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Music News

A Night Of Music At The Best Venue In The US

Photo taken by @aldenbonecutter

Red Rocks Amphitheater located in Morrison, Colorado has been, year by year, named the best outdoor venue in the United States. Every year, new shows and experiences are announced for fans from all over the world to come to Colorado and experience what the locals call “Red Rocks Season.” Mid April through September, with a few shows sprinkled in between, Red Rocks brings the best artists and fans to come together in a beautiful venue located at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

Red Rocks is the world’s only naturally occurring acoustic amphitheater has hosted iconic shows such as The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Stevie Nicks and more. The venue brings in dozens of artists from every genre, making it easy to find a show that would work for anyone in your crew. 

Along with the concerts at the venue, there are numerous trails for day hikes, incredible views of the foothills and downtown Denver, as well as “the lots” – gravel parking lots that come to be full mid day of a show for the infamous tailgates. If you have extra time, there’s a museum inside that includes tons of local art and posters from years past of your favorite artists who have played the iconic venue. 

After so many announcements of some of the schedule this year – we’re thrilled to share some shows we’re most excited about! I’m a firm believer that no matter what show you go to here, it will be an incredible time – just for experiencing the venue alone. For a full list of events happening in 2020 – head over to the calendar on their official website: https://www.redrocksonline.com/concerts-events/calendar

Wobble Rocks:

Ganja White Night’s first official headlining show on the rocks, and they’re bringing insane talent to back them up. For two nights this year in April (could be a bit chilly!) we’re going to dance the night away with some of our favorite electronic acts such as Boogie T,  Dirt Monkey, The Widdler and of course, GWN. Playing two nights, the first night will be more of their newer sound and music as well as some artists that share a similar sound. Night two is specifically a throwback set, which long time fans are so excited to hear some of their favorites from back as far as 2010. This is one of the first shows of the season and is sure to bring in lots of excitement and dancing for the summer to come.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise:

After a successful show last year, RKS is scheduled to come back to Red Rocks with Mt. Joy. After night 1 sold out so quickly, they added a second date. With their popularity rising, this will be a great show to catch on the rocks. Rainbow Kitten Surprise has also partnered with PLUS1, donating $1 to every ticket towards securing Equality NC. The weather will be warm, the stars will be out and the music will be great (but aside from the weather this goes for any show you’d catch there!)

Reggae on the Rocks:

A local year-to-year favorite, Reggae on the Rocks is bringing a stacked lineup for this year. Bringing in household names to those who love reggae such as Rebelution, Steel Pulse, Innercircle, and newer names that we’re excited to learn about, this show isn’t one to miss. For two nights this year, you can go experience the good vibes of Reggae on the Rocks. 

Of course there are many shows throughout the year we’re excited about, and this doesn’t even cover most of them. We highly recommend checking out the website and seeing who all is coming! There is truly something for everyone, and it’s a night you won’t forget! Local’s tip: if you’re in the area and the show isn’t sold out yet – head to the Denver Coliseum on Saturdays from 11-3 to grab a ticket without the online fees! 

See you on the rocks!

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Concert Photography Uncategorized

Photographer Interview: MsMoonlightArts

She’s taking the EDM photography scene by storm. Based in New York City, Dumarys Espaillat, under her brand name MsMoonlightArts, travels all over the country to shoot shows and music festivals. I had a lot of questions I wanted to dive into, so without further ado, here’s the interview we did with the incredible concert and festival photographer, MsMoonlightArts.

Tell us how long you’ve been shooting and why you started shooting concerts. I have been shooting for around six years. The way I started shooting was maybe a little bit different than most people. I was living in Puerto Rico and I used to work as a Production Assistant Manager for a company that produced events, mostly EDM events. So after a while (since I had no need to worry about getting a press pass) I started bringing my camera into shows, just for fun. As time went by, I got better at it, until one day the band Capital Cities played a show in Puerto Rico. I managed to capture a nice photo of their trumpeter at the time, Spencer Ludwig.

After the show, a friend encouraged me to show him the photo, which I did, and he loved it and posted it on all his socials and that was the moment when it clicked. The thought of “if he liked my photo maybe others will and I can get hired for it and maybe also travel” came to my mind. So from that moment and on I created my brand, Ms Moonlight Arts (after a high school nickname) and started focusing in improving my photos, setting up goals and finding my style.

Photo: elrow NYC at Avant Gardner, February 2019

What are some of your favorite shots you’ve taken at shows and why?

This shot taken at elrow last year opened a lot of doors for me. This photo was featured in Billboard.com in an article of elrow but it also contributed to me getting my current job. While I freelance in photography, I do have a full-time job where we do marketing for festivals and nightlife events. Besides that, I love how colorful it is, the composition and all the confetti. I think it captures what elrow is, something fun, colorful and crazy.

Photo: Galantis at The Brooklyn Mirage, July 2019

Ever since I started taking photos, I always wanted to have a photo of a moment like this, when people light up their cellphones from the crowd. I think it is such a magical moment for the performers, usually a slow song plays, everybody sings, it is just beautiful!

Fireworks! Who doesn’t love them! I am always looking forward to any pyro shots because they impact so much the way a stage and performers are displayed in a photo.

What’s the hardest part about concert photography?

I would say the times you have to work, while festivals mostly end around midnight, a lot of events I have shoot at end around 4am or so, in certain occasions even later and you have to sometimes go home and edit or edit on site. I have worked some crazy hours, overnights, staying up until like 7am editing after a show. When you do this but you also have a full-time job, sometimes it is not so fun the next day. It does requires a lot of energy to be running around with a heavy backpack sometimes 12+ hours and still edit after or during a show.

What do you love about shooting shows?

The energy, the people and the music. There is no way to describe how awesome it feels walking into a stage or a photo pit full of fans screaming and singing their hearts out! There is a magic to it. Also since I’ve worked in the production side, I know how much hard work it takes to put on a good show. This is why I always love when festivals and/or concerts bring onboard new things to amaze the crowd from lasers, Pyro, Drones, different stages, sound quality, new experiences, performers. It’s just awesome when it is all mixed together.

What advice do you have for concert photographers just starting out?

Always follow your dreams even if you don’t feel you made it yet! There is always improvement, re-evaluate your work, plan your next moves, learn from others and improvise. Doesn’t matter what field you are in. I never thought I would be where I am now, even though I still feel like I have tons of things to learn. Photography has taken me to places I never thought I would visit, it sparked even more of my passion for traveling and besides shooting shows, I have had the chance to work with people and brands that I never thought I would work for. From corporate gigs to fashion, food, with brands such as HBO, J.C. Crew and Dunkin’ Donuts among others.

Check out MsMoonlight Arts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and have a look at her portfolio here.