Parklife 2013 @ Brisbane Botanic Gardens, 29.09.2012: Part 2

Parklife 2012 @ Botanic Gardens, Saturday 29 September 2012

The Presets were Parklife’s main stage headliners, a somewhat risky proposition given that when the lineup was announced and the tickets went on sale, they had yet to release their third album.  They get a reasonable crowd but The Riverstage is nowhere near as busy as it had been during the afternoon for the likes of Rizzle Kicks and Chiddy Bang.  The whole festival site is a lot quieter during the last couple of hours than during the day so I’m assuming that people were either too wasted and went home, didn’t come or want to stick around for the headliners, or are just all at one of the DJ stages that I didn’t make it to during the day.

It can be tricky photographing The Presets but I really love these photos from today.  If I remember correctly, the last time I photographed them was at Splendour when they played a high stage.  The keyboards and microphones made it impossible to get a clear, unobstructed shot of Julian and Kim’s drum kit was set up on a riser, with the drums and cymbals almost completely blocking any view of him from the photo pit.  The low stage of the Riverstage always helps in maximising the view you have of the performers and also minimises, as much as is possible, the ‘up nose’ angle you normally get at the big festivals.

There’s only 15 minutes between the time that The Presets start and the time that Robyn starts at the other end of the festival site, so there’s no time to sit back, relax and watch the headliners, just a final route march through the crowd to the final act of the day. As with The Presets, I’m really happy with the Robyn photos.  Although I’m often jealous that the photographers down south get the benefit of daylight savings and get the extra light to make their job a lot more easier, at the same time, there’s something about performers playing in the dark, especially when the darkness hides the ugly scaffolding and stage clutter in the shadows.

Overall, Parklife 2012 wasn’t as good as previous years or as good as I had hoped before the line-up was announced.  Photographing dance festivals is all about the live acts, and there seemed to be a lot less than in previous years, with the majority of the live acts relegated to the Atoll Stage.  However, having looked at the timetables from the last couple of years, this seems to be a bit of a false memory as it hasn’t really changed that much, at least not since 2011, although the live acts were spread out across more stages in 2010. Maybe it’s just that the calibre of live acts wasn’t up to the standards of the past couple years.  Either way, here’s hoping for an exciting lineup in 2013.

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