Like sex, Rocking the Daisies is something that most people get better at over time, with enough practice and preparation. The hope was that now in our 2nd year of RTD revelry, the MyCityByNight crew would be able to make it through yet another weekend of debauchery relatively unscathed. We are happy to report that for the most part, we did. This is how the weekend went- from what we could remember.
Something that I was quite thankful for was the fact that music got switched off at around 4ish on each night- A very different practice to trance parties where the music continues regardless of whether you’d like a little bit of time to sleep or not (not that many of those in attendance could sleep anyways due to their recreational consumption of drugs). The silence saved me in the long run… although to be honest an elephant could have been taking a shit next to me and I probably wouldn’t have even woken up.
A big up has to be given to SAB and the organizers for ensuring that the venue had several water points and refreshment stations where one could rehydrate with ice cold water at the low price of R30 for the weekend. With temperatures in excess of 35 degrees, I am convinced that this was the only thing that prevented people from dying from heat-stroke in large numbers.
You cant forget the fact that RTD is recognised for it’s dedication to reducing it’s carbon footprint as much as possible, winning a series of green awards year after year. This year was no different with a push to keep the festival as green as possible with several recycling stations and staff that kept the Cloof Estate spotless for the weekend.
From the acts that I managed to catch on the main stage I have to single out performances from The Arrows, Civil Twilight and Prime Circle, who have all grown on me as quality live acts that have been created right here in our backyard. I also happened to catch a little bit of Fokofpolisiekar on Friday night along with what appeared to be half of Belville, which was quite an experience for someone who tends to be more acquainted with the more electronic side of things. Speaking of Belville… Mr Parow also had an excellent show, mostly because of the fact that someone made it on stage to tackle him mid-set. I quite like the guy and his music but have to admit that as far as legendary festival happenings go- tackling Jack Parow has to be right up there. (we’ll have that footage up soon).
Most of our time at RTD2011 was spent in the Redbull Studio tent enjoying a quality line-up of electronica throughout the entire weekend. On Friday night, the show was absolutely stolen by the likes of El Gordo and Haezer who each brought something rather special to their RTD sets. El Gordo played a mix of some of the most amazing driving techno/electro and had me feeling like I had been transported into the middle of a London rave right here in South Africa- tunes like I’ve never heard before. Haezer took his normal balls to the wall sound and varied it with a track selection that was more industrial than the clothing selection of a metalworker, sending the crowd into an absolute frenzy with his on stage drinking antics and the accompanying mind-blowing lightshow. Oh and what a lightshow… the sound and visuals in the Redbull Studio arena were brain-softening to the max. Nice one Kilowatt AV.
Saturday the selection was also pretty tasty with tons and tons of favourites all representing good electronica including Blush n Bass, Killer Robot, Tommy Gun, Audiophile 021, SFR vs Hyphen, Anthea and Sibot. The main act for Saturday night was Kevin Saunderson, who played an extremely educational techno set that had the whole tent rocking and grinning that lovely Cheshire Cat smile- ending his set off with “Good Life”.
I must also mention the day set by
Grave Danger down at the little reservoir Mainstay beach vibe thingy on Saturday. Minimal grooves poured out of the speakers while some of the most amazing mooiness I’ve ever seen proceeded to jam out to a little bit of a beach party in the middle of the Darling district (which for the record is nowhere near a beach). It was a taste of the Summer to come that would be etched into my memory forever.
I know that’s its not really under the control of the festival organisers but I have to make a formal mention of the level of mooiness at RTD11. It was literally an emotional experience for the boys and lesbians who made it out to the festival with Saturday being one incredibly long and amazing fashion show of only the hottest mooiness around. Some of the outfits caused many of the festival’s injuries with several dudes suffering from whiplash and dry mouth from staring too hard. The hotter the weather, the less clothes everybody decided to wear- it was 37 on Saturday.
