Tag Archives: Festivals

Rhythms Of The World

I regularly cover a number of local music festivals, the largest of which is Rhythms Of The World.  The event takes place at Hitchin Priory and has a capacity of 30,000.

Rhythms Of The World

There are six stages covering a range of musical genres, including the BBC Introducing stage, which together with the Icehouse Stage features the cream, of regional talent.

Amber Run on the BBC Introducing Stage at ROTW 2015
Amber Run on the BBC Introducing Stage

The Main Stage is where the headline acts play whilst the St.Mary’s Stage is focused more on folk and World Music,

The Brand New Heavies on the Main Stage

One of the biggest challenges is the sheer size of the event – two days covering 19 acres is a lot of legwork.

Sukhi Ryatt on the St.Mary's Stage at ROTW 2015
Sukhi Ryatt on the St.Mary’s Stage

Continue reading Rhythms Of The World

Stortford Music Festival

I cover a number of music festivals during the season but most are around the middle or end of Summer, so it was great to be able to cover the Stortford Music Festival over the Mayday bank holiday this year.

The two-day event took place on St.Mary’s School field in Windhill, Bishop’s Stortford and featured three stages, a beer tent, children’s entertainment and the usual selection of festival stalls selling vintage clothes, jewellery, sunglasses, airbrushed tattoos, hair braiding, face painting and more.

As with all festivals I make a point of photographing not only the performers, but the fans, traders, stewards and everyone and everything that makes a successful festival what it is.

Events like these are of course great places to meet people and I always make sure I have an adequate supply of business cards (I come away with as many as I give away).

I always post my festival photos on Facebook and it’s¬†always gratifying to see how much people appreciate my pictures. I also often post my photos on the artists and traders’ own Facebook pages. Links to the Facebook galleries are below.

Stortford Music Festival Day 1
Stortford Music Festival Day 2

Wilkestock 2012

It was great to cover Wilkestock again this year, taking photos of the artists, activities and festivalgoers. This is one of my favourite gigs of the year with lots of opportunities to meet people and and get new likes on my Facebook page.

This year’s festival was a three day event with two stages, a cinema and two dance tents, together with an extended camping area and 360 degree bar. There’s always plenty to photograph at Wilkestock and no shortage of people willing to have their photos taken!

You can find over 300 photos from this year’s event over on my Facebook page or just click on the links below.

Wilkestock Day 1
Wilkestock Day 2
Wilkestock Day 3

If you’d like to find out more about my event photography just pop along to my main website.

Wilkestock: Official Website

Rock At The Castle

I had a great day photographing Rock At The Castle on Sunday. The event is one of the bookends of the Hertford Music Festival, this year marking the start of the three week festival with a line-up of bands that included The Ghost of Samantha, The Huxleys and Suburban Dirts.

Despite a worrying forecast of prolonged showers, the afternoon turned out to be mostly dry and sunny, with just a five minute flurry of rain.

As usual, I cast my lens around to capture the atmosphere both on stage and in the castle grounds. As a sponsor I was also able to take advantage of a backstage pass that allowed me to take shots from the back of the stage as well as in front.

You can either click on the images below to scroll through the gallery or view an on-page slideshow.

I have two more music events to photograph this year – Rockin’ The Car Park at The Farmer’s Boy in Brickendon and the fantastic Wilkestock, which this year is a three day event (after which I’ll probably need a few days off!).

To find out more about my event photography services just visit www.steve.beeston.co.uk/event-photography.asp.

Music Festival Sponsorship

I’m delighted to be sponsoring Hertford Music Festival for a second year. This is one of two events I sponsor, the other being Run For Their Lives, a 10K charity fun run. As part of both events I provide photographic services, both on the day and for promotional materials in the weeks leading up to the events.

On Saturday I met up with Festival organiser Kev Saunders at Rigsby’s guest house and restaurant in St.Andrew’s Street, Hertford. The business is the festival’s main sponsor and the brief was to shoot some promotional material featuring some of those involved with the festival using the location and branding as a backdrop.

Left to right: Nigel Grint, owner of Rigsby’s, festival organiser Kev Saunders and Matt Cass, logo designer.

Every job comes with its opportunities and challenges and this was no different. On the plus side we had an interesting location, accessible branding and good weather. On the downside we had the combination of bright sunlight and shadow.

From left:bookings & event co-ordinator Natalie Aylott, Mayor Jane Sartin,
Kev Saunders and Verna Akers of band Wasted Rhymes

I took a variety of shots in different locations and these two compositions appear to have worked best.

With bright sunlight you’re always in danger of either shooting into the sun or having your subjects facing it and squinting.

With both of these shots I’ve used Photoshop to adjust the levels, lighten the shadows and add a vignette. In the top picture I’ve also used a high pass filter to add local contrast after lightening the shadows, which has given it an almost stylised look.

Hertford Music Festival opens on Sunday 6th August with Rock At The Castle and runs for three weeks until the Musical Mystery Tour on Sunday 26th August.

www.hertfordmusicfestival.co.uk
www.hertford-guesthouse.co.uk

Wilkestock 2011

I spent last weekend covering Wilkestock, a two-day boutique festival that takes place deep in the Hertfordshire countryside. The event features a main stage with live music, a dance tent, chill-out teepees, the Wilkestock Lodge bar area and a campsite.

