This past weekend I once again braved the interesting world of camping for the Synergy Live music festival at the Boschendal wine estate.  Now most of the time I am a total girly girl, but there’s at least a teeny tiny part of me that’s willing to break out every now and again to be that “ready-for-anything” girl.  So no, I don’t love camping – it’s dirty & gross, but I’m willing to deal with it if there is promise of having an awesome time (and also of being able to get so drunk you don’t even realise where you’re sleeping. hehe)

One thing I have to say about this particular music festival is that it certainly has the best backdrop of all.  Nestled in the Franschhoek Valley, this festival site is just absolutely beautiful:

Pic by Darryn van der Walt

** Check out Darryn’s photo portfolio here – he’s pretty damn good with this kind of thing.

The past 2 years I’ve been half baking it by sharing with others or by only staying one night.  But this time around I decided to go all out and get my own tent! I got it at a total steal for only R299 from Makro the weekend before.  Check it out:

This picture was clearly taken the next morning. I wanted to ensure that you guys got to see it in it’s full glory. hehe

It’s one of those 3 second pop out tents – so it was pretty much idiot proof.  Yet, I still had some issues and Darryn had to jump in to help me with the sticky & ropey thingies to secure it down.  Also, I have to mention that I somehow managed to drop my roll-up mattress on the way down from the parking area to the camp site (it’s a bloody far walk) and when I went back to find it, it was nowhere to be found.  So I knew I was in for a very uncomfortable sleep. :(

One thing that’s always a given is that no matter where the hell you find a spot, you will ALWAYS be next to a group of loud mouthed American students who go on and on about stupid things like “jizzing on each other’s tents” (yes – that actually happened).  There is no getting away from it.  They are everywhere – you just have to let that one go.

Anyhoo, after setting up my tent, I mixed up my weekend cocktail of vodka & Sprite Zero (cause I’m kilojoule conscious. hehe) and we headed off to the festival area.

First stop along the way was the fancy Washbox toilets for my R50 weekend pass.  What is Washbox exactly?  They refer to them as  “luxury mobile toilets” – now using the term “luxury” with “mobile toilets” is quite a damn stretch.  But compared to the other facilities in the camp site, you to tend to feel like royalty in these toilets which flush, are kept clean 24/7 and you can wash your hands.

Our 2nd stop was the Spur stand.  I dare anybody to walk past that stand without getting sucked in by that amazing smell.  This is the best option to both line your stomach and help with your hangover the next morning.  So you pretty much end up having them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Can you smell that “People with a taste for life” aroma?

Then we settled in at the main stage to watch a band called Holiday Murray.  Darryn pointed out that I had seen this band a couple of times before and that I thought they were good.  I couldn’t believe this…  if I did in fact think they were good, surely I would have at least remembered the name!?  I must have just said that at the time to be polite.

Holiday Murray on the main stage

The lineup after that didn’t excite me too much, so we headed off to do some exploring.  Luckily we did, because otherwise we would have totally missed this amazing crepe stand!

Oh yeah…

Next we settled in at the comedy tent for some up-and-coming comedy acts.  The lineup consisted out of the following acts:  Peter Sserwanga, Kurt Langeveld, Lazola Gola, Kellyn Coetzee, Rustum August & Chris Steenkamp.

I enjoyed all of the acts, except the last dude.  They weren’t quite polished and there were some “sound of crickets in the background” moments with all.  But there were also some real moments of brilliance there.  I think given more experience, they’ll be great.  Well except for poor Chris, I think he should consider getting a real job. ;)

After the comedy we decided to do some rides at the Fairground.   My favourite one was the “Round-up”, I almost lost my guts…

Then we checked out George Daniel at the Red Bull electro stage:

Visuals… such a sucker for visuals…

And headed back to the main stage for Zebra & Giraffe:

Have seen them a couple of times. They’re always a sure bet.

After their set, we headed back to our tents to fill up our water bottles with our vodka mixes for the umpteenth time and I think we both had that “I just need to rest my eyes for 5min” moment and passed out.   But hey – it was only day 1, you have to pace yourself.

I woke up on Sat morning to the sound of some drunk girl squatting and peeing a few steps behind my tent.  As she did this, she also said rather loudly: “Gawd, my kidneys are killing me!!!” Ah, nothing says “good morning” quite like that… ;)  She clearly didn’t fork out for the Washbox.  Rookie move.

