• Tonic Music Festival

    So a crazy idea came true yesterday for Steph Langan and Lisa Holland. Organising a music festival to challenge the stigma and discrimination experienced by people who have mental heath problems. Now, I am no expert on this subject but have been lucky enough not to experience mental health problems personally but I can say I have a new found respect and knowledge for it. So when the social network engine started rolling and a I saw a tweet from the organisers looking for help from photographers I could’t say no. My mum was a nurse, and I can remember her saying that she wished mental health problems got the recognition that other illnesses receive. So I could not be happier to be part of the event and what an event it was.

    Things started early at 11.30am and we were off… There were a few issues behind the scenes but these were not noticeable (a part from a few people running around with clipboards. Jules). Things during the day went from strength to strength with the weather providing some late september sunshine for all to enjoy. There were various stalls selling everything from Jewellery to cupcakes and I must admit those cupcakes were awesome. As the bands started to take to the stages the festival really started to buzz. As well as raising awareness for a good cause this festival showcased a whole range of  local musicians. Not often does a band get to play in the same venue that Coldplay and Muse have graced. I was genuinely surprised at the talent on offer from the start right through to the last act Heath:Ward.

    There were also some familiar names sharing the stage with the local acts, namely Mark Morriss from the Bluetones who enchanted the audience with a beautiful acoustic set. On straight after Mark was Mike Joyce, drummer from the Smiths, who delivered a great DJ set; with everyone up dancing away to songs from the Happy Mondays to Rage Against the Machine, quite the eclectic mix. I manage to meet Mike who was an extremely nice guy, very down to earth and supportive of what was going on here. I also found out that Mike enjoys the odd Jager bomb as well…….

    Anyway, now on to some more photography related aspects. I have included a small selection of photos from the day (I have a lot more to go through). Throughout the day I managed to fill up the best part of 30GB of  memory cards, my camera and battery really took a beating. This was the first event that I have been able to really try out my latest lens addition the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 which I was really pleased to see held up well. I was surprised and impressed with the Auto Focus in the low light. Right thats enough of the photography/geek talk and onto the images.

    The Hire Wire Act, aka Robert Coache, gave a great performance coming on after SpaceMonkeyMafia. His Music comes straight from his own experiences and a direct line straight into his mind. This was a very honest performance.

    The High Wire Act
    Set Your Sails
    This leads me on to The Mini Band, a band made up off 9 to 11 year olds. I’ll be honest, when I heard a kids band were coming on I had a preconceived idea of what it would be like, I’ll say I was expecting Pugwall (I hope I am not the only one who knows that reference). But, as they took to the stage and started to play I think most people who haddn’t seen them before (me included) generally stood open mouth at the sheer quality and talent on show. I have included this shot mainly as a bassist. It was brilliant to see the Standard Rock pose taken up. Covers of Metallica, Foo Fighters and Lenny Kravitz went down a storm as did their own music.

    The Stealers

    Kodiak Jack


     Mark Morris

    All in all the day at the Tonic Music Festival was awesome. Thanks Lisa and Steph for letting me be a part of the show. Right I am off for a massage tomorrow before editing the rest of the photos.
    Thanks for reading
    Tom x
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