Marcus Haney is a music festival fanatic; he’s attended some of the biggest events in the world – Coachella, Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Ultra – and filmed their high-profile headliners – Phoenix, Passion Pit, Coldplay, Muse, Jay Z.

All without paying a single cent. That’s because Marcus is the world’s biggest and best fence-jumper – having snuck into nearly 50 major music festivals over the last four years; right past security, faking his way into media pits, and even backstage.

Haney’s full exploits are the subject of No Cameras Allowed, a documentary capturing first-hand all of the hitch-hiking, fake ticket-making, security confronting action of his four year career of breaking into music festivals, which all started with Coachella 2010.

“That was the first festival I ever went to,” Haney tells Noisey in an in-depth interview. “It was me and my friend Adam. We had no money for gas—we met a guy called Acid Chris on Craigslist to help put gas in our car. We snuck in at about 4AM on Friday morning, dressed in all black, jumped the fence, and slept underneath the trailers and porta-potties until the festival opened at noon.”

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Haney has “done everything” to slip his way inside festivals he boasts, “from jumping fences to fake wristbands to posing as security to posing as artists to posing as press to running through truck entrances.” And he’s gotten away with it to, claiming he’s “been in handcuffs but never been arrested.”

His schemes may seem hair-brained but they obviously work. As one grizzled narrator in the trailer for No Cameras Allowed puts it: “If you ever get a chance to meet someone like Marcus, and he offers you the most stupid sounding, irrational, impossible, illogical scheme – do it!”

But what about the moral dilemma of sneaking into major music festivals? Of getting for free – often illegally – what so many patrons patiently queue for and spend their hard-earned money on?

As Haney tells Noisey: “The first thing I think about is—I’m not hurting anyone. But am I stealing anything? Am I stealing a ticket or opportunity for Coachella to make money? Well no, Coachella is sold out. And then I start to think—is there any way I’m able to twist this and make it feel like I’m helping the situation?”

While he explains that his film appears to simply be about a guy who’s cheating the system, he defends the doco as “really a coming of age story set in a music world. It’s a love letter written to these festivals, in a way. And it shows them in such a great light that my goal is that people will see my film and then go and experience live music on their own.”

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In the process, Haney has now become one of the most sought-after music photographers in the business and even become best mates with Mumford & Sons – shooting the cover image of the folkies’ super-successful sophomore album Babylon.

“Marcus can break into anything,” explains Mumford & Sons bassist Ted Dwane in an interview with Middle 8 Mag

“We once removed his credentials from him and kicked him onto the street outside a Canadian arena. Within 20 minutes he had not only arrived back in our dressing room after re-entering through the venue’s front door, but had also casually climbed up on the stage before the first band started to raise his camera above his head and take a shot of the first few thousand excited gig goers waiting at the barrier!”

Though he’s snuck into the most guarded “crown jewel of music festivals” like Glastonbury and even the Grammys(!), Dwane says “it’s not Marcus’ ability to break into places that makes him great, it’s his reason for wanting to.”

“The access and perspective he is so hungry for is what makes his images so unique and compelling and the force that propels this behaviour is deep within him and pure. This is a guy who is proactive in his pursuit of a great photograph. He is a man who not only creates beautiful images, but beautiful moments to take photos of.”

(Photo: Marcus Haney. Source: James Marcus

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