Thursday, 23 October 2014

Mieliepop 2014

There is always more corn.

I had an exciting ride down to Mieliepop Festival this year. Actually, I'm lying. It was scary. Like the start of horror movie scary I soon realised, with nothing more than a empty cooler box, 3 borrowed panini rolls, a small bolt cutter, a leaf-spring gladius and a poncho. It's not the correct assortment of things to have in your inventory if you have to endure, miles of dark winding bushveld highways, in the middle of nowhere, obviously, two startled bovine beasties comically appearing in to the middle of the devilish dirt road I had been on for the last hour. Killer kamikaze bunnies running into my car as if they were actually hellbent on trying to rip my head off (lest we forget about Tim's warning). A road so scary, the organisers said to "NOT TAKE THAT ROAD" and when those words echoed in my mind and I saw flashes of a Google Map, I realised that I could probably live to see my next birthday, if I throw my sadistic, angry ex-wife incarnate GPS out of the window right now.

That was a bad piece of the cob. But hey? Such is life.


Damn straight it is.

There is no telling when the next large farm animal will stumble out of his meticulously painted camo shrubbery in front of your fast moving car like some sexy steam punk hobo (Sorry Dan) to quickly end your fleeting time on earth. We also don't know when our lives will change completely either. Or where for that matter. For there is no button on a GPS to guide you, or directions you can Google to point you to happiness, or in my case, in the direction of a place where Tom and Huckleberry will be waiting to row you upstream every morning, to take you to a hidden magical place. A place where people you like become people you love, where music becomes more than just sound, but becomes an inescapable aura of energy and emotion, where dancing includes a smile that's damn near impossible to hide, where laughter becomes so shared and contagious that people will run up to you and laugh with you, even if they don't really know why. This is what Mieliepop Festival is. That is what I found. 

A scenic stream side camp amongst the frogs, fairies, willow trees, tents for booze, cosy camp fires, crispy bacon mornings and the "Where the fuck is MY!?! Oh. Wait. Here it is" moments. A place so riddled in mystery that you never quite grasp the fact that adventure and freedom lie right up around the river, on a big green stomped grassy patch where the girls don't have too many flowers in their hair and no one minds that you've brought a emerald blue dragon AND a lightsaber with, cause they're all far too busy living in their own imagination.

In a way, it's that continuous idea, or cold shiver, or dark omnipresence of a sudden and gruesome death that should be setting us all free. Free to be who we want to be. It took me a while after my father asked me once, after doing something bizarre in front of him, "Who the hell are you?" that I considered the way that I am living, is not quite at full capacity. I set out to do so and I became, after a lot of destructive, abusive, depressive and insane behaviour, rather fantastic! I also developed a remarkable knack for smuggling (well, at least in my own mind) and as far as I'm concerned, the most important opinion, the one you really need to worry about, is the one you have of yourself.

So when I tell you, 'Susan that Whore' is a terrible band, then know it's my brutally honest opinion. In the same manner, when I openly wept, when the short hairy 'Shaun Jacobs Band' played and he does that little August Rush slappy-slap-tap guitar thing, you know it is the truth because to me life is too fleeting and fragile to not cry when something beautiful happens. It's not often that I find a place where I feel more alive and apart of this world. Dancing all alone but in no way lonely. 

Or rarely do I feel so proudly South African, as I did when 'Mandoza' walked onto the stage after 'Wonderboom' (Nkalakhata* the "steal a laptop" song... I surprised many a tendon and onlookers, doing my own rendition of a western Texas line dance mashed horrifically with a Zulu war dance. I'm so glad no one took photos. Apologies. That's a lie). With the likes of, the artful 'Naming James', 'Shadowclub', the viby 'Desmond and the Tutus', 'Shortstraw', the headbanging goodness of 'Bittereinder', the enthralling beauty of 'Josie Field & Laurie Levine', 'The Blues Broers', 'Radio Kalahari Orkes' and so many more, then that alone is no small feat.

