Bella Quintero had the best seat in the house for the best day at this year’s SunFest.
The 16-year-old student at Dreyfoos School of the Arts directed a group of students who shot the concerts at two of the stages and chose what images to put on the JumboTron screen behind the band stages.
She and her fellow students filmed up to five acts a day during the festival, including acts such as Phillip Phillips, Cheap Trick and the Airborne Toxic Event.
“We were told we weren’t allowed to freak out,” Quintero said.
Their efforts added to the enjoyment of thousands of people, young and old, who streamed past the stages and vendors, listened to music or sat by the water looking out at the boats and yachts in the Intracoastal on Sunday.
Total attendance at SunFest hadn’t been calculated late Sunday, but the mid-week rains on the festival’s opening days will probably have some effect on the numbers, said Melissa Sullivan, SunFest’s spokeswoman. Still, the rainless weekend brought a hefty crowd.
It also had been one of the safer SunFests. Lt. Troy Marchese of the West Palm Police Department, who has patrolled SunFest for the last three years, said this is one is the most uneventful ones he’s worked. As of 6 p.m. Sunday, only two arrests had been made — both for disorderly intoxication.
Asked why there were so few arrests this SunFest, Marchese — one of about 25 officers within the festival’s perimeter — posited that recent national events may have made people more thoughtful.
“Probably the heightened awareness of what happened in Boston, that probably got people thinking,” he said.
Although the students filming the concerts want to work in the media, none has done camera work for concerts before. Their teacher, Ancil Deluz, was excited about the opportunity for the students.
“This is real-world experience,” Deluz said.
The four students giggled when asked if they’d faced any challenges during the events. Quintero said it can be difficult for them to coordinate with each other, especially if there are many people on stage. She’d ask a camera operator to shoot a drummer, for example, only to see the camera zoom in on a different one than she wanted.
Still, Ancil was impressed with his students’ work. And the program is likely to continue on to next year, Sullivan said.
But it wasn’t just the kids and performers who came to SunFest to show their talent. About 150 artists came too, according to Dawn Hellton, vice-chairwoman of the art show. There were photographers, painters, carvers and jewelers among them. But not all felt that sales were everything they could be — people came for the music, not the art, some said.
Geoff Coe came to SunFest for the first time to sell his photographs of Florida birds, big pictures printed directly on canvas and also smaller, matted ones. Although he acknowledges that people don’t go to music festivals to buy art, he thinks there are opportunities to sell.
“People are out to relax, to have a good time. Sometimes that opens up the field for impulse buying,” he said.