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Sneaking into Coachella Lands This Guy the Career of his Dreams

Have you ever snuck into a concert before? How about a huge festival? Well, in 2010 James Marcus Haney really wanted to attend Coachella… the only problem was he didn’t have the money to get a ticket. So what’s the next best thing? He figured out a way to bypass security and get in for free and got to see some of the bands he had admired for years. He continued sneaking into festivals around the world for the next few years, and filmed every minute of it.

After a few years James had quite the archive of festival footage. He managed to sneak into concerts and festivals seemingly at will, though he did get kicked out of a handful of shows (which is to be expected). He got access to the photo pits, backstage VIP areas, and eventually was able to get on stage during some big-time performances.

Using all of the footage from his experiences at Coachella, Bonaroo, Glastonbury and Austin City Limits (just to name a few), James made a movie and called it “No Cameras Allowed.” Luckily for him, his movie was picked up by MTV and has led to James being one of the most sought-after music photographers in the country.

Arcade Fire foo_fighters_0
Foo Fighters mumford_and_sons
Mumford and Sons train tour with Edward Sharpe and Old Crow Medicine Show

Though, as James points out, many people are looking at the film as a roadmap to breaking into music festivals. But that wasn’t his intention.

The problem with the pitch trailer is that it sets up the film to be all about sneaking in. The film is much more personal than that. It’s like a coming of age story set against the music festival background. It’s not like a “how to” guide. A lot of festival folks aren’t stoked because they think a feature film is coming out as a guidebook to show how to breach security.


“No Cameras Allowed” airs on MTV this Saturday, August 23rd.

​You can view more of James’ work here, and read an interview with him about his experiences in the link below.

[via HuffingtonPost]

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