The way festivals are not just about the music, so our outlook on life must also not be just about one thing. The same goes for when you inevitably run into Susan (that whore) - Figuratively speaking of course. I mean Susan can be anyone, even yourself (unless you are in fact Susan That Whore, I then suggest giving that poor guy some closure). Accept it, learn from it, brush it off, and just look forward to the next act. Go ahead and share your last panini with a broken hearted man in your car. Take a solo walk around, try a new food stand, buy something ridiculous, talk to ALL the strangers you meet and make sure when people walk past you, or traversing by boat, even with your lazy face on the grass that they will spot you, point and say,"Look! There's that guy I was telling you about!" (I still had the majority of my clothes on. It was a proud moment). 

To have a whole bunch a girls following you around and be neither tempted or swayed by their advances, knowing in your heart you will not settle for second best. Say what's on your mind to whoever will and will not listen, because that may be the only chance you'll ever get. 

In the end, what is life if it's not about taking chances and having a whole lot of fun doing it? 

Mieliepop was a perfect reminder, that generally, we all only get one Mielie. It's what you do with those individual kernels, how fantastically you decide to use them, what you're willing to risk, that can make your average looking Mielie really Pop.

Words: Ben Stefan Gericke
Photos: Adelle Van Der Merwe

Mieliepop Festival:

Words: Ben Stefan Gericke
Photos: Adelle Van Der Merwe
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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Daisies 2014

Rocking in Darling 

No one can disagree with me; Rocking the Daisies is a pretty festival. It's a gigantic fair of colourful stalls, bright lights, green fields and perfectly dressed girls and boys. Weeks before the actual festival I scan my feed on instagram and find photo after photo of "festival prep". This includes taking pictures of newly bought flower crowns, kimonos and aztec croptops as well as selfies in liquor stores with cases of beer, vodka and tequila. It's a festival of music, fashion, brands and beautiful people.

We arrived early the Friday afternoon excited to see some bands, but got greeted by a very tight ticketing system. A promising idea that screwed thousands of festival goers in the ass when they arrived at the gates of Daisies. My heart sank like a stone, bitter and cold, in my shoes when I saw the que at the entrance. WHAT ON EARTH!? They sold over 21000 tickets and literally had one tent at the entrance to stuff eyeryone through. We waited and waited and then waited some more for 3 and a half hours and eventually arrived on the inside of Cape Town's extra large music and lifestyle jamboree.

I was never in my life so confused at a festival when I entered the gates. It was utter chaos – Girls with broken flower crowns crying over their phones to boyfriends and friends still in the que, a guy struggling to carry what looked like his entire Camp's Bay mansion and people screaming to friends through the gates to “push to the front, every one is doing it”. It wasn't the perfect start to our festival, but at least we could set up camp and open a cold beer after all the ruckus and commotion.

We were some of the unfortunate campers to set up our tent in the middle of someone's “circle of trust”. Sorry, to everyone involved, but we literally had no idea that these two tents were camping buddies with those two tents 5 meters further? But like true happy campers we made a few fake friends and had them falsely swore that we could stay for the rest of the festival.

Once inside, you are guaranteed a fun time at Daisies no matter what, there is so much to do for everyone. If you're not a dam sitter (someone who sits at the dam), then you can go to the Main Stage for some rock. Or if you're not in the mood to be green, you can skip the Green Village and go get your dose of strobe lights and beats per minute at the Electro Dome. This year everything was bigger at Daisies; Just think of that Electro Dome. It was like a giant hippopotamus that swallowed you whole every time you stepped inside with the sound and lighting enveloping you feet first.

Francois van Coke, Arno Carstens and friends collaborated on Friday and it was the first act we watched on the Main Stage. It was a fun mix of  their most popular songs. I was a little surprised at the large crowd the act pulled, but I felt content by the fact that rock was still very alive in Cape Town.

Shortly after, The Black Cat Bones were on the Main Stage, giving a fantastic show to a seemingly smaller crowd. These guys give local rock music a good name; they are loud and rock solid and from where we were watching them in the Peter Stuyvesant chill out lounge (I know not very rock n roll of us), they showed why they were one of SA's best live acts.

