Download Festival 2013
After a year of working with the Death Metal band Subservience, they got their biggest gig offering to date. An invitation to open and perform live at Download Festival at the boardie take over stage.
There had always been the interest of course however the selection process is somewhat more of a who you know kinda thing. Thanks to many forum talk over the years Jay and the guys had created a presence about himself and for Subservience. They had tried getting on the line up for Bloodstock few times and came close, they would of got there too if it wasn't for a particular person didn't put his ego in front of their talent. Anyway that was all in the past and now this gained them many respect in their achievement on the underground scene.
I remember they found out maybe one month before it was happening. The excitement and anticipation were incredible. I don't think I slept for a few days when I first found out. I couldn't sleep for at least three days before we where due to leave. When we announced it on our social media pages, the response was utterly overwhelming. In my mind they had to maintain the creative momentum going for the build up and lay something in preparation for the follow up. I contacted a couple of local newspapers and told them the story of the guys and a brief history of the festival. I received one response before and kept it from the guys. That was until the newspaper wanted to speak about it more so I had to break the silence and transferred them on to Ryan. He didn't even expect what was to come the following day. A page three full spread for the whole town to discover. Back then I believe nearly every local home got the local paper delivered for free through their front door, it was fantastic!
The festival had come round at a great time. The band had been playing up and down the country and well. Preparations where going great and they were playing tight and connected. It had been interesting seeing them before they went on stage at the festival. They never suffered from nerves or any kind of stage fright but this was different. Of course it was. They had a packed festival tent big enough for a modern circus waiting for them, waiting for them to shred and rip them a new one. Their time had come, and they took to the stage. It was if it was built for them and they had been there all their lives. The dominance and ownership of how they played overwhelmed the place and everyone in it. As they rocked the staged the crowd bounced, the heads bobbed and not one person was static.
For me. It was what I had always dreamed off. I was in the space between the crowd and the stage, my space of creation and fortune. The energy from both the crowd and the band was immense. On one side you have humans giving and expressing their souls and talent and on the other you have thousands feeling and showing it. I will admit I was also overwhelmed by the experience. It took me years to find a group of musicians to give me chance and now I was somewhere I had never been. I think I felt slightly rushed with shooting this high-profile gig. I had managed to borrow a Canon 5D to match my Canon 400d a day before I left. I had my kit lens but managed to hire a zoom lens with whatever money I could scrape together. I was also rushing around trying to film at the same time and manage two other static cameras mounted to the stage. You can look back and say if, but, maybe. But honestly I achieved the best I could with what I had available and I got it done. It was undoubtedly and is still one of the best things I have ever experienced.
I'm super fortunate now I have the equipment and experience to take on music photography to the maximum potential.
The Response was overwhelming. The crowd went crazy, and it was only the first band. Everybody said they should of headlined even both bands which were due to follow. The headliners even cut their set short and left purely because there was barley anyone left in the tent in comparison. The high of it lasted for weeks, and we were floating on clouds we didn't want to come down from. It should have been something to build on, the start of the beginning. It was in one sense. Scott and his partners baby were due. After a few months the band and Jay went separate ways and in this moment the band took a hiatus to compose creative material. I wasn't needed to be around so much and went on to events and photographing for a charity on a weekly basis. I miss it and them of course and i'm eternally grateful to each one of them for the time and rare opportunity they willingly gave me. They are truly inspirational and talented humans.