My family is gearing up for our first of 3 music festivals this summer. The Hillside Festival, which takes place at Guelph Lake, was our favourite for many years. We stopped attending 4 or 5 years ago for a number of reasons, but we’ve decided to give it another shot this year. I give the festival a lot of credit for helping me discover many of my favourite musical artists. I also think it helped inspire my love of photography, as many of my favourite photos were taken at the festival.
To celebrate Hillside’s 30th anniversary, I thought I would share some of my photos from the last 20 or so years.
We attended our first Hillside in 1992 (or maybe 1991 – not sure I took any photos the first year). It was a very different experience than today. I remember arriving at Guelph Lake on Friday evening and being told to simply drive to the site we wanted and to set up camp. We ended up on a site very close to the island. I think we also bought our tickets at the gate. Today, the weekend passes sell out in minutes (long before the lineup is announced) and the campsites are reserved 6 months in advance.
This photo of Valdy on the main stage, taken with my film camera, is one of my first photos of the festival. My guess is this was the 9th festival (although it could be 8), which means it was 1992.
The only other film photos worth sharing may be from the same festival, but they may also be from the following year. Hillside was where I first saw the Rheostatics, a band that I went on to see at least half a dozen more times before they disbanded. I think these may be from their infamous performance with Jane Sibbery.
Dave Bidini and Tim Veseley.
After this festival, I didn’t take any more photos until 10 years later, when, in 2003, I started taking digital photos with my 2 megapixel Powershot.
The Rheostatics and some Barenaked Ladies at the Lake Stage.
The Hillside Man.
The Rheostatics on the main stage.
And, of course, I had to take a photo of my favourite town slogan on the way home.
The following year, in 2004, I started shooting with my first Digital SLR, the Canon Rebel. The photos started to get a little more interesting.
My daughter, Tyya, doing some pre-festival kite flying.
My daughter, Taegan, excited for the kids’ parade.
The Hillside Man, again.
The Hillside sign at dusk.
The view from the causeway.