Adventure Bike Rider 2022

July 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

The stream of motorbikes accelerating past me was a clue I was close to Ragley Hall for the ABR Festival. I did feel the odd one out in my car as I joined a line of bikes entering the grounds of the hall. I exchanged my ticket for passes and sticker and drove onto one of the camping areas. Unlike other festivals I have attended there was plenty of space to pitch my home for the weekend. The weekend runs from Thursday to Sunday but due to other commitments I had arrived lunch time on the Friday. I decided to go for a walk and discover what the festival has to offer.

Bikes

So many beautiful bikes, parked by tents, on trailers, on manufacturers stands,  ready to test ride on roads, ready to test ride on trails and classic bikes that had taken on extraordinary adventures.

The mornings see riders book places to ride the wide variety of bikes on either the road or one of the trail routes. A demonstration that speed is not the only determinate of skill was the inch perfect trials area. They had riders attempting a marked course including tight corners on electric trails bikes.

My favourite part of the weekend was watching the bikes take on the expert trail. This included a water splash followed by a muddy hill climb. It was great to watch and photograph and every credit to all the riders that attempted the route. It was also good to see the riders helping each other when one was stuck in the mud or their bike decided to have a sleep. I must also give credit to all the trail marshals who really did work hard keeping the bikers safe and able to enjoy the trails.

There were so many bikes at the manufacturers stands which allowed you to try them for size as well as ask questions and dream of a garage filled with your favourites.

Trade stands

Once in the festival you could be kept busy without spending any additional money or you could spend a small fortune on all the bike parts and riding gear. I was good and only purchased a pair of jeans and small dry bag. The advantage of the festival stalls is being able to chat to the experts and also  try things on you or the bike. If money was no object I would have needed a van to get my purchases home!

Talks

There were presentations within the tents from various riders. It was great to hear their stories and then have the opportunity to ask questions. You will come away wanting to plan and head off on your own adventure. It was noted that most of the presenters stayed for the weekend and were  more than happy to chat about bikes and adventures. Who knew that the Missenden Flyer had such good dance moves!

Music

There was a lovely chilled atmosphere in the tent as the acoustic act played and it was a great place to relax and consider the day. The ABR team member that selected the performers for the main stage did a brilliant job. All the bands played great sets and the crowds joined in singing and dancing.

Food

There is a staggering array of food outlets running from breakfast to evening meal. I dont think there were many continents not covered in the selection on offer. Mention has to go to the caribbean food team who didnt stop dancing during service all night. There are plenty of places to get a brew but the magic teapot is a bit special. Large kettles boil away on the open fire as a group of musicians jam on piano and guitar inside a giant wooden yurt like structure.

People

I met and chatted with so many interesting friendly people over the weekend and all had one thing in common the love of riding bikes. 

Summary

I already have a ticket for next year. I think that says it all.

Huge thanks to the ABR team for allowing me the opportunity to shoot the event and all the riders who smiled as I shot them even when picking their bikes up!


Buckle & Boots

August 16, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Buckle and Boots festival like so many other live events had been on ice due to the Covid pandemic. I was excited to be invited to shoot the festival but did have some reservations due to it being my first time amongst large numbers of people.

I know that the organisers would have taken all the steps possible and knowing how open the venue is I set off to the farm on Thursday night after cleaning my camera and lenses.

As I arrived at the farm after driving through the beautiful country park I recognised the familiar smile and welcome from the security. I put up my festival tent (Tesco Special) and headed to the barn.

The Hancocks and team had transformed the main stage bar area. The bar had moved from the centre of the barn to the full length at the back of the barn and a new seating area to the side of the stage. It was great to see Dave and team setting up the sound and lighting. Having witnesssed the skills of his team at Blackthorn Music Festival I knew that the sound and light would be brilliant.

The festival started with a great acoustic night in the new redesigned barn. It was also a great opportunity to meet up with friends and try to remember how to use my camera.

