This year has been very good to me in terms of festivals. I did Splashy Fen, Ramfest, Oppikoppi, Rocking The Daisies, and just last weekend I was at Synergy.
Every festival has it’s own vibe and good and bad elements. Splashy is super chilled with lots of rain and a rad comedy tent. I did the Joburg Ramfest at Emmarentia Dam, so I’ll reserve my judgement until after I’ve been to the Cape Town one. Oppikoppi you can read all about here, and RTD here.
Now, let’s talk about Synergy. We did it all the old school way this time, with no Kreef Hotelling and (almost) no VIP passes. As with Daisies, the venue is absolutely beautiful. Vineyards and mountains do a great bit for the whole “feeling like you’re out of the city” thing, even though you can be back in Town in under an hour. The river is a good idea, as there are only about 6 showers and I actually have no idea where they were even located-let’s not even talk about the location of the porter loo’s (???) I must admit though, the river could have been a bit deeper. And a bit warmer. For the sake of comfort. Although, I have come to realise that Capetonins are all a bit mad and they believe that the water in Cape Town is “not too bad” and that Strand has “warmer” water. Warmer than what, you batty mountain-lovers? Freezing temperature?!
The line-up was definitely my favourite one of the year! And Friday night was like an escaped convict shooting awesomeness at your head- with Foto Na Dans, Taxi Violence and Van Coke Kartel in rapid fire. Pow! Pow! POW!!
Foto won major points with the electro bunnies when they killed a cover of Pendulum and Taxi Violence were just Taxi Violence. When they are on stage, I feel like I’m in a movie. A movie about awesome people. And debauchery. Set in pretty much the same place as From Dusk Till Dawn.
This movie is also called The Natalie Show. I am the coolest person in the world, except for every one in the crowd (movie) with me- and of course Taxi Violence themselves, who are the coolest people in the universe.
At one point during the madness that is Taxi Violence on stage (aka The Natalie Show) , @stormin_ was having too much fun, and his face decided to abort his spectacles.
Within seconds @melike128_ @bangersandnash, stormie & I were all on our knees, in the middle of the crowd, in the dark, with flashing lights and dancing feet all around us, trying to see through the film of dust covering our eyeballs, searching for the rogue glasses. Miraculously, as Stormin found them and threw his hand in the air in an act of victory, Taxi had just reached the part that goes “and the devil saved his soul“… I know right!! No wonder I feel like my life is movie!
On Saturday I did some interviews for One Small Seed TV. I’m a big fan of the magazine and brand, so it was pretty rad getting to do some work with them. It should be p in about 2 weeks, so I’ll keep you updated.
Being a live music (and musician) enthusiast myself, I didn’t really spend much time in the electro tent. But electro is HUGE at Synergy! It’s quite obvious that this is where music is headed and even though the tent was much bigger than last year (apparently), it still wasn’t big enough to accommodate all the Capetonians eager to get their electro on.
So, in an attempt to improve my bunny skills and someday maybe even join in, I stood at the back of the electro tent. Arms folded. An outcast. Watching. Absorbing. Learning.
Here are my notes on Electro. The music, the dancing, and the big black man inside it all.
Natalie’s Notes On Electro:
From what I gathered, Electro comes in many little sub-genres. One of which makes use of an
MC Emcee. I know what you’re thinking band-music fans, but an Emcee is not the person who comes on stage between bands to shout things like “SYNERGYYYYYYY!!!! ARE YOU HAVING A GOOD TIIIIIIIIIME????!!!!” An Electro Emcee is this: An enormous black man, who can speak at the speed of sound, in a British accent… trapped inside the body of a teeny-tiny white boy from the ‘burbs who holds a mic at an upward angle in one hand and does gangster rap moves with the other.
The dancing is sort of like a moshpit, but with no actual punching, OR one can adopt what I like to call “the ball catch”. Imagine catching a ball… right out of the air as someone throws it. Hold out your hand, palm facing the sky. Now curl your fingers upward, so your hand makes the shape of a bowl. Now gesture like you are dropping the ball and catching it again mid-air. And there you have it. You are now a professional electro dancer.
Food. I love food. Especially if it involves bacon… Or cheese. Over my years spent at festivals, if there is one lesson I’ve learned regarding food, it is this: If there are no hippies selling potjie, opt for the burger. You cannot go wrong with a burger at a festival. Because it doesn’t matter how gross the joint is, or when last (if ever) they cleaned the grill…all that just adds to the taste. Also, make sure you opt for the one with everything on. Bacon with cheese with onions with egg with pineapple. Trust me on this.
@bangersandnash is well aware of this, which is why he went straight to the caravan owned by a man with ginormous boobs hanging all about, ciggie in his mouth, flapping around as he swore at his staff. He was doing all this, whilst putting together the Ultimate Festival Burger.
