Archive for the ‘Festivals and Concerts’ Category

Glastonbury Festival 2013

After a break of three years, we returned to the Glastonbury Festival and it was one of the best ones yet – the weather for the main days was lovely, the sheer quality and variety of entertainment on offer was mind-boggling, and of course many of our fellow revellers made for a great atmosphere throughout.

Musical highlights included Chic (staggeringly good), the Rolling Stones (epic singalongs), First Aid Kit, Goat, Tame Impala, Jagwar Ma, Ondatropica, Molotov Jukebox, Evan Dando, John Fairhurst and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.

Other assorted moments of happiness:

  • Seeing the One Minute Disco in the Theatre Field. Basically a completely innocuous white van pulls up in the middle of a bunch of people, the back shutter rolls up and two men in boiler suits scream out ONE MINUTE DISCO! At which point dance music starts blaring out of the van and people run up to have a boogie. Sure enough, more or less one minute later, the music stops, the back shutter rolls back down again and it’s back o to being just a van, leaving a group of very bemused people.
  • The view from Flagtopia / the top of the Park field either at day or night was simply staggering.
  • Getting into Heaven at Shangri-la and finding not only posh, clean, flush toilets, but also the Snake Pit club, where our eyes were opened by a bondage / dominatrix / pyrotechnic act involving flaming whips and not a lot of clothing.
  • Sunny afternoons getting into the spirit of things. Ondatropica at the West Holts stage, with its Colombian salsa, was just the ticket. And the sun coming out on Sunday just as First Aid Kit sang “Emmylou” got me a tad emotional.
  • Great food from Goan Fish Curry, MeatLiquor (Dead Hippie burger), Anna Mae’s pesto & bacon mac & cheese, Buddha Bowl veggie curry, Grillstock pulled pork bun. Yum.
  • Finding out that my “poo” photo which had been made one of the Amnesty International postcards turned out to be the best-selling one of the festival.

Only “lowlight” was occasional overcrowding and a bit of lairy behaviour in the Pyramid field – but on the whole not much to complain about!

The photos below are just a sample. Many more can be found within my Glastonbury 2013 Flickr Set.

The Green Fields

Goat at the West Holts Stage

Performer at the Avalon Field

Catching up, Shangri-La

Chic at West Holts

Arcadia at Night

Sunny afternoon at the Pyramid Stage

Mayhem in the Crowd for the Rolling Stones

One Minute Disco, Theatre Field

Making Music in the Tipi Field

Damon Albarn gets noticed at the West Holts Stage

Hula Hoop Jesus (AKA Pirate Dan, AKA the Charity Bin Painter), West Holts

The Rocket Diner at Night, Shangri-La

NYC Downlow at Block9

The Temple, The Common

Night View of the Ribbon Tower, the Park, and Glastonbury Festival

Photos from Bestival 2011

September 17, 2011 2 comments

This year’s Bestival (my third visit) had potential to be a washout as the weather forecasts leading up to it were less-than-encouraging (one site saying that Sunday was going to see extended periods of “torrential rain” and 50+ mph wind gusts). In the event it was not quite as bad as all that, and the worst of the weather was saved for the early hours of the last morning, with high winds and rain providing a suitable finale to the festival. We did experience the amusing sight of empty tents blowing and scraping along through the fields, and not a few gazebos flew away into the night.

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We were lucky with the weather, then, and so managed to catch the Cure, Bjork, Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash (epic set), Brian Wilson, the Urban Voodoo Machine, Toots and the Maytals, SBTRKT, Health, and a host of smaller acts dotted around tiny stages that we enjoyed despite not having a clue who they were.

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This year’s fancy dress theme was Rock Stars and Divas, and there were plenty on show beyond the expected Slashes and Beastie Boys crews.

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As usual there were a few quite random acts to see as well, from the “Wall of Death” motorcycle spectacular to the “Lords of Lightning” show featuring two men in chain mail, standing on two huge Tesla coils and fighting – with lightning.