Later, we strolled off to the Electro Dome to catch Das Kapital. This guy has a huge following, so large that it filled the entire dome and spilled out onto the grass where everyone hopped around to the beats; high on  life or something. 

Saturday we woke up early not to find music or food, but much needed shade. Instead of waking up fresh as a daisy, we felt pretty much like most girls' morning-after squashed flower crowns. Saturday officially marked the beginning of my summer; it was almost unbearably hot. So, I don't blame the girls walking around in denim shorts looking more like belts than pants and tops that displayed more nipple than fabric - C'mon it was hot!

In the daylight I could figure out more what the organisers tried with the layout. I must admit, it was something to get used to. Numerous times I tried to go this way only to be told I had to go that way. The layout seemed a bit unnatural with the different stages a bit too close to each other and sound genres flooding into one another, though it didn't bother once in front of a specific stage.

The food court was festival heaven (even though we only bought calamari and chips at the one stall the entire weekend). Normally at a festival I don't bother with having hummus on the side of my vegan sandwich, but for those that do, it was reload paradise with pretty much the hippest of hipster stalls filling the court.

It was literally too hot to watch bands on Saturday, because there were no shade at the Main Stage! So, we were forced to skip some early afternoon acts and spend time at the crowded beach bar. This bar/stage was a haven for super troopers that just needed an aztec printed vest, a fake beach, beats that made them see stars and a toxic mix in a squeezy bottle. We tried hanging out for as long as we could, but after being offered a 'party in a pack' in a little bag, we escaped the banks of Daisy Shore. 

We met some cool people at the Hemp Stage and decided to chill there for the rest of the afternoon with cool bands and good company. Wolftown was a personal favourite, but also the reason why I solidly crashed on some neon stalls' incredible beanbags shortly after their set (thanks guys!).

The rest of Saturday was a bit of a blur with getting a bit dagdronk while watching the rugby and missioning around in search of shade, but at last the night crept over us and brought excitement for the international headliners.

Like many others I most looked forward to MGMT's live performance, luckily I have been watching live shows of their Coachella and Glastonbury performances, so I had an idea of what was to come - A glorious show of sweet nothingness. Yes, they didn't even try to interact with the crowd a little bit and the thousands of hopefuls suddenly and rudely came off from whatever they were on. To me, on the other hand, it was brilliantly weird - This psychedelic pop-rock band that had the strangest visuals if nothing else. We stayed for the whole set as we laid on our backs wondering into the countryside stars.

Rudimentals graced the unamused crowd a while later and gave them what they wanted; a energetic, full performance that many regard as the best live act of the entire festival. I'm just glad I saw more international acts.

Daisies reached its peak on Sunday with thousands flocking to the dam to find beats, a tan and good times. I, on the other hand, found shade in the Savana Lemon Tree Theatre with some of SA's best comedians. A festival is not a festival without a session of good comedy (mostly about white privileged people hanging at Daisies). 

The festival came to a not so beautiful stand still the second we wanted to leave; we sat in the que for 2 hours again trying to leave. Luckily the good times made up for the bad and with the memories of RTD2014 still fresh in our minds, we could bear it, so no hard feelings, Daisies!

This year Daisies brought out the big guns, in my opinion they were not quite ready for the thousands, but they gave it a good go anyway. There were clean portaloos (thank you, thank you to the cleaners that literally clean up behind us while we partied!), decent bars, friendly oraganisers and enough free stuff to fill your entire boot (thanks brands!). 

Time and again people told me how I should write something about the water situation. Yes, it was a situation – a very dry one. I fully understand the organisers point in that they have never sold water at the festival and that they are trying to create awareness, but this green idea is a bit far fetched when temperatures go up to 35. This might work for a festival of 10000, but when you double in numbers, there must be a better way to deal with this. Can we swop old clothes for a 2l water, can we have more outside showers only to cool off under for a minute or two, ask festival goers to bring their own 5L waters or ice and can we please have shade at the Main Stage?

