Opus’ Cornerstone Flickr Archives

I had a problem. I received the e‑mail notices and saw the warnings everytime I logged into my account, but as I typically do, I filed them in the “To Do” pile located in some remote, rarely-visited portion of my mind. So even though I saw the unread messages warning me that my Flickr Pro account was about to expire — and ironically enough, they were left unread so that I would notice them whenever I checked my e‑mail — my Flickr Pro was, big surprise, allowed to expire.

Which obviously threw me into something of a panic. Granted, I don’t have quite the Flickr fetish as some people I know, but I had used it quite a bit, uploading a number of photos, and carefully tagging them and organizing them in sets (if nothing else, Flickr certainly knows how to appeal to my anal-retentive side).

I scrambled through Flickr’s Help area, trying to find some solution to my predicament even as I fired off the late renewal fee via PayPal. Thankfully, the good people at Flickr seem rather kind-hearted and intent on shoring up their good karma, because Flickr does not delete your photos should your Pro account expire. Your account simply reverts back to its default settings, which means that you’re only allowed three sets. Any extra sets are hidden, though the photos are still visible. And when you upgrade your account back to “Pro” status, everything reverts back to the way it was.

So now my Flickr account is back to normal, and I’ve been uploading with a vengeance over the past two weeks or so.

If you visited Opus in any of its previous incarnations, you’ll remember that there used to be a “Gallery” section, which contained a number of photos: band photos, Cornerstone photos, personal photos, etc. With the recent changes and revisions to the site, however, the “Gallery” section was done away with in favor of using my then-burgeoning Flickr account. Thing is, though, I never used my Flickr account as much as I had intended. And so the vast majority of the photos that used to be on Opus just languished on the server, hidden from everyone.

So after I renewed my Pro account, I set about changing that. I’ve still got a ways to go, but almost all of the Cornerstone-related photos that used to be Opus are now on Flickr. I’d forgotten just how many photos I’d taken at the festival over the years, and going through them all, organizing them in iPhoto, and uploading them to Flickr certainly brought a rush of nostalgia. There are people in those photos that I haven’t seen or talked to in years, even though we had incredible shared experiences while hanging out at campsites, trudging through mud, sweating in crowded tents, and staying up until the wee hours of the morning.

And of course, there are all of the bands. Some of them are still going strong, but many of them are long gone, having broken up or faded back into obscurity after their turn on the “New Band Stage”. Looking at all of the photos of them cavorting on stage, singing their hearts out, and even striking the occasional “rawk god” pose, was yet another nostalgic trip. Some of them have seen success, and I’d like to think that some of it was, in some small way, due to something written on this website — an album review, an interview, or just some random rave.

It’s why I started doing this crazy thing years ago, and why, even when I come this close to flushing it all down the tubes with a few MySQL commands, it continues to hang in there.

I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever go back to Cornerstone, and if I do go, it will be as very different person and for very different reasons. As I went through all of the photos, it became obvious that they all represented a totally different era, not just for me, but for everyone involved. Even if I was able to somehow magically assemble the Cornerstone crews of old — Nolan, Melissa, Bre, Josh, Juan, Greer, Paul, Christian, Jen, Shiloh, George, Clint, Brent, Daniel, and so many others — it would never be the same. We were all different people back then, and we’ve all moved on, and that’s okay.

But that doesn’t mean that all of those hot, humid, mud-filled days and nights spent in crowded tents with too many bands (some that rocked, some that sucked) and braving the Johnnys On The Spot weren’t absolutely magical.

They were, and the photos are proof of that. I’ve created two sets for each year, one for general, festival-related photos and one for band photos.

Also, all of these photos are proof that I am/was a real dork, and I’m guilty of flashing the rock fingers way too many times. Let the blackmailing begin!

I’ve tried to give credit where credit is due, but if you come across a photo that you took, and you didn’t receive credit for it, please let me know. And for some reason, I don’t have any band photos from Cornerstone 1998. Well, I probably do, but they’re probably buried in a box somewhere.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the uploading. I’ve still got plenty of other band photos to upload, as well as concert reviews and Cornerstone journals to add to the site. And remember all of those concert videos I posted, both from Cornerstone and other shows? Well, those will hopefully be reappearing as well.

Read more about Cornerstone.