Guest Blog: Photographing Bonnaroo For Red Bull, Day 3, With Music Photographer Brad Moore

The Front Bottoms perform at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

Day 3 of Bonnaroo started for me around 1:00 p.m. when I arrived on site with the rest of the team. My first set of the day was back at What Stage with The Front Bottoms. Got there early to assess things, luckily because the push that was there the day before was gone. This meant that the whole stage front was free for photographers rather than some of them being relegated to one side of the push.

The Front Bottoms perform at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

You can stake your spot if you wish, but the reality is that everyone will be moving around during the allotted photography time. And if you want to be respected by everyone in the pit, you also show respect by making sure everyone is able to get what they need rather than monopolizing a spot all the time.

The Front Bottoms perform at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

My next scheduled set was a few hours later, so I went back to the production trailer and did a quick edit before grabbing lunch and heading out to take some lifestyle/mood shots.

Attendees enjoy Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

Before leaving the production trailer, my assistant grabbed a few cans of Red Bull so we could give them to attendees who were willing to pose for pictures for us.

Attendees enjoy Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

I rode the ferris wheel to take pictures, but didn’t quite get what I was hoping for. When I got off there were a few people taking selfies in front of the ferris wheel so I asked if they would let me take pictures too. While I was photographing them, this other friend of theirs came over and asked me if I wanted him to lift one of them into the air. “Sure why not?!” was obviously my answer, which resulted in the photo above!

Attendees enjoy Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

The Bonnaroo Fountain at Centeroo is iconic for the festival, so I went there hoping to capture some footage of people cooling off in the midday heat. I climbed onto one of the outer perimeter benches and got my 11-24mm f/4 as close to one of the sprayers as I could and shot a couple sets of shots.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

As I was going back to the production trailer to edit again, I passed by which scene where Rainbow Kitten Surprise was playing. It’s just one of the best band names ever, so I had to take a picture from the back of the crowd.

Joseph performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

After editing, it was time to return to That Tent to photograph Joseph’s set. This trio of sisters gave an absolutely captivating performance!

Joseph performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.
Joseph performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

I really liked the mirrored sunglasses that Natalie wore, so I probably took too many pictures of her!

Joseph performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

Puffs of smoke kept coming out from behind the drummer, so I photographed him until I got a frame where he was perfectly positioned to give separation between him and the darkness behind him.

Future Islands performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

After that, it was time to return to What Stage for Future Islands. Lead singer Samuel T. Herring became known for his passionate and emotional performance, and he lived up to those expectations.

Future Islands performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.
Future Islands performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

I had a few hours between Future Islands and my next performance, so I decided to find other atmospheric photo opportunities, especially since the sunset was near.

Attendees enjoy Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

As I was walking towards the back of the crowd at What Stage, I spotted these two taking selfies and got a quick picture of them.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

I also saw that the sun was starting to set and took some photos of What Stage with that golden light adding lens flare.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

From there, I quickly drove to the Centeroo area near The Other and Jake & Snake’s Christmas Club Barn to take a golden hour crowd shot.

Once I was satisfied with the golden hour photos I had obtained, I went back to the production trailer to edit and upload them before heading to my first set on The Stage. Other. Little did I know I was about to discover my new favorite place to photograph in Bonnaroo!

Matoma performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

Technically, I wasn’t scheduled to photograph the Matoma set, but neither was I scheduled to photograph anything else until 2am. So I accompanied Jeremy Deputat to check out the scene since I hadn’t been there yet.

This stage had a different atmosphere from the others where I had been. Although there were other types of performances here, it was mainly the EDM scene. Everyone was just looking to have fun, even security! While the security at other stops was professional, they were also pretty tough and you could tell when they had had enough. Here, security danced to the music and handed out water to thirsty attendees. Plus, there was a big aisle in the middle of the crowd, which allowed for frames like the one above!

Matoma performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 10, 2017.

I’m a sucker for a good figure, so this was one of my favorite photos.

After Matoma’s set, I still had plenty of time before my next set, so I went back to the production trailer to make sure I was 100% caught up with all my edits and uploads, and double check all my saves.

Marshmello performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

Finally, it was almost 2:00 a.m., so I hopped on a golf cart and headed back to the Other.

(Side note: The Other was the complete opposite of our production trailer, and my first use of a golf cart during the festival was when I accompanied Jeremy for the Matoma set. changed my LIFE once I realized I could do it I kept walking to other destinations but every time I went back to The Other from now on it was on a golf cart).

During the set, I went to the back of the middle aisle and took photos of the stage/crowd for a few minutes.

Marshmello performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

And also on the front to get a closer perspective to the infamous Marshmello helmet.

Marshmello performs at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, USA on June 11, 2017.

I stayed maybe 10-15 minutes and finished because it was so late. I hopped on the golf cart again and headed back to the production trailer to meet my editor and head to the hotel. When we got back, we worked in the lobby so I could do my edit and upload to the Red Bull Content Pool and the Dropbox folder others were pulling footage from before calling it a night around 4:00am.


You can see more of Brad’s work at BMOOREVISUALS.com and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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