I went downtown last Thursday for the start of the F1 Fan Fest, a companion event to the Formula 1 races that take place just east of Austin. The timing couldn’t have been better. The forecasted rain held off that night while the attendees for the successive nights were not as lucky.
This is the 4th year I’ve gone and, by far, it was the smallest. What used to sprawl over several square blocks was confined to a single open lot near Rainey Street. I’m not sure if the downscaling was due to budget cuts or the lack of available open lots. Downtown Austin is in a building boom and space for these kind of things are decreasing rapidly. I suspect, this year’s open lot will be filled with construction cranes, in the not too distant future.
With the change in venue, there was a distinct change in vendors. Gone were all the racing and vehicle oriented mega displays. No giant Mobile 1 tents and Infiniti mock drag races. Gone were the display of F1 race cars and video game like racing simulations. I mostly saw beverage vendors.
Topo Chico was there again this year as was Monster energy drinks. Coca Cola was there to promote Iced Teas next to Illy coffee.
There was only one concert stage this year. Scaled down from the previous years’ multi-stage setup. Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue gave a great performance with I captured with some luck.
Even with the reduced size, I still had fun — these events are always good opportunities for street photography. This is my favorite photograph of the night. I like the glow of the light that surrounds the Topo Chico stand with the bustle of activity around the periphery. It’s a photo different from my usual. Instead of stepping in closer for portraits, like I usually do, I stepped backward to show more of the context.
Here is the 2014 Austin F1 Fast Fest, a much larger event, shot last year with the Fujifilm X100S.
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