot’ look of so much festival photography — wide shots of happy crowds with hands in the air backlit by blazing sun, of sleeping punters roasting in front of the main stage, or of ‘interesting looking’ people gurning for the camera… yawn. I’m really tired of pictures/film of clubbers/party people having a good time, yet which offer no hint of how that feels.

On arrival Saturday, the sky over Victoria Park was boiling with fluffy cumulus, with the sun slanting down over the arena, the lazy afternoon crowd drinking and dreaming in the heat. Given the magnificence of the sky, I decided to shoot the festival from the viewpoint of one of those blissed-out festival children, glazed and dazed in the late afternoon shade — a vision of mostly sky, colours washed into bluegreen on first opening eyes to the sun after a half-nap between acts… not pictures of the people, rather some shots which evoke the long afternoon festival experience — everything a little trippy, everything a little bigger, brighter in that beautiful park setting which is unique to Lovebox.

On Sunday I spent a short while in the photographer’s pit proper at the main stage. Hassles with security and indifference to the possibilities down there (and the presence of plenty of other good photographers taking what would have ended up as exactly the same shots) discouraged me from wasting much time in the pit. In the end, I spent most of the afternoon backstage at Block9’s NYC Downlow stage with the Horse Meat Disco/Disco Bloodbath/East End performance crew. Super annoyed though that due to my USELESS IPHONE I got the timings wrong to catch Feral on the main stage (sorry Caron, next time).

All in all, It was a lovely weekend, and to my eye at least I have a few photos which capture some of the magic at Victoria Park.

Flickr photoset is here, or click the image above for a slideshow of highlights.

Big thanks to Adrian at Lovebox for AAA, Gideon at Block9 for backstage, all the usual people for all the usual reasons.

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