It's that time of the year where we name the best of 2016. This year, more than 19,000 people voted for the Top Music Festival Photographer, but only one photographer can claim this year's top spot.
The results are in and with more than 63 countries voting in this year's competition, we are proud to announce Johannes Lovund has claimed this year's #1 title.
Johannes Lovund was raised in Valderøy, an island far west on the coast of Norway. Lovund's interest in photography started when he was just 15 years old when his dad bought him a DSLR camera. After shooting nature for quite some time, Lovund was introduced to festival photography almost by accident. “I shared offices with the people arranging big festivals in my area called Momentium. Through them, I got to photograph big names like Avicii, David Guetta, Alesso, 50 Cent and Elton John to name a few. I also got to produce Aftermovies for them, as my main profession used to be video,” said Johannes Lovund. “Now I do about 50/50 video and photography. I also met the Norwegian DJ Kygo through one of these festivals. When I showed him my pictures after his show, he jokingly told me with a smile that my photos «didn’t suck» and proceeded to post a couple of them on social media. A big moment for me personally.”
Lovund went on to say that he's had the opportunity to tour with Kygo. During his time touring with Kygo, Lovund went on to talk his favorite photography moment. “I had this one shot of the venue in mind, and I started climbing a mountain in the pitch dark mid-show to get the composition I was after. As I stood there waiting for the pyro I knew was coming, the security guards started the sprinkler system in the mountains to chase me down. Soaking wet, I waited long enough to get my perfect shot, and ran down to continue shooting the event. Anything for the shot!”
“A lot of great photographers have been nominated to win Top Festival Photographer 2016, and I am a huge fan of several of them. It’s a big honor to be the only nominated photographer from Scandinavia, and surreal to actually win it, as I consider myself a big outsider in this competition. I didn’t even know I was nominated until someone told me, and at first I didn’t believe it! I am very grateful for everyone who have voted for me.”
Without further adieu, here were the best music festival photographers of 2016: