The best thing about shooting the same festival annually is that you get to watch it grow - especially newly established festivals. Rock The Shores is 3 years old, and I've been fortunate to shoot all 3 years. The consensus this year was of success. People got into the festival quickly and efficiently. Also, with the new liquor laws not restricting alcohol consumption to a beer garden, people spent less time in lines and families with kids could stay together while drinking responsibly. This was the same for V.I.C Fest and will be the same for future festivals. Rifflandia, which I'm excited to shoot in September, will be one of them.
The line-up was cohesive and attracted an audience that could enjoy something about every act - the common denominator being that they all rocked your goddamn face off.
Most notable rockage for me came from July Talk, who I knew nothing about prior to their set. At every festival there is that band that you have zero expectations of who go from 0 to 60 in their first few riffs. I'm not the only one who felt this. With the kind of stage presence they have - or dominance rather - who wouldn't fall in love with them? Make sure you check them out.
The other band I have to talk about is Billy Talent. I screamed like a little teenage girl to every single lyric from their first two albums. It's not the kind of music I'm into right now, but at 12 my Canadian friend brought back their first album to South Africa and it was all we listened to for years. That being said, I would see them in concert any time they're in town - let alone jump at any chance to photograph them again.
I spent most of my time at RTS backstage manning a photobooth where I met some interesting people and had a few mini adventures. One being my attempt to bribe Kongos with Biltong to come and say hi. You don't need to know much about biltong except that it's a savoury South African dried-meat snack, much like beef jerky (but better). At home, we're pretty crazy about biltong. Being a South African band, I figured they'd be sold when I tweeted them that I had some of the goods backstage. I never got a tweet back, so I figured I'd try and find them to see what was up. Eventually I did find them, right as they were leaving to head off the island and continue their tour.
Turns out all members of Kongos are vegetarian. Of course they are - this has been my luck this summer. It was a good laugh though, and Kongos' crew were pretty happy to take the package off my hands. They tweeted me later saying the crew were delightfully eating it up. It was a successful mission - kind of.
Well, that's all I'm going to share on here. I have some more interesting and juicy stories to tell you, but you'll have to just pull me aside one day and ask me in person.
This isn't where it ends. In the next two months I'll be photographing Squamish Festival and Rifflandia Festival. There will be tonnes more fresh content as well as everything else I've stored in my vault of photos.
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