Rocking The Daisies…. A Festival of Contra(band)dictions

Last weekend was my very first experience at Rocking The Daisies and I’m not going to lie, it was pretty rad. Emphasis on “pretty”… From the RTD decor, to the little purple flowers planted just for us (I’m guessing), to the boys and girls in attendance. A feast for the eyes kids!

Not only that, but my Festival Partner @bangersandnash was showered with awesomeness by the kindly people at Red Bull and we spent the weekend in the Kreef Point 5 Star Tent Hotel. This time, we were gifted with a tent fully decked out in a double stretcher bed, blow-up mattress, sleeping bags and pillows! Not forgetting our own personal favourite… full english breakfast.

Here comes the “Festival of Contradictions” part…It starts with the name: “Rocking The Daisies”. The reason I find this name to be a little mind bottler, is because there are in fact NO daisies to be seen ANYWHERE… and aside from Taxi Violence, Boo and Springbok Nude Girls, the line-up is quite far removed from what I would call “Rocking”.

Then there is the weather. Never in my life has my skin experienced so many sensations of hot and cold in one weekend (well, there was that one time with the pool and the hot tub…)

The days are so hot that you cannot enter your tent for fear of your face melting off…then, come sun set and the wind picks up to around 1oo knots per second square kilometre (I’m sorry, I made that up. It’s not scientific). The previously clear blue sky turns a blackish grey and the acceptable attire goes from “very little and a hippie head band”, to “socks, long johns, comfy pants, wellies, vest, jersey, jacket, scarf, beanie and a bit of much needed body heat”.

Also, Daisies being a “Green” Festival, I was expecting to see a whole lot more hamsters running in cages powering up a fairy light, bands singing into gramophones to save electricity and other such enlightened ideas that I cannot come up with right now as I am clearly not enlightened. All I saw were two enormous lights shining up into the sky for at least 15km’s. Elimunating….uh, nothing.

I do consider myself somewhat of a festival veteran, but my previous festival experience from my years at Oppikoppi and Splashy Fen meant nothing here. I was completely out of my festival element.

I wouldn’t want the same to happen to you, my Joburg Festival Friends. So if you are planning a mission to next year’s RTD (which I suggest you do) you should read this:

Natalie’s Knowledge: Oppikoppi vs RTD

Location
Oppikoppi- A farm in Northam. Dust, thorn trees, rocks, a pretty koppie…dust.
RTD- Cloof Wine Estate. The biggest sky you’ve ever seen, pretty purple flowers, a dam to bathe in, white fences, and grass to sit on.

Decor
Oppikoppi- Beer cans in trees, cars, beer cans on the floor, cars covered in dust.
RTD- Pretty material shading your path to glory as you head toward the stage, a giant multi-coloured daisy offering shelter from the sun, a food tent equipped with hay to sit/lay on.

Music
Oppikoppi- Don’t go if you don’t want to see bands. It’s pretty much all you should be doing. That, and drinking tequila Red Bull and eating potjiekos from the Hippie’s Potjie stand. Koppi is ALL about the music and you very rarely have some time off…even to go to the bathroom (which we will talk about later).
RTD- Don’t go if you are a human who enjoys a killer line-up so incredibly heavy and mind-blowing that you need a medic just after reading the line-up announcement.Note: Lots of time to go to the bathroom.
On that note…

Bathroom Facilities
Oppikoppi- It’s not so much “bathroom” as it is “roofless brick house with plastic toilet seat”…that’s IF you can stomach the queue. If not, you’ll find yourself in the classic Plastic Fantastic hoping that the lack of light source in there isn’t to hide the dead animals you’re smelling. Also, MILES away from anything. Probably safer to use the bush.
RTD- Same old Plastic Fantastics… except vastly cleaner with no obvious odours and within walking distance from your tent.

Showers
Oppikoppi- Very, very necessary, but probably not going to happen. Take LOTS of wet wipes and don’t be surprised to see pictures of yourself with a dust mustache…and eyebrows…and sideburns.
RTD- A reality. But probably not necessary as you won’t be getting very dirty. PLUS there is a body of water just waiting for you to put your body in. (???)

Clothing
Oppikoppi- An eclectic mix of everything you own that you are willing to allow to get completely stuffed and never wear again. Anything goes and everything is welcome.
RTD- An optional extra. If you MUST wear clothes, (thus willing to be the odd one out) make 100% sure you remember to take your denim short-shorts and anything paisley. Also remember to pack every item of warm clothing you have ever owned. The upside to this day-time nakedness, is that it allows more room for your warm gear.

Swimwear
Oppikoppi- Not advisable. Unless you are one of those Festival Girls. But considering the distinct lack of water, I don’t see why you would need to bring it along.
RTD- Essential. Much like the wild, the Waterhole at RTD is where the animals come to cool down, check out potential mating partners and engage in general water games.

Hats
Oppikoppi- Yes. To keep the sun off your pretty little nose. And to hide just how dirty your hair is after 3 days of not showering, mixed with 3 days of red dust.
RTD- Only if by “hat”, you mean slouchy beanie.

Luxuries
Oppikoppi- This year they had a rad little charging station for your laptops and phones. Other than that…. um…. It’s a tough festival ok.
RTD- The showers you can pay R50 to use all weekend looked clean and pretty rad. Not that you really need to shower, what with the dam and all. And the girls bathroom offered a mani- and pedi service!! THAT’S luxury! Plus, there were food stalls that offered such luxuries as Hudsons Burgers, Butter Chicken and an astonishing array of vegetarian friendly vegan 1000% organic locally grown wholesome free from toxins, preservatives, steroids and all other nonsense meals.

Golden Bag of Medicinal Healing
Oppikoppi- DO NOT GO WITHOUT IT!! Chances of you getting cut to sheds by a thorn-bush, falling down the koppi, being hit by a slow-moving car, or hugged to near death by a tripping hippie are 105%. And those are only 0.3% of the injuries you are most likely to sustain after the first 15 minutes.
RTD- What could possibly happen to you at a festival where the people are all beautiful indie hipster fairies?? If you fall down, the grass will cushion you, if you walk into a thorn bush-wait, you wont. If you get hit in the head with a Black Label Quart by a drunk rocker-wait, you wont. Mmmm… the worst thing that could probably happen is a wild hangover.

Now that you have some of the Infinite Wisdom that I posses, I suggest you start preparing yourself for the next festival. Synergy is coming up, and after that it’s time once agin for Ramfest…to be followed by Splashy, closely followed Oppikoppi Easter… And that’s just the next 6 months!!

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3 responses to “Rocking The Daisies…. A Festival of Contra(band)dictions

  1. So tell me Oh Wise one ….. How does Thorn fes compare to Oppi? Should I start panicking now?

  2. Lovely take on Daisies, I really enjoyed this.
    The greening does indeed happen, but most of it in the background. In fact they have to go through a complete “greening audit” by affiliated auditors after the festival.

    Besides all food and drinks served in bio-degradable packaging, t-shirts made of hemp and all marketing material printed on re-cycled paper the festival purchases carbon neutral energy credits (generated via solar power and wind generators) and use this electricity to power the entire festival.

    Anything that is not run on these credits is run on bio-diesel (made from used cooking oil etc) or tree’s are planted to off-sit the carbon emissions.
    The crew from Daisies also won the “climate change leadership” award this year so 100% legit.

    It really is something remarkable to be involved in even if just from a party-goers perspective. We really did ‘party hard and tread lightly’. Its for the free-spirited and ‘caring’ festival goer thats for sure. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Natalie’s Awesome Synergy Story… feat. Circus Cult Burgers | tailsofamermaid…

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