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The List of Music Festival Essentials

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As winter comes to an end, a new season rears its head: music festival season. From here on out, it's just a straight shot through the big multi-day festivals, whether it be Coachella or Bonnaroo or Sasquatch. That's not even thinking about the smaller festivals happening everywhere on college campuses or in major cities. If you've got the financial capabilities, it's a good way to overload on music, but as a quick browse on Yahoo! Answers will show, no one really knows how to go about preparing for them. Having been to two or three festivals myself, I think I'm uniquely capable of providing you with a comprehensive, all-encompassing, five item list of essentials that you will find to be widely unhelpful and kind of passive aggressive. Make sure your printer has ink, because you're going to want to bring this around. 1. A Picture-taking device. I'm sure you have a nice DSLR in your closet, but lets leave the professional equipment for taking sad pictures of trees. If you want to be retro ironic, get a disposable camera. Most of your pictures will turn out blurry with bad lighting, but it will be good for a laugh. If you want to be high tech and inconvenient, just bring an iPad and be that guy. There's nothing convenient about holding a 10 inch board up above your head in a tightly packed crowd to take a picture that could be done on your phone, but at least everyone around you will know you keep up with gadgets. 2. Entertainment options. Let's face it: you'll be lucky if you know half the bands on the bill, and even if you do, you'll know two songs at most. But if you're going with friends, they're likely to have different tastes, and you might be dragged to a show or two that isn't your bag. Instead of making the most of it and dancing to the beat, why not make your displeasure especially noticeable by bringing entertainment? A book to read in the mosh pit, or a game to play by the stage. Turn your back to the band so that they know for sure you don't care for their brand of post-shoegaze glamcore. 3. Protection from other people. You're going to be in a lot of crowds, and that means contact with the unwashed masses. Obviously, no one wants this; that would require being in the moment and letting go of your hang ups and exiting your comfort zone. What if someone is dancing in front of you and also sweating in the 90 degree desert weather? That would be the worst. Bring anything that restricts your movement and protects you from the sticky film of others, like a winter coat, a rain coat, or even a full body fencing suit. Avoid the dance, the thrash and even the sway. Maintain your cleanliness at all cost. 4. Uncomfortable footwear. Probably high heels, whether you are male or female. Why not? It's a challenge, and if fashion is about form over function, surely you can stand 12 hours of standing on grassy fields in stilletos, right? Bonus points for making you taller, which will surely lessen the viewing experience of the short people behind you. 5. Blogging devices. Because concerts these days are less about experiencing the show in its entirety and more about documenting the show for others at a fraction of its live power. Often this means bringing a video camera to record a band's hit single in grainy, low-quality pixelization from a mile away, but try to get creative with new ways to misrepresent a performance. Can you maybe paint a watercolor during a song?

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