Boardmasters - Fistral Beach

August 6, 2015

I've been lucky enough to photograph Boardmasters Festival in Newquay! Boardmasters Festival basically splits into two areas - the music festival at Watergate Bay and the surf festival at Fistral Beach. I will go over my time at Fistral Beach in this blog post.


A lot more than a little bit of surfing goes on at Fistral Beach. The Wednesday and Thursday are home to what they call "beach sessions" where the likes of Deaf Havana and Gentlemen's Dub Club performed, plus many more acts in the daytime. Boardmasters host their very own bmx and skate contents, as well as the highly anticipated surf contents. These span whole five days so there is a lot to keep you busy!


The Wednesday morning involved looking out for the sponsor's logos, happy people and potential "artsy" photos. I tried my hand at a bit of surf photography to, but the wet weather and desperate need for a wee didn't allow for great results. The rain blew over by evening time so I managed to get my camera out with confidence, long enough to get a few shots like the one below.



The sun started to set, the bands got ready and the music started to play. I was excited for Deaf Havana after I previously saw them in Falmouth, but the two support acts were also right up my street. First to perform was Black Foxxes - a rock band from Exeter. 



Second to perform was Jaja Ok who actually have a much smaller following and who are apparently Swedish. Although the crowd was fairly big, I don't think they were quite as hyped for the music that day as they were on the Thursday and you can clearly see this in my video above.



Deaf Havana entered the stage to a respectable cheer from the crowd. Honestly, I was a little disappointed with the band's presence on stage. I don't think it takes much to show your appreciation to the crowd. Saying that, I didn't stay for long and the overall performance that I got to watch was very good. I felt somewhat sorry for the fans in the front row because they had to deal with the photographers restricting their view. In some ways, I am glad that we only had three songs in the pit - so those in the front row wouldn't start throwing drinks at us (I genuinely fear that) and because you've photographed almost all there is to photograph by that point.



The Thursday morning consisted of enjoying the nicer weather and photographing some of the skating and bmxing. For me, this proved to be a bit more enjoyable than the surfing... Plus, I could get a tan! What I was able to watch definitely wasn't at the level it was during the finals, but being up close and personal made it ten times better. At times, I got nervous over other photographers being a nuisance to the riders, but I was having a great day and loving the access!




My next mission was to get photos of people with an Instagram cardboard cut out. I admired the idea and thought that it was genius marketing! Although, not everyone seemed to like the idea as much as me and seemed too shy (or too cool) to have their photo taken. Two new photographer friends and I did a few laps of the area until we lost hope of getting any more photos. Next on the to do list was to spend some spare time going through photos in the office space provided by the marketing team. This went on for about an hour, until the beach sessions started and the camera came out of the bag again. First to play was Land of the Giants who do a lot of local gigs and who's name I hear quite often. They completely stole the show!




Second to perform was Gentlemen's Dub Club who sounded great, but didn't have nearly as much fun as Land of the Giants. The lighting was sort of atmospheric for the crowd but no good for us photographers. Also to put on a show was Norman Jay. I had never heard of him before but he seems to be quite the legend. I checked out his DJ set but it wasn't my cup of tea so I decided to head home to my bed.


Before I got the chance to walk the fair distance to my car parked in Newquay, I heard their was something worth getting some shots of on the beach. A crowd was circled around a decent fire where they could all over hear the electronic dance music next door. It was a friendly environment, which could've been a great end to a fantastic day if I wasn't already set on going home to bed. If I had just arrived 10 minutes earlier, I think I could've got an even better sky for the photo.




Related Links and Blog Posts:

Music & Events Portfolio   |   Boardmasters - Watergate Bay


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