After the hugely successful and record-breaking Infinity Action Arena tour in April, The Minds of 99 headlined 4 Danish festivals this Summer: Jelling Festival, Northside Festival, Tinderbox Festival and Smukfest. I was thrilled to be documenting all 4 festival gigs for Minds, it was of course extra special because for all the festivals, it had been 3 long years since the last one with 2020 and 2021 festivals canceled.
Minds brought a modified version of the huge Infinity Action show to the festivals, including the podiums with scissor lifts, the giant screens and the pyro among other things. I have to say, massive respect to the crew, that is a huge and complex stage setup and it was really mindblowing to see the crew get all of this ready in the very short changeovers (about 60 to 90 minutes) of a festival. On tour, they at least have the whole day to get things ready, to test them, and you have soundcheck with the band to fix any problems. At a festival, no soundcheck with the band and a super tight schedule and deadline. Next time you are at a festival waiting for your favourite band to go on, look up at the stage and send some love to the crews up there that are making magic, actually there will be two crews, one crew is working as fast as possible removing the entire production from the band that just finished their set and the next crew is standing by and then working like mad to setup for their band. Big <3 and respect to the crews!
One thing that is very different in photographing a festival concert compared to say the stage on the Infinity Action tour is the access from the stage to the photo pit. On tour, with Minds’ own open indoor stage, this was super easy and took 10 seconds, so I could move around really quickly. Festivals have this closed sides (I know, necessary because of rain etc) big ugly box of a stage and it means to get off the stage into the pit in front of the stage can mean a fairly long route you have to navigate. It’s the first thing I scout when we arrive, how to get around the stage, off the stage, into the pit and back because it changes from festival to festival and it’s really not something you want to try and figure out when the concert has already started! Having already photographed all 9 concerts on the indoor arena tour, my focus on the festivals was to make pictures that really showed the festival experience, the big crowds at an outdoor stage.
All 4 festivals were a great experience and Minds’ are the best live band in Denmark and demonstrated it at every gig. But my personal favourite of the 4 was definitely Tinderbox festival on 26th of June, and in large part that was simply due to the fact that the concert started just before sunset on a gorgeous – and hot – Danish Summer evening. When you are on an outdoor festival stage, it is just so much nicer to have a bit of light in the sky and not total darkness. With a bit of light you can see the huge crowd and at Tinderbox, every single person on the festival grounds pretty much were at the Minds concert, more than 40,000 people. Light in the sky means I can make my ‘festival’ pictures, being able to see the entire crowd means all the emotions are visible and I think it just energises everyone even more, including the band. Starting the concert just around sunset is definitely my favourite time for outdoor festival stages, it also has the huge benefit of having light for all the behind the scenes pictures before the concert. Once dark, you can hardly see any of the crowd as all the light from the stage disappear fast into the black sky and all the pictures have less of a festival feel to them.
Checkout this amazing picture of the Tinderbox festival by my good friend and legend Morten Rygaard (standing in the biggest possible crane you can rent!), this really shows why a bit of dusk light (not full sunlight!) at outdoor stages is preferable!
Jelling festival looked special too, just because it rained quite a lot and that can look awesome in pictures, I love the random flares from rain on the lens. Finally, both Tinderbox and Jelling had a fairly big catwalk from the stage into the pit which Niels, Anders and Asger would very often use and it’s just super nice to get the band closer to the fans as in the picture above. With festival stages there is often a big gap from the stage to the front row and a catwalk makes a big difference I find, just look at the sea of people going crazy in the panorama above. I really think there should always be a catwalk, bring on the 2023 festival gigs, with catwalks and every concert starting at sunset. Well, I can hope 🙂
The Minds of 99 Summer Festival Tour 2022 – The Gallery
We begin with a few pictures from the production rehearsals, and then we dive into all 4 festivals. All of it was photographed with my trusted setup of 2 x silver FUJIFILM X-T3 cameras, the 16-55mm F2.8 lens and the new 10-24mm F4 wide angle zoom came in really handy for the ultra wide shots. It’s a light weight and compact setup, I really want to carry as little as possible, especially at festivals.
Thank you so much to Denmark’s best band and crew, I can’t wait to see what happens in 2023!