This is a re-post of a blog entry I put up on my old blog after Parklife 2009…
God I love chip tunes, and god I love Crystal Castles’ music. When I first heard they were playing at Capitol, I was pumped to get a media pass, which never happened, ah well. Alice Glass is like an enigma; she doesn’t do interviews, and always covers her face for portraits. I had to take her picture; she was placed on my “list”.
Parklife line up is announced. Crystal Castles. Crystal Castles! I made it my goal to get in with a media organization who could give me access into the pit to shoot them. Networking with and carding every editor I met.
It gets about 2 weeks from the event, and I hear from the connections I’ve made that passes this year are tight and lots of orgs only got one pass, I won’t be getting one.
The day draws closer, and every other photographer I know is getting excited, I’m getting down. I whinge about it on facebook, my blog, twitter. I had a 21st Century public tantrum, (which I might add didn’t work). I asked everyone I knew in the industry if there was any way, which I knew probably wouldn’t happen, as the passes have already been allocated. I get no replies back.
It’s Saturday night, the night before Parklife, as I’m having a couple of quiet drinks with a mate I think to myself “should I just charge up my camera batteries anyway?” So I did, a blind leap of faith, more of hope.
Morning comes, a glorious spring is here! I check twitter and facebook. Everyone can’t contain their excitement on twitter, I pack my camera gear away into my bag… “oh well, it’s a nice day, maybe it might be warm enough for the beach”, I think to myself, trying to not be bitter. But then use twitter to swear through a megaphone. And then I notice… a DM… from an editor… “can you be at Parklife by 2pm?”, “SIR YES SIR!” I reply, “OMFG” I think, as I dance around my bedroom. I get an sms from him saying one of his photographers is sick and there may be a chance of transferring the media pass, don’t get your hopes up yet.
I meet the editor as he is lining up for his media pass. He says his name and shows ID, *click* He’s got his wrist band. The girl in the box office asks my name, the editor tells her I am replacing another photographer of his. “We’ve just radioed that back to head office, we have to see if its OK”
The longest 5 minutes of my life, as I try not to show how anxious I am…
“That’s fine, the pass has been transferred”
I hold up my hand.
“The other one, love”
I raise my hand as I stare blankly, while she clips my media band around my wrist, trying not to grin and laugh. I’m in!!
The rest of the day is spent taking social photos and checking out some of the other acts, until the light starts to fade, Crystal Castles are about to start. “We should probably go get a good spot in the pit guys, CC is going to go off!”
The media pack descends upon the Air Stage. “Nobody is coming in guys, only this guy here”. Says a huge security guard. Referring to another photographer I had met earlier in the day. “What?! Why him? I’m here to shoot Crystal Castles, you not serious that I can’t?”. “Nah mate, this came from the promoters, it’s an artist request”.
What is this? Some perverted emotional rollercoaster, messing with my dreams? I can’t take this.
“What Can I do?” I think, as a sinking feeling comes across me. The whole reason I wanted to be here has been blown out of the water.
For some reason, I decide to wander around the side backstage, wasn’t really thinking about it at the time, I think I was trying to find a spot to sneak in shots… ETHAN KATH, ALICE GLASS. THERE THEY ARE! The band are walking up to the stage.
This is it. You either go up to them, or you never get this chance again in your life. No decision needed to be made. I paced straight toward Ethan.
“Ethan! I love your stuff, you guys rock!”, “Thanks man!” He replies. “I’ve come here to shoot you guys, I missed you when you played at capitol. Security just told me that I’m not allowed to be in the pit, how come you don’t want any media there?”
“Some people have been selling prints of us without letting us know, we don’t like that”
“Well I’m not about that, I just really love your band, and have been wanting to shoot you since I heard about you, here’s my card, my name is Jordan Shields, would it be ok if I shot from side stage for a bit?”
“Yeah, that’s cool”
Ethan walked off to talk to someone else back stage. There she is, Alice Glass, standing next to me. “don’t say anything stupid, idiot” I think to myself. “Hey Alice, can I please get one of those photos where you cover your face?” (somewhat of a meme) “haha”, she laughed, “yeah that’s cool”
Fidget fidget, as I change my camera settings from stage to portrait with flash. “don’t screw this one up” I half mutter under my breath, she hears it, and laughs again, my hands tremble slightly as I raise my camera to my eye.
I have a portrait of Alice Glass, someone on my “list”, it hasn’t sunk in yet.
Ethan comes back and then someone yells out, “You’re on!” to Alice and Ethan, then “who the fuck is he?! “ to me. “I’m with Ethan and Alice” I say back.
He looks at Ethan, Ethan gives the thumbs up, I smile.
The next 15 minutes are a haze of machine gun fire from my SLR. Totally in the zone. Until BAM, someone hits into me. An idiot has rushed the stage. He races towards centre stage then dives off into the crowd. Alice, visibly annoyed starts throwing the drum kit into the crowd. It’s all over. A security guard comes and taps me on the shoulder. “We need a clear stage mate” I thank him, and get a weird look. As I walk down the ramp from back stage I can’t contain my grin as I light a cigarette and feel like just screaming out.
He who dares wins, never take no for an answer, never give up and it’s not over until it’s over. Cliché yes, but anything is possible. Sometimes the rollercoaster takes you to heights you could never imagine.
And the shot…