It’s the best time to film music festivals

Music festivals are among the most energetic and attractive events to film. Inspired crowds, top musicians on the stage and jaw-dropping visual effects create cool environments for capturing moments. If you are energetic enough, working as a videographer for concerts and events is one of the most gratifying creative jobs. Music festivals are growing across the world as tourism increases. In fact, companies like Ultra Music Festival are creating a powerful brand by organizing festivals in different continents.

The budget for graphic teams is also rising as it is seen as a powerful marketing tool. Innovations have arrived as the competition is fierce. Drones bring a wide set of possibilities to the table and social media like Facebook is giving a big importance to 360º photography that requires specific equipment. Teams involved in both live filming and creating footage for promotional videos are becoming larger and more complex. The old school tricks still apply but we are seeing more and more creative ideas with technology that are shaping the industry.

Music Festivals

Photo by Matty Adame

Music festivals are different

It is a long, exhausting party that includes several bands, loads of people and complicated logistics with several stages. Your stamina will be tested. Taking aside the media-only spaces, balance and space are scarce, so learn how to work with that. Finding your way in the middle of the crowd can be extremely difficult. Have your way of escape always in mind so you don’t get stuck for hours with no clear opportunity for good material. Some festivals have special spots for photographers & videographers, in others you need to plan ahead the position that will allow you to shoot freely and don’t disturb any fans.

There are some good patterns to follow if you want to nail the after-movie. Telling a story, finishing strong and giving the video an inspirational sense are the main ones. Audience never gets tired of cool dancing on camera, finding a creative way of showing the myriad of flags in your music festival is also a must. Breaking the rhythm is recommended as these videos tend to be long. Not only with changes of background music but with short comments from the DJs or extremely excited fans that will make the film exciting until the end. In addition, there is a sense of environment and community in good festivals that needs to be reflected, one of the best examples is the Burning Man music festival.

Light is key, as usual

Light is usually scarce and fast-changing in music festivals. The best ones take pride of their lighting and they spend a big budget on it. Multiple light colors and quick movements get combined with fire and dancing elements. This is a challenge for videographers as there are moments of ecstasy when fireworks are used. Night brings new opportunities that should be recognized as such.

Find some time to make friends among the staff and artists. Most of the events’ videographers get jobs based on the relationship they have with the core staff. Moreover, the backstage party is always interesting to film. After-movies are a huge marketing tool, that is why most of them are released after weeks or months of edition for two main reasons: have the best quality in terms of edition and waiting for the best moment to start the hype about next year’s edition.

Music Festivals use fireworks

Photo by Andre Benz

Follow the action

Get to know in advance where the action is. Filming the entrance at the beginning or the main stage during the closing is obvious enough. However, there are certain bands with awesome on stage performances. Doing some research about them will save you time and give you information in advance of what is going to happen.

Tag along with the craziest and best good-looking groups of fans. Audience will surely get reflected on them and you will have some good quality content assured. Look for the costumes that best follow the vibe of the festival, there are always some amazing ones. Reflecting the unique environment of each festival is highly valued by the staff. As competition grows, differentiation is targeted more heavily. Everyone is trying to develop a distinct personality that surely needs to be shown in your footage. One of the music festivals that best does that is the Tomorrowland music festival . This Belgian festival is one of the leaders of the industry and attracts thousands of visitors from across Europe and the world. Moreover, this type of events will bump your online portfolio and increase your professional prestige.



Featured Image by Samuel Zeller


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