I hadn’t managed to get out of work as early as I wanted to on Friday… so we got to Rocking the Daisies a bit late, but luckily our tent was already sorted as my friend Rolf offered to secure a great spot & setup our tent for us earlier that day in exchange for a lift for his darling fiance Lucy (who happens to be a close friend of mine). I would have given her a lift in any case if she needed one, so I think I totally got the better end of that deal. Mwhahahahaha.
Rolf was brave enough to do the Cycle to Daisies – yes, that’s right, he got there on a bicycle! Therefore he headed out quite early on Friday. It’s about 75 km driving distance to Darling. Then the Cloof Wine Estate is about 10km outside of town. Once on the estate, you then have to brave about another 10km on a dirt road to get to the festival area. That’s hectic. But not as hectic as the people who WALK to the Daisies. Yes, those crazy folks do actually exist. For the cycling option, you get your festival ticket at a discount and they will take your stuff up for you. For the walking option, you at least get in for free. You would bloody hope so. hehe.
I figured the approx 1 hour drive sounded like the most sane option…
Upon arrival, I quickly had to snap a pic of the flowers. Good thing I did, because these were pretty much the only flowers I saw all weekend:
After we had settled in at our tent and said hi to everyone, it was dark time to go and explore. My first stop was that Daisy Den I had heard so much about. I was worried that this “girls only” tent would not live up to my expectations… but it did not disappoint.
Fancy showers with lots of mirrors. Clean toilets. GHD stylers to jazz up your hair. Pretty couches to relax and put your feet up. Manicure & pedicure stations. Brutal fruit bar. And all of this at no extra cost! It was seriously awesome.
There was a “Man Cave” tent as well. It was so lame. It only had like 4 pool tables. That’s it. And the biggest insult for the dudes was that they were letting girls enter the tent in any case. haha. Shame guys… sucks to be you.
Food wise, there were lots of great options: Hudsons burgers, tasty shawarmas, sushi, Butlers pizza and more. Of course they also made sure there was a strong coffee hook up – crucial for those hangovers in the mornings.
We made a mission to check out all the different entertainment areas. First the Nu World Beat ring – a smallish tent featuring various types of music from all over the world:
Then the Red Bull Studio live tent for all your “doef doef” music cravings:
Ooooh, look at all the flashing lights…
The Lemon Tree Theatre had comedy acts, magicians, dancers, bar flaring and more:
Then last but not least, the Main stage – the place where all the big name bands were performing:
I’m not sure who that dodgy guy was… but his jumpsuit was way too tight, just sayin’…
I was seriously excited to check out Gazelle & Jack Parow on the Friday evening. And I must say both put on a fantastic show.
Gazelle was up first. As usual DJ Invisible was knocking out some seriously cool beats and Gazelle himself was wearing one of his fabulously awesome getups:
The band went all out with African dancers and insane visuals and lighting. It was really a stand out performance. Love, love, loved it! Of course they did “Verlore Seun” – but luckily this time they didn’t leave it til right at the end of the set… that song is way to awesome to have to wait for. In fact, it’s so awesome, they should open & close with it.
Side bar: Here’s me & my darling Lucy. She’s been away for a few years doing her PhD and I’m really happy that she’s finally back home. This chicka is seriously smart, she even speaks Mandarin! (amongst a few other languages) Anyhoo, she’s getting married next year in March and has been brave enough to ask me to be one of her bridesmaids – not only that, but I’m also in charge of the bachelorette party. Mwhahahahaha. Bring on the male strippers!!! No no no… don’t worry Luce, I’m just kidding… or am I?
Next up was Jack Parow. Did you guys know that he has a seriously hot female drummer? Seriously, Google it, she’s smokin’…
Jack did a collaboration with a bass rap collective called PH Fat, which was brilliant. And obviously the crowd went wild when he did his famous hit, “Cooler as Ekke”. I still rate that song as one of my favourites from the past 5 years.
After that we headed over to the Nu Word Beat ring to do a bit of dancing. Was cool because it wasn’t too packed, so you had lots of space to bust out your moves.
On Saturday we woke up cooking in our tents by like 7am – it was bloody hot!!! Excited to have a shower at the Daisy Den, that was my first mission. Sadly, that was also every other chicka’s plan – so I ended up standing in a queue for about 1h 30min. Was it worth it? Oh hell yeah! Felt sooooo good afterward. I hate having to walk around all day feeling smelly & gross.
