Honk Fest West was a 3 day festival for bring street music to Seattle. The festival originated in Somerville, MA as a festival for activist street bands and several of the bands playing at Honk Fest West had a progressive message to share with their music.
I only saw Saturday’s performances at Seattle’s Gas Works Park but was treated to several hours of Klezmer, American Folk, and a number of drum lines. Its music I never listen to at home but always enjoy when I go out to see it live. Having a dozen pieces of brass in front of you with girls dancing around the band is such an important part of the street band experience that never comes across on a CD.
Most of the music I’ve shot over the years has been in concert halls or clubs. Shooting outdoors is a challenge as you have to worry about the direction of the sun, the background, and errant hacky-sacks. Even with the additional elements to keep in mind its far more fun as you get to decide how you want the band to visually interact with the environment and the crowds are far livelier.
Attending the Honk Fest was a hugely cathartic experience for me. Most of April and May had been spent looking for work, working obscene hours at my contract position, looking for my own apartment, attending to the logistics of moving from where I was staying with friends on Bainbridge into Seattle, and fighting with work to get the time to do so. Just being outside in the sunshine with bands playing, the trees opening their first leaves of spring, and people dancing around felt like I had finally arrived.