Looking at this photo, I’m constantly reminded of the time I fucked up.
I’d been booked by a magazine to shoot a 2 day festival they were sponsoring in the Kent countryside. They assigned me the Country & Blues stage.
First day of the festival turned very wet. So wet, that the printed stage times sheet going in and out of my pocket became soggy, ripped, and the ink smudged. I took 5 mins to reorganise myself, enter the stage times on my phone using a scheduler app complete with alarms that would sound in the pocket of my raincoat. Winner.
A closer look at the times meant later in the day there’d be enough time for me to jump in the main stage pit and snap some of those bands too (I like making the most of shooting festivals).
I also decided traipsing back and forth with my camera through the mud was great for my step count, but unnecessary; especially as the Country stage was furthest from the press tent. Staying at my assigned stage and downloading all the images later would be a good move.
Evening came and the skies cleared. Hooray! Ponchos ripped off in celebration, revealing a sea of band tees heading towards main stage, emblazoned with various Scorpions designs from all album era’s.
With enough time to shoot both stage headliners and have a bite to eat, I headed for the most talked about food cart and enjoyed delicious sweet potato fries made with just the right amount of seasoning.
Off to main stage.
There was a technical problem and time moved on. I checked my scheduler app.
Still ok to shoot both headliners.
Scorpions rocked! I left the pit on a high with great photos (they know how to perform) and headed in the direction of the Country stage for the final band of the day.
A couple of people ran past me. They had cameras.
That smile? Yeah, it swiftly left my face.
There was cheering and music. The headliner was on!
How did this happen?
I ran to the photo pit entrance, out of breath, I showed my pass. But wasn’t allowed in. I couldn’t miss this band. He called another guy over who explained ‘we’ve another late photographer’. They shook their heads. ‘You can’t go in, they’ve started the first song’.
I felt sick.
Checking my scheduler app against security’s time sheet, I realised I’d tapped the 3 instead of the 2 , making 21.35 instead of 21.25. My highly organised smugness turned to failure. They went on at 21.30.
I left in tears. How do I explain that I didn’t get pics of the headliner?
Safe to say I haven’t made that mistake again, and the mag were ok about it.
But I really wasn’t.