In the middle of summer, on a gray January day (notably on January 21st), another festival “Big Day Out” was held here in Auckland. I managed to sneak a many-megapixel camera. I put a film camera on the top of things in my rucksack and sweet-talked the supervisory man whose task was to inspect personal things. I said there was a film a German 50-year-old film camera and a film here in the pocket. IAE, he didn’t notice my black Canon 550D with a small portrait lens, which was on the very bottom of the sack. So I got a chance to shoot.
For readers not to be tired I will divide the posts from the “Big Day Out” into three parts. I will alternate them with stories about my recent rest on a very-very tropical island Rarotonga.
I and my friends prepared for the festival beforehand. We decided that at the age of about thirty we won’t be able to stand there since very morning. So we chose the performers we liked out of the festival list, made up kind of a schedule for ourselves and “moved up” to the festival by 4 pm. A complete list of participants follows. We ‘ve managed to listen to those whose names are highlighted with bold.
Tool, Rammstein, Iggy And The Stooges, M.I.A, John Butler Trio, Grinderman, Sia, Bloody Beetroots Death Crew 77, Wolfmother, Lupe Fiasco, Deftones, Die Antwoord, Birds Of Tokyo, Primal Scream — Screamadelica Live, LCD Soundsystem, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Plan B, Booka Shade (Dj Set), The Naked & Famous, The Jim Jones Revue, Airbourne, Andrew W.K., Crystal Castles (Nz + East Coast), CSS, Ratatat, Kids Of 88, Silent Disco Djs, Wunmi, Reggie Watts, Shihad The General Electric Live, The Greenhornes, Blackmilk, Balloonatic, Red Bacteria Vacuum, Kora, Die! Die! Die!, Bulletproof, I Am Giant, Six 60, Street Chant, Steriogram, The Phoenix Foundation, Bang Bang Eche, Kody & Bic, Aural Trash, Ghost, Mt Eden Dubstep, Dj Meltron, Dj Cxl, Harry The Bastard, Luger Boa, Knives At Noon, Three Houses Down, Homebrew, Computers Want Me Dead, Tommy Ill, Family Cactus, Surf City, Grayson Gilmour, 1995, The Earlybirds, The Unfaithful Ways.
As soon as we came to the stadium area where the festival was held, we met a large group of people dressed in a strange way. I automatically pressed the shutter release. BDO is a tradition for many people and a reason to wear costumes. People around did not care, there was a smell of grass, people smoked right there in the crowd.
Deftons have just finished playing and people are flooding from the scene (out of the picture) to buy food and drinks. As far as there is no admission to BDO for people younger than 15 years old, the drinks are sold in special “runways” but they are to be taken only there, on the spot, because 99% of the festival rest area is alcohol-free.
This year the symbols of the festival have been of samurai-Japanese theme. In the “planked” house in the center of the field, there was a mixer board, cameras and other technical rubbish concealed from view .
If I get it right it is a hipster boy.
Faces and shoulders of those who came to the festival early in the morning were red. The cruel New Zealand sun “works” in any weather.
Honestly speaking, that time I’ve got a feeling that the whole point of the BDO festival is in hanging about, roaming from one stage to another and waiting for one’s friends and acquaintances: next to a stand, near a shop or a toilet. It seems to me that the sun glasses did not suit me that day.
In fact, in New Zealand people smoke not much (smokers are less than 22% of the population). In Russia, 75% of men and 21% of women smoke regularly, it is a kind of weigh control, aha). Cigarettes rolled by smokers are considered to be less dangerous for health. Sure, it is not true, there are even more resins in those do-it-yourself cigarettes.
I had to smile much to people, and show the pictures on the camera screen, and give out calling cards to make people’s reaction to camera milder. Of course, nobody tried to take the camera from me or, for example, to spit t in the lens. Some people simply made very wry faces.
You can imagine what was left from the green grass of the stadium’s rugby field in the rain. One could easily recognize those who had managed to visit both main stages – orange and dark-blue – by their soiled boots and dirty legs (up to the very knees).
Teenagers-hippie are just teenagers-hippie everywhere across the globe. There was time when I, too, wore hair up to the middle of my back and a bandana with smileys.
Children-hippie grow up into such bearded uncles-hippie.
This area was called a “Boiler room”. Electronic guys like M.I.A. played there under the tent which looked more like a circus marquee.
Kiwi DJ at work. It goes without saying that he has got the Mac.
To shoot people in a dark moving crowd was not an easy task, so I had to roam about the periphery because there was enough street lighting.
Hyper-stirring South African electronic guys named Die Antwoord. Their symbol is the kind ghost Casper holding his own log-like penis. They are good guys, watch the video.
Photos of accidental passes-by will help you to get the idea of the Kiwi youth.
They say that more than 50% of local people have tattoos. I have not found any trustworthy statistics on the question so I will not insist on the data.
That guy looks like an actor from the “Social network”, he was standing with an opened mouth all the time so I got the idea that he could not close it physiologically.
As I mentioned above, the waiting was a common way to spend time during the festival “Big Day Out”.
That music-fancier, who is fond of listening to electronic music, is grinning at biting texts of Die Antwood.
A drunken girl (most of participants got drunk before going to the stadium) with a worried face expression is waiting for her friend to come out of the toilet.
A spider man making a joint. It is One of my favorite pictures in the series.
Sun-burnt necks and shoulders.
That unfamiliar guy with a watermelon wrote me after the photos had been published on Facebook, so I sent a full-size photo to him.
A person on the left came there, apparently, in a T-shirt bought at the previous festival BDO. Then Muse and Groove Armada had been the headliners.
Fancy-dress clowns again, as if in protective suits. They ungracefully showed fucks, and dirty-mouthed much, too.
There was such a strong smell of grass in the crowd that many people felt good and free as if of themselves.
A young person in fashionable glasses and with a fashionable haircut. Behind his back, there is a 3-D matrix consisting of little table-tennis balls. There are multi-coloured diodes inside each of the balls. The whole construction, of course, is switched to a computer which creates the light show.
Very brutal Die Antwoord.
Why is it so that if you miss the moment of unexpectedness, people start showing tongues and make faces, Max Lemesh, who shoots the night life of Auckland, can affirm it. It could be such a nice couple!
Positive summer mood.
To be continued with two parts.