Blackthorn Virgin

July 29, 2015  •  Leave a Comment
Blackthorn Music Festival

I spent the weekend at Blackthorn Music Festival and these are my ramblings.
If you want any of my photographs send me an email to
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The festival is held at a farm in a beautiful valley with a river running along one edge and surrounded by tree covered hills. 

They have several camping areas from a meadow to a hill top all are spacious with plenty of room for the tents and space for games or lounging around in a morning.
They also have a small separate field next to the river for those Glamping. This has large cream bell tents set up complete with lights.

Along one edge of the main field are the food stalls which include: curries, burgers, pizza, hobo meals, pancakes, Spanish doughnuts. They all stayed open until late and breakfast baps and coffee was on sale for those needing to reset the system in a morning.

A line of tents at the bottom of the main field contained the shopping area with everything from a guitar pick jewellery to goth fashion. The inflatable instruments were also very popular with the rock gods!

A tent adjacent to the meadow stage contained artwork from various artists including a selection from Manksy (still trying to get my hands on one, hint hint). 
The canvases, mugs and T shirts emblazon with "Love" all looked great but also are part of a great project. They are produced by Jay for  charity and he has a really inspirational story. Your homework is to look him up, hear his story, buy a mug, tshirt or canvass and your life will be instantaly improved.

There are also several artists on site sketching the scenery and also the performances. They are very talented and I would love to shoot the same scene they are sketching and compare results.
In the main barn a cartoonist was busy teaching a group of children how to draw cartoons. In the time it took me to take a few shots he had drawn a great cartoon of me. It will soon be on my office wall. Thank you.

I feel that I must give the boys a shout. I was greeted at the gate by a happy helpful member of the security team and this set the tone for the weekend. They even brought a new meaning to high level security as they sat on the raised hey bales to watch the performers crowd.

The large barn contained the bar with a great selection of drinks and the got to have branded glass. The ones at Blackthorn are plastic with a handle and at first glance looked they could have a medical use. The design is actually really good and allows for the glass to be stored in your belt to free hands to take shots. I can also confirm that they are able to hold hot coffee as I left my camping mug at home.

The BMF team are amazing I'm not sure were they kept the vat of red bull but they deserve to sleep for several days solid when the festival is over. They all worked so hard and did an amazing job. Thanks to all. 

Festival goers
This is the friendliest festival I have been to from people making each other brews on the campsite to sitting chatting about music sitting on bales in the sun. Thank to all the great people who were happy to be photographed.

All three stages had great sound for every performance. It is a job that is often forgotten until things go wrong but due to their skill and hard work it all went really well.

I nearly forgotten to mention that there was a little bit of music on over the weekend. The only problem with multiple stages is that you can't see all the acts. 
The main stage is a big stage held in a large barn with bales around the edge to sit or dance on. it is across from the main bar with tables, chair, bean bags etc.
The Meadow stage is held in a held in a cream tent with cushioned beer barrels to sit on. The size and proximity to the performers made this a really intimate venue. 
The Beat stage is held in a blue tent giving it a more club like feel similar to the venues I normally shoot in and nearly as dark!

I can't do justice to all the acts that I watched over the weekend. My advice would be to look them up on the internet as most have videos or songs to check out. Here are a couple of stand out performances:

Logan Stryx is living proof that you should not judge a book by its cover. He has a great voice and sings a beautiful tender song about his son that always brings a lump to the throat. If you were suffering from a hangover he is better than aspirin.

The Mantells are fronted by Tom with brothers Dale and Lewis on guitar and drums. Even Dale breaking the bridge on his guitar couldn't stop them!

Gary Quinn is the sort of singer that men could hate if he wasn't so bloody nice. It was worth turning around  during his set just to watch the ladies and possibly some men, they melted as he talked about his songs with an accent that was smoother than a Baileys over ice. It was easy to hear why he is an award winning singer with clever lyrics and amazing voice. 

Little Sparrow and band showed that are skilled musicians and singers in a great set. I could have sat back and watched them perform for the rest of the day.

The Enemy headlined the main stage on Saturday night and the crowd went wild for them. I was surprised how many songs I knew and the photos may be a bit dodgy as it's hard to keep the camera still while dancing.

JJ Rossa sings and plays a mean guitar while performing an amazing mash up of songs. It was the performance that left you singing for hours after she finished. 

No Hot Ashes are a band that I have seen and shot several times before. They always give it 100 percent and gained  more fans with this performance. Have a listen to Goose on line if you missed it this weekend.

The Clone Roses, Happy Mondaze, The Smiths Ltd filled the barns with classic tunes and great performances on Friday night. It was like having your Cd collection played live (maybe I'm just showing my age).

Millie Manders is what happens when you release talent combined with attitude. A great performance that was just too short. This is one performer that I will defenately but looking out for.

Clint Boon is a legend and played amazing songs that had everyone singing along on Friday night. Also showed what a nice bloke he is taking the time to talk to fans and stand with them for photos. Got home and realised that I took shots all weekend but failed to get one of me with him.

There are also dozens of acts that I caught part of their sets and this showed the amazing amount of musical talent. Live music is far from dead.

Thanks to organisers for inviting me to photograph your festival and making me feel so welcome. 
Big shout to all the performers who entertained me over the weekend.
Huge respect to the BMF team that kept the festival running you deserve your beds.
Cheers to Mr Peeps Manchesters hardest working promoter for telling me about your great festival. Check him out for all things gig wise.

Please check out @loveartuk12 and his project.
Big shout to my brother and sister photographers and please stop being so bloody good!



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