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As usual, there are a few more photos to see over on my Bestival 2011 Flickr set

Photos from Notting Hill Carnival 2011 – Day 2

August 30, 2011 3 comments

After our abridged visit to Carnival on Day 1, we walked down from Queens Park to Notting Hill on Monday psyched up for a full session at Day 2. The mood was slightly subdued by grey skies and unseasonably low temperatures (think 17C) and, I suspect, quite a few hangovers from Day 1. But you can’t stay subdued for long once you get sucked into a mas parade full of exhuberant, brightly attired dancers with ear-to-ear grins. This time we mostly hung around Kensal Road, Golborn Road, Portobello, Westbourne Park and, to finish the day off, Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues where we were treated to a somewhat ramshackle ska set by his band, The Trojans. As usual Day 2 was a bit more crowded and edgy than Day 1, but aside from a handbags-at-dawn flareup at one of the soundsystems we didn’t see any trouble to speak of. Biggest drama of the day was, as usual, where the shortest toilet queues could be found.

Mas Explosion, Golborn Road

Cheeky Mas Dancer, Golborn Road

Gaz Mayall, Gaz's Rockin' Blues

Dude and Dudette

Mas Dancer, Kensal Road

The photo below might be my favourite from Day 2 – two pirates from one of the mas crews did a double-daggering on a giggling bystander right in front of one of London’s finest – and the cop couldn’t help a fit of the giggles as well. (Generally daggering at Carnival is good-natured but I could see how it would get mightily annoying from a female perspective…)

Double-Dagger and Laughing Cop, Kensal Road

That’s enough of Carnival for now, but if you’d like to check out the rest of my photos then head on over to my Notting Hill Carnival 2011 Flickr set.

Photos from Notting Hill Carnival 2011 – Day 1

August 29, 2011 5 comments

With a late-afternoon BBQ to host (and run the grill) our usual foray into Carnival for Children’s Day was necessarily curtailed. The attendance was way down from previous years because of fears that some of the troublemakers from the riots earlier in August would kick off in Carnival. But it was trouble-free from what we could see, and the people who showed up were all on fine form – except for a couple of teenagers who had overindulged and embarrassed themselves. Still, we managed to get a bit of the vibe and got our appetites up to head back down today for some more dancing and, well, lots of eating. Can’t wait for the first jerk chicken of the day. In the meantime, here are some of my photos from Day 1…

Children's Day, Kensal Road

Dubious Wisdom, Kensal Road

Mas Dancer and Trellick Tower, Golborn Road

Mas Band at Westbourne Park

More photos undoubtably will be on their way in the next 24 hours…

My Photos of Bestival 2010

September 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Last weekend I and 50,000 or so other people boarded ferries, hovercraft or other conveyances and set sail for the Isle of Wight, wherein Rob Da Bank's eclectic music-nerd-fest Bestival was in full swing despite reports of possible unsettled weather on the way. This did not deter me nor the other punters, who bravely incorporated wellies into their obligatory fancy dress costumes and sallied forth. Speaking for myself it was a grand time – although I didn't see that many "checklist" bands, the sheer quality of music that pervaded every nook and cranny (and Drambuie bar) of the Bestival site meant that it was one continuous potpourri of fantastic music all weekend. 

But never mind all that, here are some shots I took over the 3 days…

My Carnival photo awarded “Photo of the day (9.2.10)”

I was happy to see one of my photos from the recent Notting Hill Carnival featured on’s “Picture of the Day“.

Photo of the day (9.2.10)

by Meg Nesterov (RSS feed) on Sep 2nd 2010 at 5:00PM


Each year around American Labor Day, the elaborate costumes and street partying associated with pre-Lenten Mardi Gras or Carnival celebrations are taken outside in several cities too cold to parade in February. Brooklyn’s West Indian Day Parade is one of the largest in the world, drawing several million spectators, with a population of local West Indian residents to rival that of the Caribbean. This photo by Flickr user Luke Robinson taken at West London’s Notting Hill Carnival in England (the largest street festival in Europe) captures a father and son who look like they’ve enjoyed the revelry but might be ready to call it a day. With 20 miles of parading, music, and food to cover, it’s no wonder the little boy looks a bit tuckered out. I just hope that’s not a vuvuzela he’s carrying. Other Caribbean Carnival events take place throughout the US, Canada, and UK this fall.

Take any great festival photos? Upload them to our Flickr pool and we just might choose one for another Photo of the Day.


