#14FEST in Athens, Ohio 4/16/2016
I had never been to Athens, OH, I've only heard party stories coming out of Ohio University. Therefore, I already knew that #FEST was going to be a great time but, I wasn't expecting it to be THAT wild. Although, my first experience may have been a little unorthodox.
After doing some work with Waka Flocka, I was able to meet some extremely nice and supportive people in Columbus. A great man, named David Beckham, or Simply Beckham (@simplybeckham), if you're hungry, was able to help me get a media pass so I could get some more experience in the field. After showing up to the festival, parking VIP and not only getting a media pass but a guest pass for All Access, I felt immediately in Beckham's debt. When you feed the owners of the festival you're pretty much respected by everyone.
Since Beckham had to go to work and cater the event at about 1pm, that left my friend Kavon Kent and I to mindlessly wander in this overwhelming environment. It was exciting; a collection of people working in the entertainment field all in one place. While enjoying the open bar, I killed my anxious nerves and began talking to some new faces. Everyone that I came across was so kind. I met some blog writers and artist managers from Chicago, one even had the same name as me. I got to finally shake the hands of the men in charge of Prime Social Group, the organization responsible for the event. Lastly, I got to meet a lot of the DJs and artists that made the festival so much fun.
As the sun started to set, I knew I needed to start getting to work. I didn't pull out my camera once until about 7pm that night. I had access to the pit but since I was going up against some serious production companies documenting the event, like Fresh Force Five and the legendary Emad Rashidi (@emadrashidi), I needed an edge.
I didn't exactly have an "in" with one of the headliners, Fetty Wap but I needed to get on that stage to get a decent photograph. A new friend of mine identified Fetty's tour manager, Bob, for me so I kindly introduced myself. After some conversation, he gave me the permission to go up there on the stage with the rest of the crew. The only other photographer allowed on stage was Emad, who was in charger of the whole thing. Armed with my Nikon D3500 (which was a toy by comparison to Emad's equipment), I had only a few songs to get a good shot. Nonetheless, it was exhilarating just to be up on stage. Fetty put on an amazing show and how the crowd hyped the whole time. He didn't keep his fans waiting, he went right to his hits "Trap Queen," "My Way," and "RGF Island." He kept the fan nice and wild as the festival came to a close.
For the rest of the night, I stayed in the pit to capture some photographs of The Chainsmokers and also roamed around the festival looking for something else interesting to capture. Walking to my car, I realized that Dominic, Tyler, Kenny and the rest of the men at PSG really know how to host a party. I want to thank all of the names mentioned for treating me so kindly.