– Standing in line to pick up my press pass, I met Heather from I Am Fuel, You Are Friends. We had a laugh when I told her I was shooting for Pitchfork and she said she was shooting for Stereogum.
– I was told early on (via Pitchfork) that Big Hassle was offering me a +1 for the festival. I told them that I’d take it, and figured I’d give it to Jess since I am crashing at her place for the weekend. When we got up to the press table, there was no +1 in the envelope. I was going to shrug it off, but then I heard someone say “Chris Vinyard.” My ears perked up because he was the one sending out all the press emails in the days leading up to the festival. So without even thinking I was all, “Hey, Chris, I’m shooting for Pitchfork and they told me you were offering a +1, but there isn’t one in my envelope.” He turned around, grabbed an extra media pass, and handed it to me. Score!
– Lot of scarves. Some capes. No fanny packs…at least not yet.
– Worst layout ever. No easy way to get to the photo pit at the Sutro stage without wading through the crowd. Or cutting through the handicapped viewing platform (yeah, I know), squeezing through the railings and over a chain and then wading through a smaller portion of the crowd. Annoying as all hell. I think I’ve walked at least 10 miles each day just trying to shoot a handful of bands. I now understand why Coachella is where it is – there’s an advantage to a flat, wide-open field.
– Media people get free water. That’s it. No food or other sorts of beverages. Lame.
– Scheduling could be better. Some bands are only offset by 5 or 10 minutes, and considering the obstacles preventing you from getting from one stage to another quickly, that’s not nearly enough time. I completely missed the Black Keys on the first day. Bummer.
– Also met the guy who manages Rogue Wave, Death Cab, and Grizzly Bear. He’s gonna try to work it out so that I can shoot later in Rogue Wave’s set on Sunday, so I can get both them and Rodrigo y Gabriela (offset by only 5 minutes).
– Public transportation is not up to handling the massive amounts of people going to the festival. Watched 3 completely full buses pass by my bus stop yesterday before walking two blocks north (to the Tenderloin – yeah) to catch a different crowded bus. Oh yeah, and then sat next to a tweaky guy who spent the whole ride picking at the scabbed-over track marks on both his arms. Yeesh. In the end, it took me an hour and 45 minutes to get from the Mission to Golden Gate Park. The night before, we walked 2-3 miles looking for an empty bus or cab to take us home before giving up and calling someone to come pick us up at Mel’s Diner.
– Radiohead, Beck, and Tom Petty all had seperate approved photographer lists. We knew about Beck and Radiohead a few days beforehand, which was helpful. The only way I knew about Tom Petty was through word-of-mouth from another photographer. And then no one could track down his publicist until 10 minutes before his set. I feel like the only time I’m not stressed at these festivals is when I’m actually shooting the bands.