This is what I’m talking about people! If it looks as though these people moonlight at the circus you know you should be eating their burgers.
Here’s a little convo that went down between @bangersandnash and the girly who works at Circus Burger.
Nash: “Can I please have a bacon, cheese & pineapple burger”
Girl: “So, you want a Hawaiian Burger?”
Nash: “If it comes with bacon?”
Girl: “Why don’t you have a bacon & cheese burger?”
Nash: “Ok, if it comes with pineapple?”
Girl: *massive sigh-like the one you have after giving birth to twins* “We can’t really do that.”
Nash: “So…no bacon, cheese & pineapple?”
Girl: *walks away with the weight of the entire Universe on her shoulders*
“Look, I’ve spoken to my boss and as a favour, we can do you a bacon, cheese &
pineapple burger. We don’t usually do it. But we will now, for you. BUT… my boss says we are going to have to charge you extra.”
Nash & I look each other in the eyeballs.
Nash’s eyeballs to my eyeballs: “Is she kidding? She does know that like, that is how the entire world works, right?”
My eyeballs to Nash’s eyeballs : “She seems pretty serious. How much could this massive favour possibly cost? Your left… ‘you know what?’ ”
Now I started to get nervous. Because the way in which this girl was communicating with us, made it sound like what she was really saying, was: “Look, I’ve spoken to my boss and as a favour, we can do you a bacon, cheese & pineapple burger. We don’t usually do it. But we will now, for you. BUT… my boss says you are going to have to sacrifice your firstborn to our Circus Cult and never have any communication with it for the rest of eternity including the Afterlife, should you both end up in Heaven. Capeesh?”
Nash: *swallows hard* “Ok, how much extra?”
Girl: “Three rand.”
I’ll tell you what, after eating that bad boy, if I had to go back and do it all again… I may actually have promised my firstborn to that Circus Cult. That’s how good it was. The pineapple definitely made all the difference.
Next year is going to be full of festivals, and I don’t want you wasting your time with silly things like “skottel braai’s” and “food”. Here are the things you really need at a festival. Forget what you’ve heard. I am the Truth.
Natalie’s Festival Essentials:
1. A tent.
Don’t rely on others. They will let you down. They’ll forget the tent poles or they’ll bring home two random foreigners and kick you out or they’ll snore (euw). Just take your own. You are the Queen/King of your own Palace.
2. A towel.
You might not even shower, but you might swim, and what then hmm? Or it will rain on you. Or you won’t want to get your sleeping bag full of thorns and dust (Oppikoppi), mud (Splashy Fen), hipsters (Rocking The Daisies), or other foreign matter (Synergy plus all of the above) and you will need it to sit on.
3. Viral Guard.
It probably has no real health benefits, but popping two of those bad boys with your breakfast does wonders for making your brain believe that you will survive the throbbing head, aching feet and desert in your throat.
Why take food when you can take money? Refer to Circus Cult Burger story above.
5. Mustaches/Glo Sticks/ Leopard Pants/ Markers to write on strangers with.
Pretty much anything that will make you feel a bit wild and free and out of your city life ways. I like to combine all of the above to really get into the festival mood. Nash likes to go without shoes and let his feet “make love to the earth”. Do what you must, but just do something.
6. Warm clothing.
Don’t talk black to me. There will be coldness and you will be cold. Just take it.
7. A camera.
Refer to my Oppikoppi, Splashy, RTD and Synergy albums to see why. Those are the memories you can’t remember. You need those pictures.
8. Wet Wipes.
The more the better. Take the ones for face and the ones for body and the ones for antiseptising stuff and the ones for multi-purpose and if there are any others you can find, take those too. Take them all. In fact, if you bring those, you really only need a toothbrush in your toiletries bag. No need to shower at all.
9. A plastic squeezy bottle.
Glass is not allowed anywhere. I know Consol says “It’s good, it’s in glass” but Consol lies. If it’s in glass, it’s bad. And you’ll either have to down it all at your camp as soon as you arrive (or, if you are a fan of Bear Grylls-like I am- you know exactly how to ingest it in other manners. Although I did hear of a dude who died after just 3 litres of sherry, so maybe it’s a bad idea) OR you’ll have to bankrupt yourself at the bar.
NOT! No ways I’m letting you take him!!
But you can take us both if you want. We are fantastic festival buddies. I look after everything, and Nash looks after everything better than I do. He has incredible Looker Afterer Skills, and it doesn’t matter how retarded things get (by that I mean “how many bottles of tequila he’s had”), he’ll be the one going “Storm, give Mel your glasses so they don’t get lost” and “Where is Roos? Roos, are you ok? Have you still got your camera?” He’s amazing like that.
So, that’s pretty much it really. Read intimate details about our trip here: www.bangersandnash.com and we’ll see you at the next one.