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Life through the Lens: Sad Summer Festival

Talking with Lupe Bustos about creating the Summer of Pink

Photo by: Lupe Bustos

What’s the one thing missing from: palm trees and summertime, your best friends and White Claw, a single stage to see 8+ hours of rock music, all your favorite bands, and plenty of food trucks?

“Pink”, said the creators of the Sad Summer Festival, which debuted this past summer 2019. Festival masterminds Tim and Pat Kirch had dreamt the tour aesthetic years ago, and wanted to bring “the California summer festival feeling” across the country. The most “instagram-able” tour for the emo scene to date, Sad Summer Fest is scattered with pink palm trees, lyrics over pink backdrops, even a lifesize emo action figure photo booth.

Behind all of the online content and much of the tour’s photography is Lupe Bustos. Routinely the photographer for The Maine and 8123, Lupe continues to find new opportunities to do, try, and learn more. When Tim and Pat Kirch saw the opportunity to launch their dream tour, they asked Lupe to assist with the Festival’s content creation and photography. Lupe took Discover Vinyl behind the scenes into presenting this post-Warped Tour summer festival.

For those without context, Sad Summer Fest was launched last summer in Warped Tour’s cross country absence. With only one stage on the tour, the Fest still hosted a stacked lineup of State Champs, The Maine, Mayday Parade, The Wonder Years, Stand Atlantic, Mom Jeans, Just Friends, and many others. Playing 17 cities from coast to coast, fans are still awaiting word on the Fest’s continuation. Stay tuned for all updates.

Photo by: Lupe Bustos

Responsible for shooting and filming live sets, recaps, teasers, and social media content, and additionally handling all post-production on content, Lupe had his hands full all summer long. An addict of his craft, Lupe was the hands at work to build the “rosy pink party” followers of these listed bands, as well as the Fest, saw posted all summer long. Interact with our Sad Summer Fest gallery to browse some of Lupe’s work.

Lupe described Sad Summer Fest’s intention to be an interactive experience for fans - an experience greater than just going to a show and leaving after the last set. Announced on Sad Summer Fest’s Instagram, a contest was launched mid-tour to intern as photographer for a day at one of a select few cities.

The contest itself generated substantial buzz online with upcoming photographers all competing for the same few positions, which gave upcomers a day in the life of Lupe. Winning photographers were invited to capture the live energy of thousands from a massive stage, while also getting to share personal time with their favorite bands backstage shooting their portraits.

Photo by: Lupe Bustos

Until there’s word on Sad Summer Fest 2020 when Lupe is (hopefully) serving out more content, follow his Instagram as he goes on The Mirror Tour with The Maine this fall. Lupe carries our same love of vinyl, owning a collection of 500+ albums. Follow his Paper & Wax Collective Instagram to catch some rare pressings and beautiful album art


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