Was entering a music photography competition today and came across one of my favourite photo’s I’ve ever taken. It’s not a technically perfect photo but the moment, story behind it and emotion captured is why its one of my favourites of all time. Here it is below.
February 26th, 2012. Soundwave festival.
A hot/humid summers day in Sydney for Soundwave festival. Limp Bizkit is due to play. Limp Bizkit hadn’t played in Australia for 11 years after a very controversial Big Day Out Festival in 2001.
During a 2001 tour of Australia at the Big Day Out festival in Sydney, fans rushed the stage in the mosh pit, and teenager Jessica Michalik died of asphyxiation. In court, Durst testified he had warned the concert’s organizers Aaron Jackson, Will Pearce and Amar Tailor and promoter Vivian Lees of the potential dangers of such minimal security. After viewing videotapes and hearing witness testimony, however, the coroner said it was evident that the density of the crowd was dangerous at the time Limp Bizkit took the stage, stating that Fred Durst should have acted more responsibly when the problem became apparent. Durst stated that he was “emotionally scarred” because of the teenager’s death.
Although there was an investigation, the details of what exactly happened behind the scenes were never all too clear or general knowledge amongst the public.
Enter Limp Bizkit playing Soundwave in 2012. 30,000 + people packed into the main stadium. Alot of the video’s I have attached will help capture the emotion of the moment.
The last time they played in Australia was still on alot of people minds and the media pit and front of stage was completely shut down. There was not alot of police presence during the day but the front of stage was packed with police and security as soon as Limp Bizkit were due to take the stage. I was shooting from the mosh pit about 25m from the front of stage in the crowd since they had banned anyone from the media pit.
After powering through their set and whipping the crowd into a frenzy, about mid way through their set they stopped the music.
Front man Fred Durst changed the energy completely by breaking into a heart felt and emotionally charged tribute speech about the last time they were in Australia and Jessica’s death. The whole crowd was silent and staring intently at the stage during the speech. Durst even had the girls Father side of stage to watch it all.
He goes on to explain the real story about that day 11 years ago and how he tried to pull out of the show last minute after telling the promoter it was not safe to go on, but was bullied onto stage by the promoter and police who said there would be a riot if they wouldn’t go on. He goes onto say how it has played on his mind for a long time and ends by revealing a massive banner of the girls name, Jessica, across the entire stage length.
After being taken on an emotional journey for the past 3 minutes, the crowd was ready to explode as Durst cued the next song and dedicated it to Jessica.
Mid way through the song there was a big break/build up that was extended and the whole crowd in the mosh pit all decided to sit down to get ready to explode for the manic chorus. I was sitting down with the crowd and the emotionally charged crowd was hitting fever pitch and as the chorus dropped it was abosulute mayhem with bodies flying every where and the entire crowd jumping in the air. Thats when i snapped my shot.
I’ve realised alot lately that its not always about capturing an epic shot that is stock standard, eg Limp Bizkit standing in front of the banner. Sometimes its about capturing the emotion of the moment and the story behind it.