The weather was amazing, with a slight wind.  I did manage to catch a shower as the queue was actually not too bad.  I think I only waited for about 45 min, which in festival speak equates to like 30 seconds.   I think it must have been because most people just opted to rinse off in the river…

I was keen for a dip as well. But I think all the “make sure you sit upstream” jokes got to me in the end… didn’t want to risk it.

Morning events included chillin’ in the sun and getting an awesome kortbroek tan…

How sexy is that…

And checking out the Afrikaans comedy set at the comedy tent.  It was pretty painful…  but it was an easy option as we were hungover and needed some shade.  So we stuck it out.  Lucky we did though, otherwise we would have totally missed the absolute gem that is Melt Sieberhagen!!!   He was the very last comedian on stage and he was BRILLIANT. Had me crying with laughter. In fact, we were so impressed, when we heard he was going to be part of the 1pm imrpov set – we came back for that as well.

After yet another Spur burger, we settled in at the main stage to watch Tumi & the Volume.

Just a piccie so you can see the stage setup in day light

It seemed at this point all the excitement had just gotten too much for some. Case in point passed out drunk dude holding on to his little beer keg:

EVERYONE took pictures of this poor dude. He’s probably all over the internet by now… hehe

Then we stumbled upon the Boschendal stand and realised that we could get a bottle of white wine for only R40!  That was equivalent to like only 2 cheap drinks at the bar.  So we figured this was awesome.  Not wanting to lug a bottle around with us, we decided to decant the wine into our water bottles, like so:

Classy was obviously not key

Now there 2 major flaws to this plan:

  1. White wine speeds up the arrival of Kandi
  2. It also happens to makes me very sleepy, especially when downing it in the hot afternoon sun.

Hmmmmm…  Anyhoo, not phased by any of that we headed over to the electro stage to check out Mr Sakitumi:

That’s him in the front of the stage, the little Asian guy with the hat on :)

He actually also happens to be the drummer for one of my new favourite bands, LARK. The electro stage seemed to be the favoured area by most as we met up with lots of other mates here, including my friend Benny. Now Benny is a crazy eyed dubsteb fanatic, so much so that we’re constantly going out of our way to take the piss.  Last week Darryn burned him on Twitter with this:

Kandi (my sane self had left by this stage) decided it would be a brilliant idea to do our own version of this “How to” guide.   This is the result:Pure genius… Did you notice the little blue guy in the background there?  That’s Benny’s sidekick Nacho.  I love Nacho!

Oooh Nacho, you’re like so hot right now

I went around forcing random dudes in the crowd to make out with Nacho – thus joking with Benny that Nacho had turned gay. He was not impressed. Sadly, I found out later that Nacho went missing.  I had nothing to do with it – I promise!  Ben thinks he was kidnapped…  So if you happen to have any information about the whereabouts of Nacho, please send it to gmail account. ;)

At around 5:30pm… Kandi crashed & burned and a 2 hr nap followed.  The 2nd bottle of wine probably wasn’t the best idea.

When I woke up later, the wind was pumping.  Not ideal.  I tried to put on the warmest stuff I had packed and headed over to my trusty Spur stand for my burger fix.  While there I saw a guy with a monkey on his back.  Yes, that’s right folks… a monkey!  Here’s the proof:

Ta da!!! Soooooo cute.

The act I was most excited to see was Jax Panik – I somehow missed his set at last year’s festival and everyone raved about how he was the best act there etc etc.  So this time round, nothing was going to stop me.  Not the wind or the cold or the fact that I was starting to feel not so great… nothing.   Good thing I persevered too, because his set was freakin’ insane!


After Jax Panik, I headed over to the electro stage to check out the last bit of the F.O.O.L set – they’re a DJ act from Sweden and they drew a seriously massive crowd:


At around 11:30pm I started feeling really poo.  I think that crazy wind and overall cold & dustiness finally took it’s toll.  So I headed back to my tent.  I didn’t feel too bad about it though, I had at least given it a good go.  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club only went on at about 1am, so I missed them.  But Darryn said they rocked.

Overnight, the wind got crazier & crazier and there were times I thought my little tent would be ripped up into the sky!  I didn’t get much sleep and at about 7am I decided I had had enough.  I packed up my things and got outta there – back to my warm comfy bed and clean bathroom.  Aaaaaah, bliss. :)  That camp site looked like it had gone through a war. It was a really scary sight…

All ‘n all, I had a fantastic time.  It was a well organised event with lots to do at all times.  Great food & drink options and relatively good shower & toilet facilities.  Happiness all around.

Until next year!