• Ryan Vestil

What I Enjoy About the Festival Season.

Sadly, the music festival season is over. Another successful year in the books. I can safely say, this was a hell of a year (too many first to even recount). I've been privileged enough to do what I do in such a high level and pace. I've had the privilege to work with amazing artist, musicians and even share the same space with the worlds best photographers. I've also met some amazing people along the way that made this experience ten time better.

As I wrap up 2017, I'm asked by friends every time "Ryan, what was your favorite moment this year as far as music?". As I think of the most perfect answer to that question, I begin to recall all the wonderful, heartfelt and mind blowing performances I've been present for and smile.

Fortress Fest Team, photo by Pooneh Ghana

In reality, it's not the first festival photo team i worked in, it's not seeing Childish Gambino while laying on the grass staring at the New York skyline, it's not the 8th time I've seen or shot Cage the Elephant in a year, or seeing Brian Wilson perform Pet Sounds, or sitting through a life changing set by Roger Waters, or being part of the SXSW photo team, or shooting for Getty/Wire at SXSW, or working with Gibson Guitar, or Anheuser Busch on a couple of projects, or meeting my heroes George Strait, Frank Oz and Buzz Aldrin, or shooting house at 5 venues in San Antonio, or being published, or working with the Spurs organization. Definitely not any of those.

I can unequivocally say that my highlight for the season or any season is being surrounded by my festival family. These are the people, along the way, you meet in passing, but over time you grow to become friends. These are the people you see work their asses off to make a festival function from behind the scenes. These are the writers and photographers that produce the most amazing images and reviews of a band/festival. Some of these photographers, I idolize and look up to. Over time, these friends become family. Year in, year out, it's always these people that I'm around with that bring joy to hectic festival week or weekend in most cases.

I can't wait to do it all over again. I sit here plotting on how I best 2017. Till then, see y'all next year and that's a wrap.

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