Full disclosure: Sydney snapper Nic Bezzina is a friend of mine. We work together, we play together, I once ordered an unironic spritzer and he’s never let me forget it. So when he bailed to point his lens at the abject mayhem of every major global music festival going, I was OK with it. Over five years he took in 11 fests over five countries, and now he’s putting the results together in a big ol’ photobook that’s currently receiving a whole lot of love via its Kickstarter.
He wants to call it Release the Crowd because no one ever accused him of being abstract. The Internet’s all about this thing right now. Luckily I have heaps of dirt on the guy so he’s agreed to share some of the rawer outtakes. He’s even made some remarks about each one that I had to edit a lot because he’s illiterate. I’m jealous of what you've achieved with your life is what I’m saying, Nic.
Big Day Out Festival, Sydney Australia 2013
50-degree day + corrugated iron wool shed + Death Grips debut Sydney show = a hot sweaty mess of a mind-melting moment.
Future Music Festival, Sydney Australia 2013
I spent most of my time at Future Music taking photos around the foam party stage because the foam adds such a surreal element to the mix.
Hellfest, France 2014
Three babes on a long hard barrel. There’s really not much to say about this photograph other than butt.
Laneway Festival, Sydney 2015
I think the harmonica is such an amazing emotive instrument and this guy was really taking it to another level. Soundtrack was Dune Rats’ "Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana".
Reading Festival, UK 2013
I set myself a side-project at the end of the night to walk among the electronic music crowds. With my camera at chest height and my flash on full power, I captured people lost in the music (and/or their drug of choice).
Sonisphere Festival, UK 2014
Slayer fans are never a dull bunch. I can’t remember if this girl had written ‘Slayer’ on her chest or carved it in with a Stanley knife.
Soundwave Festival, Melbourne Australia 2013
This image makes me smile. This older lady is obviously having a ‘what the fuck have I gotten myself into’ moment, chaperoning her daughter to the front of the pit to watch Korn.
Wacken Open Air, Germany 2013
I find it much more interesting taking photos amongst the action within the mosh. My camera at the time was a battle-ready tank and I treated it as such, wrapped in gaffer tape and with most rubber elements torn or melted off by the sun. Entering these situations without any fear allowed me to capture some pretty intense images.
Download Festival, UK 2014
Nic couldn’t be bothered writing anything for this one so let me tell you, this is a DO. I’d be reaching for those calves with a wrist full of good-times history too.
'Release the Crowd' is schedulled to be published in November 2015.