“Release the Crowd” Book Set For Launch December 2016


Release date: 9th December 2016

Release The Crowds
Music festivals are a phenomenon across the globe. In the UK it was estimated that 14 million people were planning to attend festivals in 2015 – with three in ten of these saying they will look to attend more than one. A rough estimate would say UK festivalgoers will spend around £2.3 billion on   entrance alone.
But more than the stats, festivals represent a melting pot of characters and styles, brought together by their passion for music. Music and society have always been intimately related. They are a rite of passage for many people – just one day can create memories that will last long after the stages are dismantled and the bands move on. And within the music festival scene none garner the loyalty more than rock festivals. Germany’s Wacken festival is one of the largest metal festivals globally with 80,000 attendees – the festival will usually sell out within two days of going on sale – before the bands are even announced! “Release The Crowd” is a photography book by Australian Photographer Nic Bezzina about music festival crowds. Spanning 5 countries and 9 unique festivals, the book brings together 140 images spanning the experience that is the festival – the funny, the bizarre and the poignant. This project turns the camera away from the bands and captures the emotion of the crowd, that amorphous, vibrating creature with a thousand faces. Revealing both the intensity that comes with letting go, as well as the close communities inside which fans can truly be themselves. The festivals captured include: Wacken (Germany) Download (UK) Sonisphere (UK) Bloodstock (UK) Hellfest (France) Primavera Music (Spain) Big Day Out (AU) Soundwave (AU). For further info – http://releasethecrowd.com/Text: by Nic Bezzina and Toby McCasker, Vice Journalist
Photographs: approx. 80 in tri-tone black and white
Pages: 140
Size: approx. 27.2 x 22.5 cm
Publication date: December 2016
Limited Edition: 2,000 copies
Based in Sydney Australia, Nic Bezzina is a portrait and fine art photographer with a passion for long-term book projects. He is inspired by fringe cultures, experimentation and story telling. In 2011 Nic won the Monster Children photography competition and has been a finalist in various photographic awards including Moran Contemporary Photography Prize, PDN Music Moment, and the HeadOn Portrait Prize.
He has exhibited his work at the State Library of NSW, Sydney Town Hall, and Gaffa gallery. Nic’s work is held in public and private collections including the State Library of NSW, City of Sydney Archives, National Museum of Australia and Libraries throughout Australia.
2015 – Featured Exhibit – Head On Photo Festival
2014 – Capture Mag’s Emerging Photographer of the Year – Documentary
2012 – Recipient Sydney Council Matching Grant
2012 – Semi-Finalist – Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize
2011 – Winner of Music category – Monster Children photography competition
2011 – Finalist – PDN Music Moment Photography Competition
2011 – Recipient Marrickville Council Visual Arts Grants
2011 – Semi-Finalist – HeadOn Portrait Prize
2011 – Finalist – Top Emerging Photographer’s Awards: Portrait and Editorial categories
2010 – Finalist – Australia’s Top Emerging Photographer’s Awards: Portrait and Documentary categories
2010 – Semi-Finalist – NME Music Photography Awards
2010 – Finalist –  Spirit Of Youth Awards (SOYA)
2008 – Winner  – V Raw Rolling Stone Magazine photographer
2015 – Release The Crowd – Gaffa Gallery
2014 – Shopkeepers of Newtown – State Library of NSW
2013 – Portfolio exhibition – Lo-Fi Gallery
2012 – Newtown Shopkeepers – Chrissie Cotter gallery

Selected Group Shows

2015 – Cam Girls – Head On Photo Festival Featured Exhibit
2010 – NME Music Photography Awards, London
2010 – Polymorph Gallery, Sydney
2008 – Prints acquired by the Annandale Hotel
2007 – Three Songs No Flash, China Heights Gallery, Sydney

About Louise Swift

I first went to a gig in 1981, Gillan at Leeds University. I've been a regular gig goer ever since. I haven't kept count of how many gigs I've been to over the intervening years, but it's a lot! My favourite bands are AC/DC then, in no particular order, Anti-Nowhere League, Slaughter and the Dogs, Towers of London and Dirt Box Disco. I tend to like Glam/Punk and rude offensive lyrics, not sure what that says about me but as Animal would say 'So What!' The question was recently put to me - did I write for any online publications? My reply - No, but I'd like to! Planetmosh was suggested and I found myself offering to review Aces High Festival. Easy peasy I thought! Well not quite, if a jobs worth doing it's worth doing well! I had sixteen bands to research. I found I actually enjoyed that and it kept me too busy to be making lunatic comments on Facebook! ;) Then I felt a bit inadequately qualified. I mean, who am I to comment on others, when my musical expertise extends to being able to play a mean Greensleeves on the recorder and a passable Annie's song on the flute! Haven't picked up either instrument for years! What I do have, however, is over 30 years of experience as a gig goer, so I can comment on what I like and what I don't! It's only my opinion and, if I don't like a band it doesn't mean they are bad, just not to my own liking. I admire anyone who has the guts to get up on that stage and have a go!