Getting A Photo/Press Pass For A Music Festival Is A Tough Process!
What does it take to be selected for a press pass at a music festival? There is still a great part of mystery in the process for me. Sure, I understand that res/photo passes are highly coveted, I understand that high traffic websites are the first selected for big festivals like Coachella and the FYF fest, I understand that many festivals already have top notch and famous photographers and couldn’t care less about my small tiny minuscule contribution,… but why is it so hard to get a press/photo pass for medium to small festivals?
I was denied a press/photo pass for this new When We Were Young fest at the Observatory in Orange County, the lineup is great and full of popular artists (Morrissey, Descendents, Cage the Elephant, Fidlar,…) but it’s pricey (GA is $200 for the weekend) and it’s a new festival, so why wouldn’t they want more publicity? It’s happening in less than 2 weeks and it’s not sold out. There are still tickets available for a single day ($100), so it’s not as if the festival was a complete sold-out in advance success already, and it’s on April 8 and 9th, in just 10 days.
Furthermore, the last time the Observatory hosted a festival, the Beach Goth Festival, things didn’t go very well at many levels. First, parking was a nightmare: ‘The lack of easy transit or even helpful signage meant that fans either ponied up $30 to $50 for the few on-site parking spots available (they sold out early afternoon), doubled-back to the O.C. Fairgrounds and took a shuttle to the site or rolled the dice and parked at a nearby condo complex praying to not get towed,’ reported the LA Times… then the organization had many problems: ‘Once inside, almost everything but the main stage was, quite literally, impossible to see’, continued the LA Times, and I am only scratching the surface, I was not there but the whole thing was a disaster, it rained a lot and this ended in a lawsuit. You have to hope the organizers of this new WWWY festival have found a few solutions before hosting a festival in the same location.
I didn’t get one for WWWY but I will continue to apply for media/press/photo passes in the hope some of them will grace me with one. It has happened before and it will happen again.