You’ve all seen the pictures we’ve been featuring on the Facebook page, but what goes into making each shot? A picture is worth a thousand words, but there is so much that you miss from a festival or a concert by sitting at your desk and scrolling through a photo album. That’s why I’m starting something new on the site. Behind the Lens gives you, our beloved readers, an inside look at what happened before, during, and after a show. From the pre-party to the after-party. From the moment you tilt your head back to take a shot to the hours you spend bent over the porcelain god. The ultimate goal is a more comprehensive festival coverage, with nothing but honest opinions and stories of things that were either hidden from the camera, pictures that were just too crazy to post on Facebook, or snapshots that just need a little further extra explanation.
Sun God Festival at UCSD
A couple weeks ago was my first trip to the Sun God Festival at UCSD. With a sick lineup (HUGE for a college campus in San Diego), some nice cool weather, a press pass in hand, and no shortage of Asian students, I knew it would be a day worth remembering. Damn was that an understatement. Sun God was the BEST festival I’ve ever been to! I can’t thank UCSD’s ASCE enough for throwing one of the most massive college events to end the year with a bang. With three huge stages hosting a wide-range of genres and out-of-this-world talent, I will NOT miss this festival next year. The most amazing thing was how massive the festival was, yet how intimate it felt. You’d think that hundreds to thousands of college students from local colleges would just jumble together, but I couldn’t stop running into people I knew. And when you’re meeting tons of new people your age, but hanging out with your old friends at the same time, you can’t not have a good time.
Before the music came on and the dancing began, we had to pre-game of course (we are college students after all). This is where the dirty girl scouts and a gorilla come in. A “Dirty Girl Scout” is a shot; first you get on your knees and have someone fill your mouth with chocolate syrup, then you have someone pour peppermint schnapps in your mouth, then you swish. Voilá, the taste of a Thin Mint! The only hard part is staying sober enough to take pictures…
More “too weird for Facebook” photos and post-mayhem commentary after the jump!
So as this was all going down in some random person’s apartment, a gorilla walks in. WTF? I took this as a sign; the party had started. We joined forces with the mysterious person clad in the gorilla suit as well as the thousands of other drunk students and began our trek to find the source of the blaring music.
We meandered over to RIMAC field, passing Star Wars characters, pimps, people on stilts, until we finally reached the expansive grass field which was home to this year’s festival (it’s grown steadily in the past few years). Rumor had it that students had buried alcohol in the field the night before, so that once the festival started they could keep the party going. Too bad, I didn’t see anyone digging up a buried stash.
When we descended the stairs and walked across the field, we caught the very end of Ocelot’s set, which definitely got us in the dancing groove. Then NOLD took over, and fed the crowd of the dance stage all the IMMENSE electronic energy they were looking for. Mike Posner threw down a good set, although he played almost exactly what he had done at USD the previous week (and wore the same jacket). Halfway through his set I headed back towards the dance stage to find that Kill the Noise had taken control, and was dropping some brand new dubstep. It wasn’t until the Crystal Castles set that I fully understood the power of drugs. Man, Alice Glass was tripping balls. First of all, the set was only half an hour. Second of all, I couldn’t even understand a word she said. Yikes. Thankfully, the wonderful Ethan Kath (the main songwriter and producer of Crystal Castles) was there to back her up with his DJ skills. Then Wiz Khalifa came on. And it wasn’t until a week after that I realized who I thought was Wiz Khalifa was actually Big Sean. It turns out Big Sean had showed up late and missed his time, so he took Wiz Khalifa’s slot, and pushed back Wiz’s performance about an hour. Oops! Hopefully I’m not the only one who missed that…
The main stage was a photographer’s dream. With over 20 feet in front of the stage to snag some glorious shots, it was an opportunity of a lifetime to shoot Jimmy Eat World (who provided a great break from EDM and sounds just as good as they did when I saw them open for Green Day 6 years ago) and Big Sean. It was always fun bouncing over to the dance stage to catch some crowd energy though (you guys in the front row know how to party).
After Big Sean’s set, I’d been on my feet for over 8 hours. An after-party for this one was out of the question. We were tired. Unfortunately, the UCSD campus is huge, so the walk back to the car took forever (a word to the wise, park as close as you can to a large festival, you won’t regret it later). We had to make one last stop before we cruised back to the USD campus. Thats right, it was time for some Roberto’s #1 breakfast burritos. Egg, cheese, ham, potato, mild salsa. Roberto, you know that simplicity is the key to my heart. That’s all on festival coverage, until EDC.
You stay classy San Diego.
By: Spencer Handly