All words: Lu Makoboka
All images: Closure
No ticket booth, no large banners with “Cooked Sister” on it and no loud music. My arrival on Saturday afternoon for the 3rd installment of Wolfkop’s Cooked Sister was met with confusion as the standard elements of a festival seemed to be M.I.A. Instead, what I walked into was a scene that literally took me back in time… A garden packed with people who looked like they found the time machine to 1969 and back, seated on chromatic Persian rugs whilst chocolate fountains, strawberries and other sweet delicacies decorate their background. Slow down, I’m not describing a portion of heaven but the afternoon experience called “The Octopus Garden” provided at Wolfkop Weekender.
The event originally began within Citrusdale Valley near the banks of the Lilo River Flow. A commonality we’ve picked up between the previous venues and this past weekend’s venue ‘Matjiesfontien’ is the importance organizers place on a serene and dazzling natural landscape to really make you feel an air of escapism. It wasn’t the just landscape, tea and free gin that put these modern hippies on a mellow vibe, though the sounds of a 5 piece jazz band also set the tone for an easy going afternoon that saw the air flooded with laughter and good vibrations. If their mission was to recreate 1969’s ‘Summer of Love’ then without a doubt the organizers would’ve been successful. Seeing all this made it no surprise why “Woodstock: The Movie” was the film that looped in the ‘Secret Cinema’.
One of my favorite activities during the festival was literally exploring the small town. Matjiesfontien had pubs, bars and restaurants that still had that antique feel to them by virtue of the paintings and textures of the buildings. Plus there were wide lands that would tempt anyone’s curiosity, just begging to be explored by myself and the Closure team. The fall of day came with the rise of a different energy to the festival since DJ’s graced the environment with what kids these days regard as ‘fire’ – I mean good music if you’re not hip with the lingo yet grandma. The audience saw performances by the city’s very own ‘Sibot’ and Los Angeles based ‘Daedelus’ who was also the headline. Wolfkop also provided many with the opportunity to party on a train with free cocktails handed out all throughout the night, and no the train was not moving but the way people danced you would think it is. By midnight, another venue opened up called the Courthouse. I’m pretty sure this was the point where many woke up in the morning and said, “All I remember was entering the Courthouse and nothing else!” Richard Marshal and Bruno Morphet were the puppeteers of this dance floor using Synthpop, Deep House, Techo and other genres to influence our emotions and movement. They literally turned what seemed like a church into a club with psychedelic visuals on the wall!
Due to the absolute rager that occurred on Saturday, the majority of weekend warriors either stayed in their hotels and tents or left pretty early on the Sunday. To this day, I still feel quite uncomfortable calling Wolfkop Weekender a ‘festival’ as it was very different to others. The closest word that comes to mind is ‘community’ as everyone I encountered was welcoming and dissolved the stereotype of Capetonians being cliquey. I wouldn’t say one should only head to the next Wolfkop Weekender because of the fun time, but also to experience that particular level of community at a festival.