Bristol Shag Fiesta 2019

This was the first event that I’ve ever photographed three years running! Crazy!

The thing that really struck me this year was how few people I knew. The Shag Fiesta has always been an event where I expect to walk in and know everyone, as the shag scene has been so small for so long. I’ve not really been to any shag events in the UK this year, as I’ve been way too busy as a photographer and have needed some non-dancing time out. Of course there were a few of the regulars there, but not the same cohort as you’d see three years ago.

Friday was in such a beautiful venue with a lovely outside bar area with a handy window. It was really small and proved a bit of a challenge for me, as I usually shoot at such a long focal length. I was way closer to people than I usually shoot but hey — you can’t knock a creative challenge from time-to-time.

On Saturday daytime, they had a genius idea of a boat trip and quick cider tasting. It was such a chill afternoon and right on the money. I’ll admit, I was a bit sceptical when I first hear the idea but it was straight up lovely.

Saturday night was kicked off by the OG Shim Shag creator Marci (we missed you this year Gosia!).

Saturday had a few more familiar faces and a great atmosphere — a joy to photograph. It also had a great bar space next door that meant there were two rooms of dancing and plenty of places to loiter and have some time out.

Nicky hates me taking photos of her — she tells me all the time. But, she’s a bloody stunner (inside and out).

The fiesta wouldn’t be complete without a daft competition — so here’s dinosaurs and existential crisis shag.

Sunday is always a chill day, and there’s nothing more I appreicate than a daylight-lit venue.

Jim said to me: “you always take photos of me when I’m really sweaty, and people must say ‘who’s that sweaty guy’?” Well, here he is — sans sweat.

I also got to meet my very good friend Danielle’s very new +1, James. He’s bloody beautiful, a real cutie, and enjoys a dance already.

This photo is one of my favourites from the whole weekend. I think it represents everyone who’s ever led a dance.

And finally, here’s the best of the weekend from Joe Jefferson:

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