Filed under: Festivals and Events, Photos, Europe, United Kingdom, Photo of the Day, Caribbean


Notting Hill Carnival 2010 in Pictures

This year we once again walked down from our homes in West London and converged upon the riot of colour, sound, taste, and smells (mainly jerk chicken and spliff) of the Notting Hill Carnival. I love Carnival for the experience and the shooting, and I have learned over the years how best to approach it so as to avoid hassle – basically, I stay around the edge of the route and don’t go into big crowds if I can help it. 

Day 1: Sunday August 29th (Children’s Day)
We approached Carnival on Sunday with a mixture of excitement (at the return of Carnival) and trepidation (at the gloomy weather). The weather was mostly cooperative, except for a quite fierce shower that hit in early afternoon. But overall it was not as cold as we had expected and we even managed to get a bit of sunshine here and there. We managed to get into Good Times in the afternoon only by running the extremely-crowded gauntlet of Sancho Panza. Not sure I need to do that again!

Day 2: Monday August 30th (Main Day)
Today there were just two of us walking down from Maida Vale, slightly dazed from a post-Carnival pub session the night before, and we were after a low-key, chilled Carnival experience that was highly dependent on zero hassle. So we basically stayed on the canal edge up by the Trellick Tower and drifted around. But what a day! The sunshine was out in full force and it actually felt like summer. This meant that all the dancers and all of the crowd up this way had giant smiles plastered all over their painted faces, and the Vibe was Good. We hung out by the parade route for some time as the Burrokeet crew stalled out in front of us, and I took the opportunity to get a few closeups of the mas dancers and the crowd. The Burrokeet MC also donated some free beer to us, which I thought was kind. 

As always there are more pictures over at Flickr in my Notting Hill Carnival 2010 photoset…. 

Glastonbury 2010 Pictures: Sunday 27th June

This is my final instalment of photos from the Glastonbury Festival 2010. The Sunday started as another blazing-hot day, but it gradually eased off and by the late afternoon a few welcome clouds brought some relief from the relentless sun. I got back to my gig-going on the main stages and saw a bit of Slash on the Pyramid, Holy F*ck in the John Peel tent, Ray Davies, Faithless and Stevie Wonder on the Pyramid Stage. Oh, and England got bundled out of the World Cup mercilessly. But all in all it was the best weather the festival had seen in years, and Stevie Wonder finishing off the festival made for a fantastic celebration of Glastonbury’s 40th anniversary. 


The full set of my Glastonbury 2010 pictures can be found here, or if you’d like to view them in mini-slideshow version then you can find that below (although some of the pictures want to be bigger than this):


Glastonbury 2010 Pictures: Saturday 26th June

Saturday was rumoured to be the hottest day of the festival, and I had had enough of massive crowds in stifling heat on the Friday. This combined with the fact that there weren't all that many acts on the main stages that I had a burning desire to see, meant that I took a punt on the Saturday and decided just to avoid the main stages entirely and keep to the smaller, out-of-the-way parts of the festival (including some quite bizarre late-night areas) and just follow my nose. Some of the time I was with friends, some of the time alone, and in fact I ended up going off on a little photo journey around the site post-midnight (for the first time ever with a tripod) and manage to snag some shots I had never gotten close to achieving before. I managed to see some pretty cool stuff along the way, and was very thrilled to be able to catch Imelda May's rockabilly act at the Acoustic Stage. It hit just the right note for me. And I saw a lot that made me laugh, including the "Hug a Troll" guys below. 

Final set (Sunday) should be coming up tomorrow evening…

Glastonbury 2010 Pictures: Friday 25th June

My second installment of Glasto 2010 pictures is rather smaller, as I think the heat got to me on the Friday (and the fact it was as bright as blazes and impossible to get good light) and so I didn’t take heaps of pictures. I also elected not to have my SLR with me at night so I relied on the little Canon S90 compact, which I love as a daytime point-and-shoot but hate as a night-time camera. It’s built to take low-light pictures, with a high-sensitivity sensor and a fast F/2.0 lens, but its night-time autofocus is atrociously bad and nearly renders it unusable. But, I digress. I did manage to capture the images below, as well as some more which may be found in the Flickr set here

More to come tomorrow, as I work my way through an epic set of pictures from Saturday day and night… sure to be one or two gooduns in there as that was my designated “Photo Day”….