Just over 2 months ago I was invited to join Smirnoff Ice Double Black With Guarana on an experience to enjoy their new campaign called Explore The Night, which will be launched soon. I was told to be at my house, ready and waiting, at no later than 7:30pm. We were told we were going to Explore The Night unlike any other night we’ve ever had… Now at this point my mind was racing and I couldn’t actually put my finger on what exactly was happening but my bro, Sean, had told me the this night was going to put any other night we’d ever done to shame.
The story goes a little bit like this… I was picked up by a branded Explore The Night cab with an awesome hostess awaiting us. The lovely Carlinn (aka Superficial Girl) was already in the cab and waiting and off we went to pick up our next mystery guest… Katlego Maboe. Not only did Katlego keep us waiting but he also forgot his ID and we had to race back and grab it, but nothing was keeping the mystery of the evening disappear one bit. Questions were being thrown out, while we guessed what we were doing and how we were going to go about this mission but as we drove on, it became clear our night was going to begin in the centre of Cape Town.
We got out the car at Orphanage and stopped to meet Texxy, Sergio and Siv N and lined our stomachs before being gathered together and put back in our original taxi’s to EXPLORE THE NIGHT. By now, I was beside myself with excitement; the ideas running through my head were ludicrous but I felt like anything could happen, even if I dreamed it…
We began driving and as we got onto De Waal drive out of town, all I could think of was Grand West for a cray night or the airport but that was pointless, what we were going to do at the airport? As we passed the final Grand West turn off, it became clear that the airport was our destination, but why? What could we possibly doing at the airport? Were we meeting someone? Going somewhere?
As we hit the final straight down to the airport; Katlego, Carlinn and myself were trying our best to contain ourselves. All I could think of in my head was hitting Armin Van Buuren in JHB but there was no time, nor would it be possible without air tickets and all that jazz. We took a right toward the airport hangers where I then thought we’d be taken on a night helicopter flight around Cape Town to Explore The Night and hell, I couldn’t have been more wrong…
Coming into the airport hangar, it was dark, cold and raining. There was no light and it almost looked like a scene from SAW 2. I was confused but excited. Unsure of what was about to happen but then it happened… And boy, did we lose our shit. We came around the corner of the airport hangar and drove right into the view of a private jet. I think I might just have done a backflip in the taxi. Katlego and Carlinn shared in the excitement (check the video – I wasn’t lying) with shrieks, screams and some extremely excited shouting. I couldn’t believe it, we were flying somewhere and it was 10:45pm on a Saturday night. Where were we going? What were we going to do? And where did they plan on taking us at this hour? I still had Armin van Burren in the back of my mind, but it was a no-go. Whenever I asked the Smirnoff crew about it, they told me I was mad. MAD ENOUGH TO WANT TO SEE ARMIN VAN BUUREN! The flight on the private jet was next to nothing, something I never thought I would be experiencing, I almost felt like I was on top of the world! The amount of high fives and hugging going down in the jet was cute.
We landed in Jozi to a red carpet and another two branded taxi’s awaiting us. Once inside, we were given our black envelopes with our itinerary for the night. Can you guess what it was? We were given platinum ticket to see Armin Van Buuren at the Coca Cola Dome in Jozi. LIFE MADE. I sat in the cab and shed a small tear knowing that I was on my way to see the world’s greatest DJ. We walked into the event, the size of the production was mind blowing and the amount of people, close to 20,000, was creating an electric atmosphere like I have never seen before. We arrived as Armin was well into his set, with the crowd literally eating out of his hand. We were situated on the VIP deck in the middle of the arena and it gave us the perfect view of main stage from where we were. A little set up about 50m in front of us was ready and waiting with two turn tables and mixers, and Armin treated us to an exclusive 1 hour vinyl set, taking me back to my early rave days, with songs that you wouldn’t hear out and about in clubs any more. It was nostalgic to say the least. It was beautiful. I must say that was one of the best productions I have seen in South Africa and the crew behind that need to take a massive bow. I was lucky enough to bump into Ash, Ricky Bynight and Tall to smash a few hours raving with the lads before I headed back to Cape Town. I was grabbed by the crew and told we were leaving in 15 mins and all I wanted to do was stay on that dance floor. But all good things come to an end as they say and as a team, we gathered together and headed back to our Cabs and headed back to the mooiness of the private jet.
Still high from what had just gone down, I got on the plane and sat there in pure awe of how insane that was, how well done that was, how awesome Smirnoff are for pulling something like that together in such a short space of time and showing us how to Explore The Night. I won’t lie when I say that was one of the best crews to rave with. We threw it down and we did it properly.
The most memorable moment of my night has to be arriving at the airport and seeing the jet but for me, the best part of the night in Jozi was seeing Armin play an intimate vinyl set with the crowd within an arm’s length reach.
But I just want to say a massive thanks to Smirnoff Ice Double Black With Guarana for allowing me the opportunity of doing something as awesome as this. I was dreaming of seeing Armin Van Buuren all week in the lead up the Jozi event and while a large amount of my Cape Town mates had all got tickets and booked their flights up there, I was sitting in Cape Town, hoping and dreaming. My dreams came true thanks to Smirnoff. You absolute legends you.
Can I just say a massive shout out to the legendary team that we missioned with, Sergio, Tex, Carlin, Katlego and Siv N, you guys are absolute champions. I think another mission is in order… What do you say on Smirnoff Ice Double Black With Guarana? Are you guys ready to EXPLORE THE NIGHT one more time?
To catch more on what happened that night, check out my video below and if you go to www.explorethenight.com you too could also score yourself a night of endless possibilities.