On the other hand there is absolutely no reason to complain about the way the festival looked on Saturday - There were more than enough bins and awareness created around this matter; I saw cleaners picking up trash just before 11 on Saturday night, for goodness sake! The litter you saw in the campsite and in the entertainment area, came out of your bag, that's your trash. Daisies is doing a good job in cleaning up, it's the festival goers that's making the job so difficult!

Daisies can proud themselves in the fact that they created a super fest with world class facilities. Off course it had hiccups, but in time it will sort itself out. The festival turns 10 next year and is fast becoming Oppikoppi's branded little sister.

I think RTD2015 is going to be an interesting one...

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Monday, 20 October 2014

Up the Creek 2015

Jägermeister presents Up the Creek 2015

29 January1 February 2015

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a staunch oke, a trance tripper, 
a hip hipster or a hip hop head.
It doesn’t even matter if you’re a zombie robot.

At Up The Creek everyone comes together.
No VIP nonsense. No pretence. No cliques.
Just a beautiful river. Three epic stages.
Thirty awesome live bands and our country’s coolest comedy acts

Creekers, we know that you are rambunctiously excited to know which bands will be playing at Jagermeister presents Up the Creek 2015! Bring out the whifflers to clear the path; come closer; hear hear! Round up your friends who suffer from Deipnophobia because their mother-in-laws wear Winklepickers; wake the fudgelling folk and phone your nearest and dearest friends; your annual weekend of sheer joyful abandon at the Breede River awaits!  

The good news is that none of our stages will be overlapping, so you will not be subject to spaghettification – that is, “the process by which you would be stretched and ripped apart by such gravitational forces.” Shame on those quomodocunquizing clusterfists that put up callithumpian parades to discombobulate the audience. What a waste! Do it properly we say!

With no further ado then dear folk, herewith the first band confirmations of our fabulous 2015 line up:
Zebra & Giraffe, Shortstraw, aKING, Bye Beneco, Al Bairre, The Black Cat Bones, Taxi Violence, Red Huxley, Manouche, December Streets, Hot Water, Piet Botha, Grassy Spark, Kite Rider, The Kiffness and Diamond ThugWe know. Habromania right?
That is why we will give you a breather before we announce more bands  in October!

 Sedgwick Old Brown Food Court

Once again Sedgwicks Old Brown are sharing the warmth and creating a food court like no other. Under their Bedouin you’ll be privy to a comfort and vibe as only Sedgwicks can share.The Cape Town food trucks contingent are journeying up to the Creek to bring you the widest range of delicious food. And in true Sedwicks style it just keeps getting better, your breakfast will be accompanied by live music next year and giveaways will be a plenty. Groking won’t be accepted (when is it ever!?) but you can absolutely bibble away to your hearts` content.

Heartbreak Motel:

If you want to rock out in a little more comfort, then the Heartbreak Motel is for you. There are two options of pre-pitched tents, hot showers, toilets, buffet breakfast and other luxuries.                                                    
Graceland Tent: R3350 for two (Thurs-Sun)     
Cadillac Tent: R2750 for two (Thurs-Sun)                                                                                    
For more info and bookings go to:Heartbreak Motel

Ticket sales are open: R750.00 at NUTICKETS - Tickets are for whole weekend access only (arrive any day Thurs – Sun).
We will keep next year’s festival the same comfortable size you’ve come to love, however unfortunately no under 18`s at Up the Creek 2015.

Facebook: Facebook                                                      
Twitter:      @Upthe_Creek
Website:   Up The Creek

Come as you are dear Creeker: baimaidens, benedicks, gaberlunzies, baffonas, funambulists, play play widgeons - all welcome!

