Michael James Murray

photographer | Philadelphia, Pa | mjmurr01(at)gmail.com
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 Danny Brown at Bonnaroo 2014 rocking a vintage Guns N’ Roses tee. Photo by Michael James Murray.
Photo by Michael James Murray. 
Jack White at Bonnaroo 2014. 
Photo by Michael James Murray. Jack White’s show at Bonnaroo 2014 was instantly one of my top 3 shows ever. Special thanks to my friend Andrew for letting me photograph this set. 
There was a lot of talk surrounding Kanye West’s Bonnaroo 2014 performance. One piece I contributed to for Noisey went viral and angry anti-Kanye folks turned the meme of Kanye being a gay fish on the writer himself.
I can only speak from the photo pit experience honestly. I met the other photographers and the Big Hassle escorts 30 minutes before the show in the press area. Then 15 minutes before we were about to go, I got word from one of the publicists that Kanye's mgmt changed up where we would be shooting from. I had photographed Jannelle Monae at the same stage earlier in the day and scoped out where I could potentially be standing for Kanye later that night. But sure enough, giving the ongoing vendetta it seems Kanye has with the media, they put us back at the fucking soundboard roughly 150 yards away. So, basically, if you didn’t have a 400mm lens there was no chance of you getting a decent close up of the chained-faced Yeezus. That was just in theory however, because even with the 400mm lens, and the whole bloody 2 songs that we were allowed to shoot, he was soaked in red backlight, pissing every photographer off for not being able to get any shot but one of the varied red silhouettes. So, as we were leaving the pit and getting closer to stage I made some of the other frames on the fly.
But, it still felt like we were walking onto sacred ground as they escorted the 10 or so photographers approved to shoot the set. They gave everyone piece of neon green tape and stuck them on our shirts to be easily recognized by security. I’m not sure it helped too much. We crossed bridges, got stopped by different security personal at least 4 times, all the while being led by the Bonnaroo ring leader Ken Weinstein from Big Hassle. 


As I mentioned, the frames I made during the first two songs were drenched in red, silhouetted backlight. As I was leaving  the pit, I turned with a 200mm lens to get a few frames like these.
 
Kanye West mid-jump at Bonnaroo. Photo by Michael James Murray.
There was a lot of talk surrounding Kanye West’s Bonnaroo 2014 performance. One piece I contributed to for Noisey went viral and angry anti-Kanye folks turned the meme of Kanye being a gay fish on the writer himself.
I can only speak from the photo pit experience honestly. I met the other photographers and the Big Hassle escorts 30 minutes before the show in the press area. Then 15 minutes before we were about to go, I got word from one of the publicists that Kanye’s mgmt changed up where we would be shooting from. I had photographed Jannelle Monae at the same stage earlier in the day and scoped out where I could potentially be standing for Kanye later that night. But sure enough, giving the ongoing vendetta it seems Kanye has with the media, they put us back at the fucking soundboard roughly 150 yards away. So, basically, if you didn’t have a 400mm lens there was no chance of you getting a decent close up of the chained-faced Yeezus. That was just in theory however, because even with the 400mm lens, and the whole bloody 2 songs that we were allowed to shoot, he was soaked in red backlight, pissing every photographer off for not being able to get any shot but one of the varied red silhouettes. So, as we were leaving the pit and getting closer to stage I made some of the other frames on the fly.
But, it still felt like we were walking onto sacred ground as they escorted the 10 or so photographers approved to shoot the set. They gave everyone piece of neon green tape and stuck them on our shirts to be easily recognized by security. I’m not sure it helped too much. We crossed bridges, got stopped by different security personal at least 4 times, all the while being led by the Bonnaroo ring leader Ken Weinstein from Big Hassle. 


As I mentioned, the frames I made during the first two songs were drenched in red, silhouetted backlight. 
The Legendary Ms Lauryn Hill at Bonnaroo. 
Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches at Bonnaroo.
Lauren Mayberry and Martin Doherty of Chvrches at Bonnaroo.
Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches at Bonnaroo. 
James Blake at Bonnaroo. I wish I could explain how loud the bass was and how difficult it made concentrating in the photo pit. A girl in the front row even asked security if there was any possible way they could turn the bass down. Unfortunately for her that was not going to happen. 
Crowd was super supportive of Disclosure, and, nobody lost a finger. 
Guy Lawrence of Disclosure during Bonnaroo 2014.
Disclosure at Bonnaroo 2014, they played almost at the same time as Kanye and put on a better show. Future headliners. 
Banks at Bonnaroo 2014. 
Banks at Bonnaroo 2014. Was really excited to catch her set considering how much coverage she’s been getting lately.