To say I am frustrated would be an understatement. I have no problem admitting that there were a handful of tears. I have been working so hard for a couple of months now and it all came crashing down. The Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a lot of photos of bands in a short amount of time. I put in a request for a photo pass a month ago and until this morning had not heard anything back. I figured that while I was waiting I would contact all the bands performing at the festival and ask specifically about them being ok with me photographing backstage. Some of the bands were very excited about Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock, some didn’t mind at all, no one really had any issue at all with me being backstage with a camera. I wasn’t asking for interviews, or posed photo shoots. I made it clear I just wanted to be around and that I would stay out of the way.
There is a big disconnect between what bands believe they have control of and what the festival believes they have control of. Bands say they have no control over backstage access, but at the same time the festival says I have to clear it with the bands because it is not up to them. No one is on the same page as far as who has the power over access. I was told last night that if even one band said no then I could not have access. When I pointed out that they had all said yes, the story changed, it was now the policy that no cameras were allowed backstage.
To be honest, I don’t think a lot of people even read my emails or look at my website or Facebook page to see what it is that I am really doing. What I am doing will not take any time from people, I will not be in the way, and they don’t need to do anything that they wouldn’t already be doing. What takes no effort from the people I am contacting will be a lot of work for me, but I don’t mind, I love what I am trying to do and I love the cause that it will benefit.
So what this boils down to is that if I was told a month ago that they would never grant me access to photograph bands at Punk Rock Bowling, I would not have spent all the time I did contacting all the bands and making the arrangements that I did. What a waste of time and energy.