Here’s page 2 of our always growing Up The Creek dictionary:

Rambunctious - adj. Uncontrollably exuberant.
Whiffler – noun. Somebody who walks in front of you through a crowd, waving a chain or an
                            axe in order to clear your path.
Fudgel – verb. Pretending to work when you're not actually doing anything at all. 
Deipnophobia –noun. The morbid fear of dinner parties especially when the in-laws are
Winklepicker –noun. Style of shoe or boot in the 1950s with a sharp and long pointed toe.
Quomodocunquizing – verb. "To make money in any possible way.” It's been used in 1652
                                                  by Thomas Urquhart, who wrote: Those quomodocunquizing
                                                  clusterfists and rapacious varlets.
Callithumpian – noun. Refers to a band of discordant instruments or a noisy parade.
Discombobulate – verb. To confuse.
Habromania – noun. Extreme euphoria.
Groke – adv. To look at somebody while they're eating in the hope that they'll give you some
                      of their food.
Bibble – adv. To eat and/or drink noisily.
Benedick – noun. A newly married husband, especially one formerly a confirmed bachelor.
Gaberlunzie – noun. A wanderer.
Baimaiden – noun. A female underground miner.
Baffona –noun. A woman with a slight moustache.
Funambulist – noun. A tightrope walker.
Widgeon - noun. Freshwater ducks with light crowns.

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Thursday, 16 October 2014



Two more international producers and another local talent added to the lineup

Sónar Cape Town and presenting partner Olmeca Tequila have been hard at work securing more top international and local names for this year’s highly anticipated Cape Town event. While the lineup already includes international artists 2manydjs (DJ Set), The Bloody Beetroots (Live), Jon Hopkins and a host of South Africa’s best local talent, the team is excited to announce the addition of the phenomenal Ten Walls, UZ and Sir Vincent.

With less than two years on the circuit and just three EP’s to his name, Ten Walls has already become a force within electronic music circles. ‘Gotham’, his first, went on to conquer main rooms and festival stages worldwide, and during the summer of 2013 achieved underground anthem status. His follow-up, ‘Requiem’ continued this momentum by hitting the coveted Beatport number one spot and his ‘Walking with Elephants’ track has only been snowballing in popularity since its release. The evolving live performance offered by Ten Walls is defined by creativity and intricate production and this year he aims to push boundaries both sonically and visually.

Trap artist UZ was discovered on Soundcloud and has already had massive support from like-minded global producers, Diplo and Flosstradamus. UZ’s debut EP was released on the Mad Decent ‘Jeffree’s’ sub-label and has been played hundreds of thousands of times across Soundcloud and other platforms. As a person UZ remains mysterious, but his music is anything but: raw and powerful, but with a laidback tempo, he gives listeners a chance to slow down without losing momentum.

Bolstering an already impressive local bill, Sónar Cape Town welcomes Cape Town based Vincent Manzini, better known as Sir Vincent, who is a Bridges for Music ambassador. Bridges for Music is a non-profit organization supporting electronic music development in developing countries, leaving a positive impact in disadvantaged communities.     

These artists will all perform on Tuesday 16 December at Cape Town’s Good Hope Centre.

Sónar Cape Town ticket and event information
Limited Early Bird Passes are available. The Sónar Professional Accreditation (PRO) option offers access to priority parking, a cloakroom, free Wi-Fi, cellphone chargers and access to an exclusive viewing area and bar at the event.

The current lineup:
Sónar Cape Town, 15 December
·         2manydjs (DJ Set)
·         Christian Tiger School
and more to be announced…

Sónar Cape Town, 16 December
·         The Bloody Beetroots (live)
·         Jon Hopkins
·         Ten Walls
·         UZ
·         Sibot & Toyota 
·         Spoek Mathambo presents Fantasma
·         PHFat 
·         Trancemicsoul
·         Sir Vincent
·         Fever Trails 
and more to be announced…

‘A Taste of Sónar’ Johannesburg, 12 December
·         2manydjs (dj set)
·         The Bloody Beetroots (live)
and more to be announced…

Sónar Cape Town:
Good Hope Centre
One-Day Pass for 15 Dec 2014: R495
One-Day Pass for 16 December: R595
PRO Pass (Two-Day): R1350
Early Bird (Two-Day): R695
Tickets and information:

A Taste of Sónar in Johannesburg:
Nazrec Expo Centre
Friday 12 December 2014
General Pass: R595
PRO Pass: R895
Early Bird Pass: R495
More information:

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Ha Ha Halloween...


