A Minor Detour

John Callaway continues his love letter in photography to live music, after he recently attended the Wickham Festival.

A minotaur? A non-thematic collection of oddities and outliers from the Wickham Festival. As Neil Innes once suggested,’I’ve suffered for my art. Now it’s your turn’.

Following the path home after the first night,a strange light appeared through the trees. On the path there were two travellers and another that was missing. One was Celtic, one was Coventrian and one conspicuous by his absence. ‘Credence is the key!’ said the first traveller. ‘No, conviction is the key!’ said the second. The third one was missing.

See you next year hopefully RV.

Image © John Callaway 2021

Imagination is a powerful thing if you allow yourself to look beyond the mundane. To the shadowy figure passing by, it is just a tent lit from within, with a silhouette of goods for sale. And maybe that’s all it is.

But imagine instead three rocky outcrops in the sea. On the one to the left, a solitary figure sits and gazes towards the horizon: on the next, precarious structures of unknown purpose tower over the population pushed to the edges of the island. To the right of that, an outcrop that is smaller than the rest. Empty, but slowly sinking beneath the sea. Meanwhile Gaia watches on, despairing at how we treat the earth, and strip her of her natural resources for profit and power. But then again, that’s not reality apparently…

Image © John Callaway 2021

A matter of choice. 

Yes, the elements did their best to turn the site into a quagmire, and, allied to the issues of the main stage, there were those that took to social media to register their discontent with organisers. For what it’s worth, I think that the organisers did an incredible job in keeping the show in the road, and I’ve said as much elsewhere. 

The photo below isn’t designed to make a ‘woe is me’ point, but rather to make a different one. I chose to attend an outside festival, in a field, in a country where the weather is unpredictable, and where historically festival goers have had to be towed onto the site. I experienced four days of fine music, saw bands that I’d never seen before, and ones that I first saw some 50 years ago. I had conversations and meetings with old friends, random exchanges with people I’d never met before, and took (what I think) were some half decent photos of musicians that moved and inspired me. And throughout all of that time, every decision I took was one of choice. I could have left at anytime I wanted to. Lest we forget, for many people in the world that we live in, the choice to leave a difficult situation is not theirs to make.

Just saying.

Image © John Callaway 2021

Accidentally abstract.

No idea how I managed to take this. I probably ought to call it something esoteric like ‘Multiples’, suggesting a much deeper meaning and intent. But I’ll probably stick with something more prosaic.

Image © John Callaway 2021


This article was originally published on John Callaway’s website, Ideas & images from Portsmouth and beyond. You can read more of John’s writing on his website and also see his live music photography.

Images by John Callaway.

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