The Friday and Saturday were a blur of great artists meeting up with friends old and new and exploring the full festival site. I couldnt resist having a go at the axe throwing and at riding the mechanical bull. There were also the opportunity to seriously damage your credit card on clothing, boots and accessories. The boots were stunning and I was very tempted.

The food stalls have always been good at previous events and excelled at this event. The choice for vegetarians has also has grown with plenty of options from the various stalls.

The performances both in the paddock tent and on the main stage were simply brilliant. I recognised a few names from previous festivals and also from the awards night I photographed. A lot of credit must go to the organising team for such a brilliant line up under the difficult circumstances and restriction on travel. It was also great that artists had come from overseas to perform at the festival and the crowd left them in no doubt how much their sets were enjoyed.

On Sunday morning I attended the church service with Lynn Boyle and musician friends. The service included some lovely music and heart felt service by Lynn. Im not ashamed to admit to shedding a tear as it really hit home as I lost my dad in February. I challenge anyone to listen to Jade Halliwell sing Telephone and not be moved.

My favorite set of photos are titled 'Beautiful People' and are photographs of the people who attended the weekend. There were so many lovely people who I met over the weekend and it was great seeing people enjoying themselves.

I would like to thank the Hancock family for inviting me to photograph the festival and providing a lot of laughs, my fellow photographers for their company advice and encouragement, the artists for sharing their talent and especially all the beautiful people for allowing me to capture their moments at the festival.

Hope to see you all soon.

 


Stanley Invites Us Back

May 23, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Its the second night of Lancashire Briefs Monologues part of the Lancashire fringe Festival. I recognise some faces from the previous week but also a lot of new people. The format was the same as the previous week with seven actors performing monologues written by local writers. The layout of the room was the same but with more people standing at the backs of the room as all seats were taken.

 

The stories again were again on a wide variety of subjects and all were brilliantly acted. The range of topics included death, crime, age and more. Im not giving away details of the stories as Im sure they will be read and performed many more times. 

Again the capacity crowd were enchanted by each performance and were moved by the portrail of the characters. A lot of credit should be given to the writers and performers for a very entertaining evening. 

Thanks to Garry for the invitation to shoot. He is also responcible for this amazing 10 day festival.

The Stanley Arms were again great hosts for the evening.


Not lost just not where I should be

May 23, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I had the opportunity to take a couple of shots of an orienteering competition organised by Pendle Forest Orienteering club. The club was held at Brun valley in Burnley.

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There were two competitions on the day a junior and senior event. 

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The event was really well organised and fascinating to watch. The routes includes hard short climbs, made paths, woodland, parks and some very wet ground.

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All the competitors seemed to really enjoy the event and had a great morning.

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Jess Kemp at Deaf Institute

December 29, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Its happened twice and must therefore be a tradition. The Jess Kemp Christmas Gig. 

Due to the popularity of the night it had to be moved to a larger venue. Thankfully that venue was the Deaf Institute which is one of my favourite venues. 

While waiting for the music to start I looked around the bar and recognised a lot of faces. The kemp family and friends were out in force. I also noticed the main man of Manchester gig photography Trust a Fox not only is he a great photographer he is also a top man. 

The night started with Evie who sang and played keys beautifully, the already full room feel silent as her voice floated across the room. What an amazing set really looking forward to seeing her perform again in future.

Jordan Drinkwater was next up to face the crowd. He played guitar and was accompanied throughout his set. The set was great with a cover of the best Christmas song ever written. Jordan is all over social media and well worth looking up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The stage fills with the band and then Jess takes her position centre stage. The set included many of the classics that Fans of Jess would recognise, Vondel Park, two coins and Camden. As well as some newer tracks. The band sounded great and really added depth to the songs. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I special mention has to go to Sam his playing was incredible and he never fails to impress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Deaf Institute for the hospitality

Thanks to Kemp family and friends for tolerating me getting in the way.

Big thanks to Jess for the invite and great night of music.

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