I have lived in Cape Town my whole life and I, like many of the boys here at MyCityByNight, started my career of leisure at an early age. I sometimes wish I was born somewhere nice and peaceful, like Paternoster, so I wouldn’t have had such a seedy youth – but it happened nonetheless.
At the time, South Africa had just come out of Apartheid and us previously sheltered white youths were being exposed to more daily than ever before and in turn started becoming the experimental dummies who were keen to take everything on head first.
Venturing into industrial areas in the middle of the night, following some albeit sketchy information, to listen to hard house with the most integrated crowd of people us white suburban kids had ever seen.
This was the real South Africa all right.
There we were in Epping East, whites and coloureds together, raving and sharing tiger balm in peace.
I hung up my white gloves many years ago until not so long ago when my arm was twisted into going to an outdoor trance party.
Feeling like I knew more or less of what to expect, I went with my tiger balm in one hand and my good intentions in the other. I was greeted with a large sound rig, plethora of drugs, and overpriced drinks. Just how I remembered it bar the daytime setting, ethnic decor, the smell of beer-flavoured decaying earth and of course, the lack of smiling dark faces.
Where were all the brothers yo?
Never before had I seen such a hedonistic bunch of white kids gathered in such a manner.
In the distance I spotted a dark face bopping along to the dark tribal sound our breed of South Africa trance has become internationally famous for. As I approached him I noticed he was dressed in overalls and wielding a pitchfork, perhaps a fashion statement or this dude was a labourer on this farm. Needless to say he didn’t have an armband on.
Again I scanned the crowd of neon/tie-dye/worn-leathery white kids, looking for a brother.
And I found him…or her.
I wasn’t quite sure but ‘she’ was black. And tall.
And had an armband on.
I bopped on over to ‘her’ and asked her ‘where the brothers [were] at, yo?’
‘She’ had a little chuckle and told me she had no idea.
Now furiously curious, I scanned the crowd again.
To my right I saw two large white dudes dressed all in red forcibly
escorting a brother off the dancefloor.
“Who is that brother?” I asked my new he/she friend.
“I think his name is Ezra,” she said.
“Oh. So are they coming for you now?” I asked.
She laughed again.
“It is strange there are so few of us here. Especially because this music sounds so much like African tribal music. You know, the bushmen were really the first people who knew what trance, or being in a trance, was really about.”
So if it’s not because the music is too ‘white’, then what is it?
Are white kids on acid scarier than white kids on ecstasy?
Or is it the offensive amount of white dudes rocking dreadlocks?
I am now appealing to all the brothers out there.
Let us know – What it is about outdoor trance parties that keep you away?
‘Cause we miss you.