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This festival built up quite a following in the late 1990s, early 2000s and was one of the events laid on by The Big Chill organisation which specialised in chilled-out relaxed events, as well as running a record label and its own bar in London. The name was really appropriate - there wasn't another festival anywhere that had such a lovely character. Despite having grown to nearly 30,000 capacity from early days via a series of events of 3-5000 capacity in the beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens in Wiltshire, it still managed to maintain a smaller atmosphere and gave artists the chance to appear in front of a live audience without having grown to the size where they were only interested in mainstream headline TV folk.
Sadly, financial difficulties meant that control was eventually taken by Festival Republic, which owns and runs Reading, Leeds and other similar festivals. They succeeded in turning it into just another version of what they already run, altering the market substantially so that it went from chilled and pleasant family-orientated fun to security-thug-heavy fields full of drunk/drugged teenagers roaming from one stage to another to see the newly-invited internationally-famous headline acts that attract that sort of audience. The magic had gone after the middle of the 2000s and I've not been back since 2006. Those who have say they won't be going again as it's a pretty horrendous experience now.
It was nice while it lasted!
I'm notoriously slow at getting my photos up on the web.
1999 & 2001
The 1999 and 2001 photos were very badly scanned on a cheap and grotty scanner but did get up here eventually.
The digital shots of 2002 event (the last to be held at the "Enchanted Garden") were taken on a borrowed medium-resolution camera but are still on someone else's PC with the rest on slide film (but I haven't got a slide scanner so they're not here either)!
Some of the 2003 shots taken on the same digicam are up for perusal but the remaining prints were very disappointing due to a problem during development, which was rather frustrating. (Last time I use them for D&P!) [I also went to the Liverpool session of the iChill launch and have one or two shots taken on Vizualz Steve's camera, here, along with others by him.]
Digital SLRs had finally reached the stage where I was happy to buy one in 2004 so there are about 190 of the best shots of that event from several hundred taken.
In 2005, I was photographing The Big Chill Festival for their website and invited my friend, fellow-photograper and occasional purple person 'Vizualz Steve' along to be my work partner in the project (and to have a good time too, of course, as you'll see!). I took more than 900 shots over a hectic weekend (almost always 'on duty' with this sort of thing) but over 500 of them made it through my initial selection process. When you've finished looking at mine, have a look at Steve's BC05 galleries, here. (I think he'll be adding some more shots in due course.)
Working for Rui again, this time with Simon acting as photo-buddy. Gradually starting to get the pics up after a year of hideous workloads and technical problems. Fortunately, the backups survived!
You can find my pictures HERE. Please don't pinch them for re-use without asking! Thanks.
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