You better start looking for that zombie costume you wore at your cousin's 21st, because HALLOWEEN IS COMING UP! And like every cool city in the world, Cape Town took the tradition into its own creative hands and came up with some awesome Halloween parties! 

But you can't just go to these events for the bands or the girls, you have to dress up, man. Look, there's not much fun in going to a Halloween party if half the guests came in their normal clothes, like, did you dress up like yourself?

Anyway, from the list below, Die Mystic Boer's Nightmare Before Christmas Party must be one of the most legendary Halloween parties in and around Cape Town and also my favourite. It's been sort of a tradition in Stellenbosch and there's very cool prizes to be won for the best costumes.

The other events seem really cool as well and I think I might just attend a few of them over the Halloween weekend.

Come back to this page, since I will update it as more venues send me their flyers and event info.

Happy spooky days everyone!

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Have a Billabong Summer!

 Billabong girls' sexy Summer

Summer is basiclly on our doorstep. In fact it's so close, I can literally smell the heat every time I step outside! Cape Town's summers are really something special - you can witness it in the thousands of tourists flocking to Cape Town over December and January or just ask any Capetonian and they will immediately confess to you that we have the best summer days; whether we have cocktails on a balcony somewhere or go out to dance at some local, live venue. 

To me summer is all about spending days on the beach, camping, going to music festivals, having braais, eating fresh fruits and vegetables and ultimately being comfortable. Ah yes, we love Cape Town's summer days, but we also get just a little irritated when we feel our hair sticking to our necks or our feet burning in our cool, designer sneakers...

Hopefully this summer we will realize that summer is a little more about comfort and less about those tight short-shorts. I personally love Billabong's new items; It's colourful and comfortable and all the pieces are really unique. From the printed sling bags to the boho bellbottoms (yes, they are making a come back, well, at least to me), all the items have either a beautiful print or a unique texture. This Spring I fell in love with tie-dye again, ripped denim, sling bags and cool printed tank tops. It kind of feels like I'm back in the 90's again. 

These are my personal favourites from the Billabong website:

Get everything on the Billabong Girls' website here
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Artmode – A Collaboration of local Art, Music and Creativite Talent

Taking place on 13 November 2014 at the Youngblood Gallery in the heart of Cape Town’s City Bowl, Artmode brings artists from all genres together in a collaborative event like no other.

The event is supported by World Design Capital, which Cape Town has had the honour of hosting in 2014. As a project that aims to join together some of the top talent across multiple genres of art, music and creativity, all three floors of the Youngblood Gallery will be put to use to showcase a multitude of expressive mediums. Food and drink will also be offered over the course of the event.

Artmode provides a platform for both established and budding creatives to express themselves in an environment that aims to inspire the ultimate space to create. The line-up of showcased artists spans across a diversity of styles, mediums, forms and influences. From minimal piano to electronica, to Graffiti Art, mixed media such as skateboard deck design, functional furniture design, live performances, sculptors, painters, dancers and many other acts, attendees will have the chance to interact with artists on the floor throughout the course of the evening.

Providing the ideal space for such an event, the Youngblood Gallery was founded in 2010 by Roger Jungblunt, who realised the need to support South Africa’s artistic minds with a space to create and express their talent. The gallery is comprised of multiple floors and a unique open style design that uses light and space to provide a unique backdrop to its showcased projects.

Whether it is a live performance taking the imagination to the furthest boundaries, hypnotic electronic beats setting the mood, interpretative dance expressing the range of emotion through movement or contemporary art forms that go beyond the typical forms of art as we know it, Artmode is set to change the face of artistic expression in an event that will unite through the love of art. The line-up of participating artists is growing, with a current list available below.

More Information & Bookings:

Date: 13 November 2014
Times: 19h00 - late
Venue: Youngblood Gallery - 70-72 Bree Street, City Bowl, Cape Town

Ticket prices: (available on Webtickets) R120 Door
R100 pre-sold on webtickets

Further details on the gallery can be found at For more information on World Design Capital, please visit

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