Riot Fest Denver Day 1 - 8/28/15

Riot Fest was such an incredible experience. I shot a LOT of bands and a lot of photos, so I'm going to break up my blog into three parts, one for each day. This is for day 1, Friday.

The only festival I've ever photographed before this was Warped Tour, which, if you've been to both Warped and Riot Fest, you know there is a completely different feel about Riot Fest (which admittedly, I like quite a bit more). Things are a little more laid back, as there are only 5 stages and at most, only 3 bands playing at somewhat the same time. As a photographer who only needs to make it to the first three songs of a set, it was nice because I rarely had to sacrifice seeing one band for another. I also had the chance to play around with some shooting techniques and take some pictures of the actual festival grounds and some of my friends instead of just the bands.

I'm going to treat this post like my Warped Tour blog and talk a little bit about each band before their photos. Parts 2 and 3 should be up soon! Enjoy!


I had never really heard of or listened to Cayatana before shooting their set at Riot Fest, but they were really good and fun! I didn't really take a ton of photos of them because they were my first shoot of the day and I was eager to go explore the grounds, but I did get some photos I really like!


I was bummed I missed their first three songs, so I had to shoot from the crowd, but thankfully the crowd was small, and right when I got to their stage, the vocalist jumped off the stage and into the crowd. It was awesome!

American Nightmare

Do they really need an introduction? Haha. This was the first band of the day I was SUPER excited to shoot, and I'm really happy with the way my photos turned out, especially with the pretty harsh sunlight that was hitting the stage. 

Speedy Ortiz

These guys were also a lot of fun to shoot. Their vocalist had the cutest outfit on, so I accidentally took a lot of photos of her (sorry not sorry haha) and the light during their set was heavenly. 

The Get Up Kids

I was super excited to shoot these guys too! Again, the light was super pretty during their set because it was around sunset and it made it a lot of fun.

Death Grips

I was really excited to shoot these guys, and they totally lived up to the hype. They were a lot of fun, as was the crowd. The sun was shining in their faces, but I really like how the photos turned out.

The Hotelier

So there was a smaller stage inside of a building on the grounds, which was really cool, because even if people didn't know who was playing, each band pretty much always had people watching because it was hot as hell outside and people took advantage of the indoor stage and bar to cool off. The Hotelier was the first band I shot on this stage over the weekend and the lights were really pretty.

The Airborne Toxic Event

They were one of the bigger names on the bill all day, so there were a lot of fans and a lot of photographers during their set. I got a little distracted and didn't get as many photos as I wanted, but I'm still happy with these!

Cypress Hill

I was actually a little mad while shooting these guys because this older photographer was being a dick to all of the younger photographers right before their set, but apparently my anger fueled me or something because I ended up getting some of my favorite shots of the day of Cypress Hill. There are more photos of them smoking than there are of them singing, but it looked really cool, okay?

Coheed And Cambria

I’ve been dying to shoot Coheed for a long time, so this set was a lot of fun. They were mostly lit by strobes, which can be a pain in the ass, but I really love how my photos turned out. Five years later, and I think I’ve finally mastered the art of shooting strobes!

Ice Cube

It’s Ice Cube. Is there really much else to say? This was totally surreal, and I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked cause I was freaking out, but I love the ones I did get.

I also snapped a few quick photos of the festival grounds this day. I'm absolutely in love with these.