Festival Friends

The Idea:

In the spring of 2019, I moved to NYC. Nothing more planned than a temporary part time job with Tribeca Film Festival as a tech liaison in the theaters. My passion for music and event photography had run dry as I was flat broke after trying to break into the Nashville scene and a winter in Vermont working a handful of events.I brought along my Fuji Instax camera for a few days at work. It was the only one that could fit in my pocket. Taking a few photographs of my fellow colleagues while working, at festival events and around town, I had started this collection of photos subconsciously. This is where I met my core group of friends. I once heard from a fellow photographer Matt Day, “Take photos of people you care about”. I did just that. 

My naive self at the time thought these festivals and events could be centrally located. New York would provide a home base. Inching my way from production, operation, marketing and taking photos full time in the city. Alas, the consistency I searched for was only wishful thinking. There are only a handful of full time salary positions at each festival. A skeleton of work for 10-11 months of the year. However, we (I) learned this quickly. The lack of stability of work only brought me closer to the people I began to work with. We had each other to explore NYC, share music and films we discovered, and be the ear we desperately needed to get through a long day.

The Process:

The beginning of this book is where I took my first show on the road. Extending my knowledge of the collective soon to be “Festival Friends”. Chronologically from Mill Valley Film Festival to Sundance Film Festival. I brought along my Canon AE-1 and thrift shop find Pentax 70-XL to bring light to the people not seen. The life we lived.

The soft endless beaches of the Marin headlands. Driving to a sponsored hotel and enjoying complimentary wine reception as we discussed work and life. What is next, what’s on the horizon. The stress of the next gig, while enjoying some of the best perks any job could provide. If pleasure had a friend it would be anxiety. Again we had each other to bring us back to the moment.

Road tripping the coast and into the mountains till we met Sundance, my story grew three folds. The largest production, events, and personalities to photograph. Working alongside craftsmen, film makers, photographers, writers, and gig workers. A true misfit of people, we would have never crossed paths if only for this festival. Each and everyone of them having a story I wish I could tell, yet we had this time and place together for the story of this moment. Schlepping 12+ hour days through snow storms that slapped our box trucks. Event parties for guests turned into house parties when lodging is on the festival. Still the same discussions of what’s next and our next move.This bunch allowed me to thrive in this work. I felt comfortable being who I am and what I do. They let me in. Maybe because their story and my story aren’t so different.


This body of work was short lived to its intentional life. These festivals are now less of a skeleton as usual. The life of this work is non-existent for a few years. The life I lived is non existent and so is the same for millions of people. Festival Friends has become more of a time capsule of my life and a period I will never forget.

MT. Jefferson

I moved to NYC about five months ago and the tight quarters are finally sinking in. Everyday, I step outside and automatically feel the brush of a shoulder. Common sense is still at play, but common courtesy is thrown right out the window. The only retreat for most is through coffee in the morning and getting drunk at night. The lack of a physical retreat is replaced with a mental one in the most convenient way. 

I’ve become aware of this as I’ve started to enjoy my night caps maybe a bit too much. A retreat to the woods is where I went. Thanks to good friends, I was able to work on my project, L U R K: A collection of how I see downhill skating in some of the most peaceful places around the US. 

MT. Jefferson Journal 

“Being alone and searching between outlooks often becomes a meditative eye spy. Coming back to reality only to head back to camp. Rolling up to a sun set I haven’t seen in a few months. Putting up the tent and cracking open a few beers.” 

I will be sharing more of this project as I continue to form it.


Landing a gig working Friendly Gathering, I jumped on the opportunity and headed my way up to Vermont. The crew I slowly got to meet over the course of a week were a mix of individuals from construction workers, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs and kids like me traveling and working festivals. There was a family atmosphere as many have worked the festival in years past. Working with the sustainability crew was no different. Once the work was done, decompressing on the back porch of the lodge was essential. Telling stories, running around with sparklers and playing pin the tail on the donkey. Not before chugging champagne, getting spun and then Kris spitting champagne on your face (if being tipsy and dizzy wasn’t disorientating enough). Nevertheless, their hospitality and generosity was a welcome sign to a tight knit group.


Blue Grass, reggae and rock attracted the masses on top of the mountain as their camps sat in the parking lot or askew on the mountain. It rained two days before the event that is placed on top of Mt. Ellen, making a thick fog roll in over the mountain that didn’t damper the spirits. If anything, it created a muddy dance floor for the barefoot which was more than usual for a festival. Kids danced in puddles and down streams as adults jumped across the mud. Once it dried up, many took advantage of the half pipe set up next to the lift. A massive jungle gym like dome covered in canvas sat near for seminars, Q&A’s and concerts. The main stage placed in front of the ski lodge, as the second stage was on the bottom of the slope not far away. Local food trucks lined the walk between stages, tempting those with the smell of stone oven pizza, crepes and broccoli. Yes, the broccoli bar will change your mind on broccoli. As day turned to night and the last set took stage, attendees and staff alike danced and laughed to the stomping music in the mountains. In those moments, we lost track of self to be apart of the experience we helped to create.

greensky bluegrass

greensky bluegrass

birthday celebration




birthday celebration

birthday celebration

bonezone break

bonezone squad


Kevin Morby

Kevin Morby

dance in the rain

Pre Show set up

The Devil Makes Three

Kamasi Washington

Kamasi Washington

Using Format