Not only was it a great excuse to travel to my home state of Florida, but it was also my BIRTHDAY WEEKEND! That’s right, a quarter life crisis and a few summers later, this young man (hey, 27 isn’t THAT old!) happened to find himself milling around the beach and snapping photos in front of some of the nations most respected acts. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of attending a music festival on the beach, no need to worry. Apparently Pensacola has created quite the opportunity to do so. According to what I’ve been told, and with the apparent success of the festival, it seems quite obvious that the city would plan on keeping this around for several more years. I’ll be brutally honest, this isn’t the type of ‘festival’ esque event I’d usually attend.. and paying for a hotel nearby seemed ridiculously out of the question for a brother on a budget. Luckily, there were plenty of places to camp within’ a few miles. Pay sites inside of a state park and free spots on the beach. For the price of the festival, and the distance from Atlanta, I’d be highly tempted to include this into the yearly agenda. Being the first year of the festival, I can imagine that there is only room for improvement.
Plenty of vendors and informational tents were set up and scattered throughout the event, one of the only tents I actually found myself spending time at was the Gulf Coast Recovery Fund information tent.
“Our mission is to engage government, academia, non-profit organizations, and private-sector companies to develop a sustainable strategy and assist in providing economic stability for the entire region with an emphasis on the protection and restoration of coastal ecosystems. By bringing together these stakeholders, we can develop the key elements to provide long-term safety and viability of the region, while promoting resource conversation and a clean energy economy.
The Gulf Recovery Fund will invest in the most promising projects from entities that focus on research, development, and deployment of cleaner energy technologies and alternative fuel sources. The Fund will also focus on long-term sustainable initiatives to restore the Gulf Coast ecosystem. Education and awareness will serve as the cornerstone for the Gulf Recovery Fund’s objectives.”
It’s ideas like this that will actually do this planet some incredible favors I’d like to believe.
It was an honor and a privilege to photograph many of these artists! From reggae riddim, to southern rock, this festival featured some flavors for everyone to indulge and enjoy. .. And if that wasn’t enough, the sand underneath your feet and the cool salty breeze flowing in from the Gulf of Mexico could brighten even the most bi-polar schizophrenics day. No jokes here, I’m pretty sure it’s a standard policy of mine to visit at least one beach festival a year. Pensacola, I’m relying on you to keep this festival around and healthy for the next several years!!! There is only room for improvement and growth! Fair warning to anyone attending next year, the parking situation was pretty ridiculous. Anywhere within a quarter mile or so of the entrance gate was charging $20 a car! Three days of this can add up rather quickly! Plan ahead, take the De Luna trolley bus, ($10, travels across the bridge to the beach, and into town) or do yourself a favor and catch a cab. Enough rambling about this very incredible birthday weekend! On with the photos! Special thanks goto Jade at IdeaWorks, her boyfriend isn’t half that bad of a fellow either.. just ask her
I wasn’t kidding, the festival is held right there on Pensacola Beach!! As if the music wasn’t enough to get you out of the house!
Tan ladies and the refreshing sea breeze may be enough for some people to attend! I sure realized how much I missed the beach when I arrived to Pensacola! No doubt about that!
Can’t forget about the life guards holding it down! I didn’t see any drunks dive head first into the water personally, but I’m quite sure these guys earned their pay throughout the weekend!
RIDICULOUS! There was a small toll to venture out onto the pier, and without a doubt it was entirely worth it! Forever I Love Florida. Photos like this are priceless.
GET READY FOR 311!
STONE TEMPLE PILOTS
Galactic played this year at De Luna as well!
De Luna also featured many other artists I personally was not too interested in photographing. There was everything from Southern Rock to Soulful Jazz. I should have stuck around to take advantage of the opportunity to photograph the man himself, Willy Nelson. Road trips some time require early departures from desirable locations though, so I humbly walked away from De Luna without photos of Willy on my flash card. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again though..
All in all, De Luna Fest was a success, for me anyways. In my mind, I’ve experienced intense moments of awe, as well as the hard realization that I am one year older, with many more ahead of me. I am truly starting to understand what keeps my drive going and the passion alive inside of my heart. It would be foolish to forget about my beginnings as a young child wandering around aimlessly at shows with the sole intent of enjoying what inspired my thoughts and growth as a confused, young punk. This was one of the most wholesome opportunities I’ve ever had to bring that back into my life.. i.e. kind of like the smile I’d get from the one shot out of 20 I took that is just oh so perfect. Thank you De Luna Festival, I will keep my eye on you.
More photos from the festival can be found in the Z-Folio section of the website!