Having attended the festival last least I was pretty clear about what I wanted to achieve in covering the event and the challenges. It’s about capturing the performances, the audience and the setting, both on and around the stage as well as the wider environment.

Weatherwise the festival was gifted with warm sunny weather and with a southwesterly facing stage, lighting during the day was not going to be a problem. The layout of the stage area also makes it easy to get near the front, so a 55-200mm zoom lens was perfectly adequate.

Having once been a drummer in a couple of bands I always try and get a few shots of the man (or woman) at the back. Whilst angles can always be a bit tricky here but I was happy with what was able to achieve.

The audience at Wilkestock is predominantly young and more than happy to demonstarte how much of a good time they’re having. I frequently had people coming up to me asking if I would take their photos.

As daylight fell the lighting conditions on stage changed of course, as daylight was replaced by stage lighting. The strong colours can sometimes be hard to catch and it’s best at this point to disable AWB (Auto White Balance) and choose a suitable setting. I find that either tungsten or cloudy setting works just fine.

As well as shots close to the stage I also got some very good pictures further back, showing the audience and wider stage environment.

For many of the evening shots I used a fast f1.8 lens, although this is only suitable for front-on shots. Given the narrow depth of field at the wider aperture it’s not suitable for shots from the side of the stage unless you can closely crop the image, which of course depends on the suitability of the composition.

I took over 1500 images at Wilkestock and posted over 200 on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/stevebeestonphotography. There are two galleries – Gallery 1 and Gallery 2.

Rockin’ The Car Park

The Farmer’s Boy in Brickendon staged a charity festival in their car park at the weekend. This was the third year that the public house have held the event, which features local bands, real ale and a hog roast.

The bands perform on the trailer of an articulated lorry, kitted out with rudimentary lighting, amps and monitors. Whilst the set-up allows for some good angles the lighting can be a bit tricky, especially towards the end of the day.

Another downside of the staging is that the backdrop can be quite ugly. No amount of bokeh is going to hide an unpleasant background so close behind a performer. However, this isn’t a problem with closely cropped shots such as the one below.

Opportunities to capture a whole band are also limited by the angles and staging, given the low height of the trailer.

Despite the limitations there are opportunities for plenty of good shots at such events, not to mention the great music.

Rockin’ The Car Park is held in aid of the NSCPP.

If you’d like to know more about the event photography services I offer, please visit www.stevebeeston.co.uk//event-photography.asp.

Rock At The Castle

Just finished post-production work on Rock At The Castle, Hertford’s annual open-air music festival. Despite a couple of showers the event was well attended and much enjoyed by everyone.

As well as live music on two stages, there was also plenty of food and drink, facepainting, clothes & jewellery, inflatable gladiator jousting and the ubiquitous bouncy castle.

Popular acts this year included the amazing human beatbox Dee Sharp and Juan Zelada, who’s current single Breakfast At Spitalfields was recently BBC Radio 2’s Record Of The Week.

You can find more photos on my Facebook page.

Hertford Music Festival

As a sponsor of Hertford Music Festival, I am providing photographic services for the five week event, covering the opening Musical Mystery Tour, through other performances up to the highlight of the festival, Rock At The Castle in August.

The Musical Mystery Tour sees over a hundred musicians performing at various venues around the town centre, with the centre of activity outside The White Hart in Salisbury Square.

Continue reading Hertford Music Festival

Festival Roundup

During the Summer I attended a number of local music festivals, including The Westmill Farm Festival, Bramfield Music and Beer Festival and Wilkestock.

I love photographing festivals. When you’re right up at the front the music completely surrounds you and the energy levels are fantastic. It’s great to be able to capture some of that atmosphere and the energy of the musicians.

The Bodells' Credence Pym

As well as the performers I also like to focus on the audience. There are some great shots to be had of people enjoying themselves. If they know you’re taking photos of them they will often be keen to let you know just how much fun they’re having!

Most local festivals feature a couple of stages so there is rarely any let-up in the workload. No sooner has one band finished their set on one stage than another starts on the second stage. Often, the smaller stage will feature solo or acoustic acts, who fill in between the main bands.

Christina Novelli

The long Summer days also ensure that there is plenty of light well into the evening, although as the sun sets, the limitations of the lighting rig can present it’s challenges. This was not an issue at Wilkestock where organisers invested in a highly sophisticated lighting operation.

Luckily the weather was good at for all the festivals, with only The Westmill Farm Festival suffering a couple of torrential downpours, although they were shortlived. The showers however were a gift to the beer tent, where demand increased dramatically.

 

The Bramfield Music and Beer Festival takes place annually on Bramfield Village Green and is organised by The Grandison.

Westmill Farm Festival takes place over two days at Westmill Farm just north of Ware.

Wilkestock is organised by Tom and Ollie Wilkes and takes place in their back garden at Old Hall, just south of Stevenage.