Yesterday I started hearing some grumblings that the rules being put on photographers and members of the press that got credentialed for the Nateva Festival were overwhelmingly strict and controlling. The Portland Phoenix has a good wrapup of all the issues that they would have with the policies and it was strongly reiterated by more than a few of the photographers that were set up to attend the event.
Thankfully, Frank Chandler got right out in front of this one and sent a personal note to each of the affected parties.
Dear Member of the Press – I want to personally apologize for the Nateva media ‘rules’ that you received from our Media Team yesterday. Unless you have spent some years as a member of the Cuban or North Korean press corps, I expect that you found these ‘rules’ nothing short of insulting. It is astounding to me that we live in an age where everybody has some sort of a camera in their pocket, but we want to control where members of the media go, and what they shoot with their cameras. It almost seems as though we are offering our customers more freedoms with their cameras, than we are offering to the press.
We are juggling a thousand moving pieces as we get closer to the event next week, and this simply got by me. Going forward there will be no release form for you to sign. We invite all members of the press that have been approved by our media team to attend the event, use their media pass as an onsite camping pass to camp in any of our customer approved camping areas. You will be camped in the order that you arrive like any other customer, with any other ticket. You may arrive and camp with any properly ticketed customer that is in your car with you at the time of your arrival. When shooting from areas not accessible to the average customers, such as the security pit, you will be asked to follow the media guidelines as set forth by each individual artist regarding performance pictures. Beyond that you may come and go with your camera, taking any pictures that you please. You own all the pictures that you take and what you do with them is your business. This is America. One of the things that defines us as a country is our belief in the freedom of the press. As a member of the press it is your right to craft a good story, a bad story or no story at all. We appreciate you taking the time to come out to cover our event and we will do everything possible to make that experience a pleasant one for you and your guests.
We look forward to seeing you in Maine next week!
Nateva Festival Promoter
Kudos to Frank for dealing with the situation in a logical, pragmatic way. Restricting photographers might have just been the dumbest thing a brand new festival could have wanted to do, and it definitely seems that this was just a minor hiccup in an otherwise well-planned and managed event. We’ll have photos up from this festival as soon as our crew gets access to the internet come Fourth of July weekend. If you’re at Nateva this year as a fan, please email me and let me know what you’re planning on seeing. If you’re at High Sierra this year (like me), get in touch and we’ll have a beer together!