The festival season is fast approaching and for many people this means packing tents, picking out wellies and purchasing a backpack - but not for us snappers! Festivals are the perfect opportunity to capture live action at its best, as well as getting the chance to cover the event for an online or print publication.

From Glastonbury to Radio 1’s Big Weekend, freelance photographers can gain access to most festivals, you just have to know how. Here at Parrot Print, we’ve put together all the information you need to gain yourself a festival press photography pass this summer, so you can capture the most amazing artists and their sets.

What Is A Press Pass?
Firstly, for those of you who have never attended an event on behalf of a publication, a press pass is a piece of paper or a badge that gives you the authority to bring professional photography equipment to an event and take photos. The allowances that are granted for press passes differ from event to event, so be sure to ask what you can and can’t do.

Expert Advice
To give you better insight, we spoke to Marie Westmoreland, editor and photographer for Johnston Press North East.

“As a freelance photographer, first of all you’d have to secure a publication willing to run your gig review and photos in order to be able to request press accreditation. Depending on the artist/event, access is usually limited and accreditation is generally only issued to those who can guarantee a high level of exposure in return. You need to apply early for festivals, which can be done easily through their official website.”

Following Marie’s advice, before you look at applying for a pass you should always confirm the publications you’ll be working for. Once you’ve secured work commissions you can apply for a press pass.

Contact The Right People
When it comes to enquiring about a press pass you can’t just contact anyone. To ensure you get one quickly, you must contact the right people and early as places can be limited and you don't want to get your application in too late. If you can't find a form on the website, we suggest contacting the marketing or press department, making sure to give them information about yourself and the publication that’s going to publish your images. You should hear back within a couple of days, but if not there’s no harm in getting in touch with them again.

Make Sure You Create A Checklist
What’s the point in going to all that effort to get your hands on a press photography pass to then waste it by not capturing the right kind of photos? We’ve put together the ultimate photography checklist to make sure you don’t just capture the live performances, but the atmosphere and the setting. Before you attend the event, make sure you read all the terms and conditions. These guidelines are for Glastonbury,but every event should have something similar.

What festivals are you heading to this year? What publications can we expect to see your images in? Will you be selecting your favourite photo to transfer to a canvas as a musical momento? Don't forget to approach local and online publications. Do you have any expert advice to offer our snappers? Make sure you share your festival snaps with us on Facebook and Twitter?