Some would argue working as a journalist at events is crap, I would argue there is no other way to really experience it.
Just think about it, if you go to a festival the script goes a little like this: Rock up, line up and hand over a ticket you paid more than two days wages for. Stand in lines, stand in mud and stand squeezed among people all day. Spend the day bustling in the crowd to see very similar music over and over again. When it’s all done go home, usually a little let down.
Now this is a festival from the bottom. I have never been rich enough to get VIP tickets, buy good festival food (if such a holy grail exists) or not line up for the dunnie.
However; the little piece of laminated plastic you hang around your neck, and most importantly the camera, recorders and notebooks you carry can make the festival a very personal and wondrous experience.
Yes, you have to work, and work hard. But in reward the depth you can get is amazing. Not only do you get to experience the festival as another punter would, your media pass entitles you to walk up to ANYONE and see the festival through their eyes. If they be an artist, a festival goer or an organizer, that little pass is the all access card. Access to people that is.
If you think about it this way: as media you get to experience the festival through many, many people. As a punter you are just you.
A colleague of mine mentioned how an interviewee just ‘opened up to us’. At the start the talent was a little cagey but as the interview went on he started to talk about how he felt, about his home land and maybe even shed a tear. This was the festival through his eyes, real passion. THAT IS THE REAL FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE.
I don’t know how other people feel about this, but I usually feel like I have skimmed over the surface of a festival. Yeah, I’ve seen the bands, had the beer and stood in the crowd but no real depth. I think now I have found that depth.
With journalism I fell like I really experience it.