The selection of food this year around was top quality with everything from Butlers, Hudsons, Knead and a Sushi joint available to keep nutrition levels up during the rather difficult few days of the RTD2011. Helping ease the pain of the festival hangovers and the glare from the unbelievable pale hipsters, was a host of comedy which really is quite a decent thing to have even though a drunk audience can sometimes be rather difficult to perform for. With everything from Corne and Twakkie to Paul Snodgrass, SivN and YesReallyAngel, everyone’s taste in humour was catered for.
On the final morning, The South African rugby game was shown on the main screen and it was quite an experience watching the game with all those other crazy Saffas. If we had won the match, I’m sure more people would have stayed for the rest of the final day- sports depression is a horrible thing.
We prepared for this year’s RTD by doing a bit of shopping at outdoor activity shopping capital Cape Union Mart, figuring that the more kit we had the better we would do with our aim of not dying. The K-Way Vista 4 Person Tent we got is relatively easy to put up- providing you did not decide to do it at night- while drunk like we did. The bits we really felt were worth a mention were the Platypus PlatyReserve, Platypus Soft Bottle 1L along with the Coleman Extreme Cooler (to keep it chilled). It was deathly hot and these made it a breeze to keep liquid flowing into your bodies even if that liquid wasnt necessarily water… all of the time. If we could give one tip before hitting a trance party we’d say check out the lighting accesories available from Cape Union Mart’s online store. They have everything from a 1000 Candlelight spotlight to head-torches and little lights to clip on the side of your tent to help you locate your home at night. The lighting saved us from falling in ditches, kissing ugly girls (kreg) and passing out sitting straight up in the Redbull Studio Tent (you KNOW who you are!).
A huge thanks to all the new friends that we made this weekend as well to all of our old ones that kept us alive at Rocking the Daisies 2011. A very special thank you goes out to the darling and super #mooiness StefWindisch for the photos, support, top notch jolling and deep conversation you gave the MCBN crew at RTD… Bless your soul. Another big up to Paul Ward for photos and making sure that no-one was confused that infact “He was Paul Ward”. Check out all his pics of RTD right HERE
Even though it was the second time that I had been to the Cloof Wine Estate in a row, I have a fairly terrible sense of direction and I almost got lost like 5 times on the way there. Some more signage would have done wonders to ease the paranoia I had about spending the rest of my life lost in the middle of the daisies with only blue sky above and 3g reception no where to be found. This sentiment could be extended to the venue itself with signage being somewhat scarce inside (although little booklets with maps were handed out to people at the expense of a rainforest in Brazil).
This next bit stems from our need to be a reliable source for opinion of events and events organization for all you loyal fans and alumni. In the period leading up to RTD we made quite a big fuss about the appearance of a Blogger’s Den, which would have been a festival first and the start of a new power bloc in terms of South African blogging and online entertainment. Unfortunately, this time around it didn’t exactly work.
The idea was that the Blogger’s Den would be the base for all of us bloggers to tweet, blog and post from about our time at the festival. It was supposed to be the technical hub where would run a series of wicked activations giving away products from a variety of the festival sponsors and getting the public involved with the RTD brand and some of the top blogs in South Africa. We were expecting the Rolls freaking Royce of festival homebases, Moulder & Skully waiting to greet us at the doors to the technology vault… when we got there, we found a large stretch tent with fairy lights on it along with a metal fold out table and 5 plastic chairs. Now I am a huge fan of fairy lights, but this was hardly what we had been promised in the brochure- and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that there was no-wifi, 3G or product available to giveaway yet (oh wait… whoops). I just feel that promises made to us, Don’t Party and Cape Town Alive should have been fulfilled because we would have done a sterling job of connecting Rocking the Daisies to the rest of the universe. It also made us look just a tad bit foolish given that we had been talking up the Den to many of you in the lead up to the festival- no one likes to look like an ass (butt faces aren’t the rage at all- right?).