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June, July, August when the indoor concerts almost disappear and the music diary is consumed by festivals.

This year I have decided to cut back but between a number of corporate shoots and a holiday away I did fit in Hop Farm (which happens to be my favourite). It’s not the biggest, it does not have the biggest names headlining, it’s not enveloped in corporate slogans and sponsorship but it does have a lovely feel and without doubt the best press tent.

Friday started off dry with Billy Ocean warming things up in the mid afternoon.

BILLY OCEAN plays Hop Farm Music Festival , Paddock Wood, Uk

Billy Ocean performs in the sun

After some more funk from George Clinton, Ray Davies took over and played the best festival set I have heard from him in a couple of years;

RAY DAVIES plays Hop Farm Music Festival , Paddock Wood, Uk

Ray Davies

Headlining Friday night was Peter Gabriel and The New Blood Orchestra.

PETER GABRIEL & THE NEW BLOOD ORCHESTRA plays Hop Farm Music Festival , Paddock Wood, Uk

Peter Gabriel

The shock performance for me was Sir Bruce Forsyth. In fact, ask any of the press afterwards and just about all of us were exclaiming his brilliance. Until Suede (the closing act on Sunday), Brucie was most defiantly the hilight.

SIR BRUCE FORSYTH plays Hop Farm Music Festival , Paddock Wood, Uk

Sir Bruce Forsyth

Most of the time the photography pit was limited to 25 photographers which if you count the main periodicals and news agencies should be more than enough. I have heard that a major festival next weekend is limiting the pit to 15 photographers which again should be enough assuming it is the right 15.

In a time where festivals are suffering from poor sales the PR teams really need the best work possible to come out of the pit with the widest possible reach. The problem is at festivals the pit is often overrun with compact camera or iPhone carrying “photographers” (fans) whose photographs will be seen by so few people that they will will not meet the PR needs. No, not every shot produced by the professionals will be published but the quality of the images plus accurate captioning and international distribution should reach a far wider audience.

Rain put in appearance on Sunday but it was only showers with bright sun between..

In the Pink (Wig)

I guess every live event will encounter one or two problems, the worse I witnessed over the weekend was Gilbert O’Sulivan requiring his microphone being replaced after not being able to be heard.

Gilbert O'Sulivan gets a new mic.

Gilbert O'Sulivan gets a new mic.

The weekend finished off with britpop favourites Suede…

Brett Anderson and Suede

What a festival is all about…

Wide panoramic shot of festival goers and atmosphere

Wide panoramic shot of festival goers and atmosphere