A scorcher of a weekend in many ways! It was hot, hot, HOT! The first High Voltage and it certainly rocked. A line up that made my mouth water with bands that I really dig and some I haven’t photographed before, I was stoked.
After collecting my passes and finding my way around the festival I started shooting at Main Stage with The Answer and Gary Moore. I wouldn’t be shooting the Prog stage at all as Planet Loud weren’t too interested in that side of things for their audience. I also shot Orange Gobin, Hammerfall, Cathedral and Saxon.
Mid afternoon, I grabbed some lunch and the 100th bottle of water as the heat was immense. I sat backstage to find the Black Label Society crew preparing the area for the show with fire, confetti and large beach balls with the BLS logo on.
The highlights of Saturday for me were Black Label Society and ZZ Top. I unfortunately missed photographing Heaven & Hell with their tribute to Ronnie James Dio as I was queuing for the photo pit for Black Label Society. I had a bad experience a few years back at their only UK appearance that whole year was at Hard Rock Hell in Wales. I was in the photo pit queue for Terrorizer Magazine – there were press from all over Europe for this one appearance (must have been at least 50 photographers) I was photographer number 6 of the “5 in, 5 out” rule they had. As I was let in the pit I took my camera out and stood in front of Zakk and went to take a picture and got pulled out of the photo pit by security saying that their tour manager at the time had the hump and cancelled all pictures. I was furious. So after that, I wasn’t going to miss their set and waited at the expense of Heaven & Hell.
ZZ Top were great too. The photographers got messed around a bit as we usually get the first 3 songs, but with these we got something random like song 1, 3 and 5. I couldn’t stop grinning while snapping away; I love everything about the sound and image of this band. I went home on my long journey on a high.
There wasn’t any camping at this festival, so it was travelling backwards and forwards both days. That along with the transport system being ruined as they decided to do engineering works that weekend too. Haha! But I still had a smile. Oh and I got given a BLS beach ball to take home with me. I did deflate it, after rolling around the press area with it acting like a loon as I finally took BLS’s pictures. Everyone in the press area nicknamed me the “ball girl” after that.
After a good night’s sleep and charging up my camera I set on my journey again to Victoria Park in London, looking forward to snapping Joe Bonamassa, Clutch, Opeth and Down!
Again another scorching day and by the time I had walked through the park to the first stage which was the Metal Hammer Stage I had already drunk 2 bottles
of water. I hung with Paul & Debs from Ed Stone Rockwear and Merl had worked on a previous Terrorizer interview with me. I think there was an after show in Central the night before so everyone that lived that way was nursing hangovers.
Sunday was more chilled out and quite quiet until mid afternoon when people started filtering in. Clutch got everyone awake and moving about – especially when they played “Mob Goes Wild” I love that song, you can’t help but dance. Opeth chilled everyone out again for the lazy Sunday afternoon, but Down wasn’t having any of it. Phil had almost lost his voice after an impromptu slot on stage with Heaven & Hell the night before. He felt compelled to get up on stage and do his bit for RJD. Down were still on fire though and singing could be heard all the way out of the park when I had to leave to get my train on a Sunday service WITH engineering works.
It was a well attended festival but didn’t feel rammed with bodies, more chilled out than say Download or Sonisphere, which I really liked as they had some real high calibre bands. I would deffo go to and shoot this festival again.