So I missed the yoga, but I made it just in time to see the end of Phoenix Smith’s set.
There weren’t as many people as I expected to see, but it was still early. First things first, I got myself a nice wet soft drink, found a log, sat down and started observing.
The food. How could I carry on with this waffling without mentioning the food on offer. We had a selection of about four or five different food stalls, offering everything from curries to sandwiches to Thai food, all of which were carefully picked by the organisers to ensure that you didn’t go hungry. I still think they should have allowed picnic baskets in…
These sort of events are great for people watching. It’s beautiful to see such a diverse crowd of people gathered in one place, especially when they’re here to support local music. The line-up could have attributed to that diversity, considering the vast differences between acts like Shotgun Tori, Chiba Fly, Yo Grapes, Nakhane Toure, Jeremy Loops and Shadowclub to name just a few.
The sun was bearing down on us in full force. The shaded areas were mostly full. I can imagine the bar must have done incredibly well. Naturally, as the day progressed, the sun – as well as the shade – moved. A lot. The heat did not dampen anyone’s spirit though, as the good vibes kept on coming. The music changed pace and the crowds got a little more involved, but still they hid in the shade, trying to escape the inevitable. Until Jeremy Loops came on stage.
There were a few acts who didn’t quite appeal to me personally, but that’s not to say the talent isn’t there. We have so many amazing artists in JHB and the country, and it’s so great to see them peddling their wares as often as the opportunity arises.
Unfortunately, by 16:30, not only were my camera batteries at less than 10%, but so was my energy level. The sun had taken its toll. I should really heed Baz Luhrmann’s advice. Wear sunscreen.
“The Parklife Music Festival kicks off its inaugural to-do in Cape Town with Australian folk favourite Xavier Rudd as headliner. Sounding off at Kirstenbosch Gardens on Friday, 22 March 2013, the outdoor acoustic shindig pairs the Aussie great’s act with performances by local legends, Farryl Purkiss and Jeremy Loops, for an evening of great guitar tunes delivered in the most charming of atmospheres.
This will be Rudd’s first gig on South African soil, and quite fittingly, the socially conscious, environmentally aware artist will take to the stage at Kirstenbosch Gardens, a spot with breathtaking views and an idyllic outdoor concert setting. Known to be perpetually barefoot and never without at least three didgeridoos on stage, Rudd, who’s toured with Jack Johnson and Ben Harper, has a distinctive one-man band sound that has made him a festival favourite at major events, like Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee.
Not to be outdone, Farryl Purkiss and Jeremy Loops are stars in their own right. Purkiss recently releasedhis third album, “Home”,and will be touring the country in support of that in March and April. Cape Town local Jeremy Loops, on the other hand, has found Mother City folk fame thanks to his live sets which consist of multi -layered loops (as his name suggests) of rhythms and beats that transform his performances into an interactive feast for eager audiences. ”
So we heard about Mieliepop Fest via twitter and looked into it, we hadn’t heard about this one before so were a bit intrigued. Keeping track of the goings on from earlier in the year… Noticing that Uriah Heep was going to headline, we paid a little bit more attention.
Leaving it all to the last minute, Tait and myself had been umming and aaahing about making the trek up there for quite some time, eventually we said lets make it happen. Now bear in mind, Tait had recently moved to Cape Town and myself being in Durban, logistically this was quite a feat. With little planning Tait arrived in Durban, we organised his brothers car (thanks junior) and that Friday late afternoon we made the 550 odd km drive from Durban to Mpumalanga. Neither of us having been that way before it was all a bit foreign.
Following the trusty Google Maps we made our way up and through the winding roads, saw some amazing landscapes lit up by the golden afternoon sun. It was cold, to say it was windy was an understatement, but we stopped a few times to snap off a few photos and move on through.
Google maps said we had over 7 hours in the saddle till we reached our destination. What else can you do but grab a bag of trail mix and turn up the music.
Thankfully we cut that 7+ hours down to a little over 5 hours and drove through Ermelo just as it was starting to get dark. A turn onto a dirt road and we could tell we were close. Heading through the darkness into the relative unknown, we saw the rock faces and the stage lit up with spot lights.
On arrival I must say the IQ level of those telling people where to go seemed to drop from entrance through ’til we reached our final camping spot. The guys just didn’t seem to know where we were supposed to be heading, in hindsight it could be that they spoke Afrikaans and we… well… don’t. Needless to say we found a spot to pitch tent and crack open the first beers, thanks &union 😉 they were great.
We could hear the band playing in the background and beer in hand we grabbed our gear and headed to the stage…
I must admit, I hadnt heard of the majority of the performers this weekend, bar the likes of Dan Patlansky, Jeremy Loops and of course… Uriah Heep. And there were a number of Afrikaans artists which performed. Regardless of the fact, we heard some great music this weekend.
Shotgun Tori was a definite highlight and one of the first artists we came across. Unfortunately we were so involved in the whole vibe we missed most of the Band names. Jeremy Loops once again had everyone up and jumping about with some great vibes. On Saturday morning while gathering our thoughts and finding something to eat, Tait and I were discussing roadies and listening to the guys doing soundcheck, thinking these roadies are pretty talented musically, soon after we realised it was actually Uriah Heep setting up on stage and getting their sound sorted, it wasn’t long before a crowd of followers and gathered around the stage, mesmerized by Uriah Heeps impromptu taster which set the mood for the rest of the day. Some of the lucky few managed to get their old LPs signed just after the guys headed back to their Chalets. It goes without saying that that evening, Uriah Heep were phenomenal. They were on stage for probably close to 2 hours, non stop classic Rock melodies ringing through our ears.
Something quite nice and a little different was ‘The Cave’ as it seems to be dubbed. A cave like area where everyone migrated to once the bands were finished, this is where the DJ’s kept the night going with a little outdoorsy dance floor situated in a.. you guessed it… a cave.
Onto the nitty gritty, the toilets were clean, there were PROPER toilets and really good portable toilets (not the usual green plastic things). And of course there were showers with HOT water, albeit small, but enough to throw some soap and water and make oneself smell a little more presentable.
The venue was outstanding, a beautiful setting, set alongside a dam and having heated pool surrounded by chairs and fire pits and luscious green grass to plonk our tents.
Having only found out a day into the festival that this was only the second Mieliepop Fest, we were thoroughly impressed, bar a few small hiccups which are really not even worth mentioning, the event was well put together, as mentioned the venue was stunning and the people we met and partied with were awesome.
A huge shout out to Tracey and the rest of the Mieliepop crew for hosting us and we look forward to seeing you next year!!!