Gig Review – Taylor Swift, British Summertime Festival, Hyde Park, 27 June 2015

Taylor Swift, British Summertime Festival, Hyde Park, 27 June 2015Much has been written in the last week to ten days about the hideous ‘copyright grab’ contract that Taylor Swift’s management impose on photographers in exchange for a photo pass. I won’t repeat it here, but suffice to say, despite worldwide media attention generated by Jason Sheldon’s fabulously articulated open letter, that contract was alive and kicking for those lucky or unlucky enough (delete as appropriate) to be presented with it.

To add insult to injury, apparently, photographers were given one minute each of two songs, from the end of what was I have to say the longest concert runway I’ve ever seen – she could have practically landed her private jet on it.

Despite having a commission from a national newspaper, I wasn’t actually given the choice of reviewing the contract as I was not accredited. Two small websites were though…boggles the mind. Anyway, I was interested in seeing what all the fuss is about. I assume I’ll never get accredited for a Taylor Swift concert anyway, so after Ellie Goulding’s barnstorming set, I headed in to the crowd to see what a Taylor Swift concert has to offer.

Well, that runway took off! It raised up in to the air and rotated through 90 degrees over the crowd and was quite a magnificent sight. I’m not sure Taylor Swift thought I was a magnificent sight when she looked straight down my lens as I took this shot though, but at least I didn’t have to sign my rights away to take it. And no, tempting though it might be, I have no intention of filing my shots with agencies for commercial gain. Two wrongs don’t make a right. By the time she was on stage I was just another punter in the crowd. I’ve seen what all the fuss is about now, and until her management back down and come up with a more equitable contract for freelance photographers, I have no interest in photographing her officially.