Because it was such a beautiful day, we spent most of our time at “the beach”:
Ja ja, so it’s obviously not a real beach. It was just a sandy area next to the dam. But they did put up a really cool little beach bar where you could order cocktails and such, with cool tunes playing in the background. So it was perfect.
Because of the heat, umbrellas were a huge trend with the ladies. But these were not your average R20 umbrella you bought next to the road, think pretty traditional Chinese umbrellas and antique looking lace umbrellas. Lucy in fact was rocking a very pretty umbrella made by a friend of hers:
The brand is called AfroSol. Prices & stockists are still not certain. But you can check out this blog spot in the meantime to stay in the loop if you’re interested. I was also really taken by a ring Lucy was wearing:
It’s made by a friend of hers, Marietjie. Her jewellery range is called Skermunkil. Check out her blog, Eendag op ‘n Reendag to find out more about her, her jewellery & stockists. This ring was from her “Lost & Found” collection where she incorporated antique china into her pieces. I absolutely love it. Dying to check out more of her stuff now.
It was at this point that I accidentally DROPPED MY CAMERA INTO MY PINA COLADA! Yes, this is unfortunately a true story. I couldn’t even make this sh!t up if I tried. (For the record, I was sober – which kinda makes it worse) You see I got distracted when my bikini strap came loose, forgot that my camera strap was around my wrist, proceeded to try and re-attach the strap and left my camera dangling into my drink. Awesomeness.com. hehe.
I left it to dry for a couple of hours. Luckily the battery & memory card was still fine. As for the camera’s ability to still take pictures… well, let me rather show you:
It’s like barely noticeable, right? It’s simply a permanent “soft focus” feature.
I took a few more pics on my phone – it was pretty much the only use I got out of the bloody thing over the weekend because I had zero reception. Then again, not much has changed since thanks to the worldwide Blackberry service stuff up.
At 1pm we moved over to the main stage to check out iScream & the Chocolate stix:
They had a pretty good set. I think it was just a tough time slot due to the heat. It was extremely hard to convince people to get out of the water and into the piping hot sun. I thought they were worth the effort though.
While chilling under a tree, we noticed “muscle man” for the first time – he was guarding the backstage area:
You want to come in? Me don’t think so…
He was letting people in according to their fancy pants arm bands. You thought you were special with a VIP arm band? Think again, just look all the various levels of cool:
The rest of the afternoon was spent chilling at the dam again. Soaking up the sun an enjoying some more cocktails (this time without camera flavouring). hehe.
That evening we decided to go check out some comedy at the Lemon Tree Theater. Siv Ngesi was doing a set – I’ve met him a couple of times, he even lives in my building, but I’d never seen him do his thing. So I was really keen to check it out. The guy rocked that stage! Brilliant stuff…
Sadly though, it was at this point that my weekend took a nasty turn. Let me explain… as a kid, I was allergic to absolutely everything. My childhood was something similar to that movie “Bubble Boy”. True story. Most of my allergies I’ve managed to outgrow. But every now and again something triggers it and I get this crazy attack similar to an asthma attack. This time around it happened to be the hay bales they used as seating in the theater. I wasn’t feeling great, but I figured maybe it would get better if I got enough fresh air. This worked for a while. But then we wanted to go check out PH Fat at the Red Bull tent. It was quite stuffy and packed in there, so was battling to breathe as is. But I just got worse and worse. Couldn’t understand why. That was until my friend Paul pointed out that they had used hay as floor cover in that tent as well. That was the end of me…
I had to rush back to my tent to take lots of antihistamines, but at that point it was too late. I just had to wait it out. I sounded like a chain-smoking 80 year old at that point – heaving & coughing like crazy. Also, I made this awesome squeaking sound when I took a breath. Eventually the drugs knocked me out and I managed to get some sleep.
I pretty much woke just up on the Sunday, packed up and headed home. Then spent the entire day on my couch, feeling like death… and also like a total loser. It took me back to when I was 6 and my mom dropped me off at a birthday party. But before leaving she gave the other kid’s mom a list of all the things I was allergic to. The mom got so nervous she made me sit with all the mom’s for the entire party to keep an eye on me. Aaarrrggh. Needless to say, making friends was hard.
So ja… my weekend started out amazing, but came to an abrupt end. I guess you can’t win them all. There’s always the Synergy music festival in November. I’ll just make sure I drug myself up properly in preparation and mabye I’ll call the organisers to ask them not to use hay bales please.