Not sure how to put into words the feeling of being at one of our major outdoor festivals again. It has been a little over 2 years for me. The last outdoor festival I worked at was Ilesoniq back in August 2019. Ilesoniq Redux, a slimmed down version where concert go-ers are set in 500 people “islands”. One stage instead of 3. But hey, who cares. It’s an outdoor Montreal festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau !! People are dancing, everyone is happy just to be. And most of us super stoked that it is not 40C outside.
The fest featured mostly Canadian artists, to keep cross boarder logistics easier. Headliners of the 3 day EDM festival were Deadmau5, Rezz and Loud Luxury. A few internationals were on the bill though. While I wish I could go on and on about the artists, what was the most intense for me was seeing my festival family. I’ve worked every Ilesoniq since it’s inception. You get to know the crew, the security, the staff. The other photographers are like co-workers and friends I haven’t seen in years. The amount of heartfelt hugs from the moment I stepped on the island to meeting some old faces as I was leaving on day 3 were just amazing. Everyone was happy to see everyone.
Photo wise, I had a blast. While things can get redundant with photographing EDM, I find it is my challenge to find different angles and moments to capture. Sure, we could all stay in the middle and get perfectly squared off shots, but what’s the fun in that? From ultra wides, fisheyes to 200mm telephotos, pretty much everything was used. Getting in the crowd for close up wide shots, walking the back rows to find that guy with a horse mask on his friend’s shoulders. I have to admit the first few shows I had some rust to break off. Specially since I now use mirrorless cameras, so it was a switch in thinking (full article to come).
But man… I’d do it all over again next weekend. Wait… I am. It’s Osheaga next weekend!!!