I received the following email and I thought as well as answering it I would address the question here. If you have any questions, please don’t hestitate to post them in the comments or send them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, Alan.I ran across your website and hoped you don’t mind my picking your brain a little about the rules of shooting concerts. I’m not a photographer. I’m a reporter. But with the cutbacks these days, reporters are being asked to do more and more, which is unfortunate because I know I won’t capture ‘the’ shot that a true photographer could. But my question is more about the rules of shooting concerts.When there is an opening act and a three-song shooting rule, do you have to leave and come back if an opening act goes longer than three songs?When you’re done shooting your three songs for the main act and you have to leave, does your photo pass typically get you readmitted to watch the rest of the show or are you done after the first three songs?Thanks for any insight you can offer.
- When I got to shoot Willie Nelson I was allowed to shoot 2 songs of the opening band and then 2 songs for Willie. After the opening band had played their first 2 songs, we were removed from the photo pit and made to stand at the back of the venue with a security making sure we didn’t photograph any more. After Willie had played his two songs I was given the choice of checking my camera gear into the security office or leaving the venue.
- When I shot John Legend, the same rules applied. 2 songs for both John and the opening act Estelle. Again we were not allowed to stay in the venue with our camera gear after the first two songs were over.
- Some venues, like the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles let us stay to see the rest of the show but only if we had a ticket and locked our camera gear in the production office.