From the front of the audience barricades to behind the lens of a camera backstage, Kristina Childs lived every music fans’ dream when she attended Splendour In The Grass this year as personal photographer to Brisbane legends The Grates. Now she tells us what it’s like to have a backstage pass to one of Australia’s biggest music festivals.

First, forget the red carpet. In the muddy depths of Splendour, fake turf is a rock star’s best friend. For those that don’t know, Splendour 2015 was super muddy, which meant walking around the festival was literally like competing in a tough mudder course.

“Backstage you wouldn’t know that Splendour this year was one of the muddiest it’s ever been. There was fake turf rolled out with oversized chairs spotted along a boardwalk, and having an AAA pass meant you could use private roads and access ways to get to where you wanted to go without breaking too much of a sweat,” Kristina said.

Second, basically everything you could ever ask for is on hand at any time, for free!

“There was a coffee combi for all your caffeine needs, a VIP Strummer Bar with pinball machines, pool tables and exclusive cocktails, a whole beauty station to get you stage ready, massage and osteopath treatments and you could even get your own pair of Levi Jeans custom made by the head designer from LA.” Wow.

Last, but certainly not least, you get to watch some of the most vibrant national and international acts from the side of the stage, and rub shoulders with music legends whilst doing so.

“I got to watch heaps of bands side of stage which was bloody tops! Many moments I sat in awe of whoever I was watching and then would look around and be surrounded by all these band dudes who I had been listening to for years. I watched Florence and the Machine standing next to Matthew Murphy from The Wombats.”

While Kristina was at Splendour to photograph The Grates, she says her experience didn’t feel like ‘work.’

“It was like hanging out with your hilarious mates who happen to be rockstars! Getting to follow your ‘boss’ off a huge stage and into the sea of punters whilst she crowd surfs – that’s a good day at ‘work,’” she said.

This was also Kristina’s first proper backstage experience. Having attended many festivals as a punter in the past (and a happy one at that), Kristina says she now sees why people want AAA passes. There was only one thing however, that the coveted AAA pass didn’t include.

“The AAA pass allowed you side stage access everywhere except Azalea Banks. She closed the stage off which was cool because as I got turned around by security I got to stand face to face with her and let off a girly squeal!”

There you have it, even when a AAA pass doesn’t give you access to something, it still gives you something brilliant!

As one of Brisbane’s most beloved, talented and hard-working photographers we say kudos to you Kristina, we can’t wait to see where your photography adventures take you next, and we hope you get to go backstage again sometime soon!

If you are yet to discover Kristina’s amazing work, be sure to check out her website and facebook.