We Are One Colour Festival Cape Town – Review & Win We Are One Joburg tickets
Written by Dee Theart (@deetheart)
Photos by Vetman van der Naam (@vetmanvndrnaam)
For months social media platforms across the board have been bombarded by information, video clips and photos of the Holi One Colour Festival. This whole notion originated from the Hindu religion, but countries across the globe have adapted this idea of a colour fest and mixed it up with music, cutting out the religious aspects, but keeping the values intact that are set out in the original fest. The wait was finally over on 2 March, as Capetonions became the first Mzanzi citizens to experience this magical open-air event, launched by the award-winning agency, Seed Experiences – the same company that brings us the annual eco-friendly Rocking the Daisies Festival.
It’s a bit of a bummer that Holi One took place the day after the epic Skrillex show, as many a Capetonion was still recovering from a night of wild partying. Nonetheless, from before noon enthusiastic Holi One festival goers started queuing at the Grand Parade – a beautiful venue in the Mother City at the foot of Table Mountain. I opted for the train into town, as Cape Town was abuzz with activity and parking is not the easiest mission. What an experience! A type of 2010 World Cup excitement was in the air, seeing many a happy person similarly dressed in white on the way to a first event of its sorts in SA. In the light of tickets being sold out prior to the event, the chaos that greeted us, arriving at the Grand Parade, was incomprehensible. Several swirly lines of people in white stood around and chatting to some of the people, the wait has been hours. This was a big aspect of disappointment and hopefully the organisers will work on this for the upcoming JHB Holi One. People have paid a big sum to attend this fest and waiting in a queue for up to three hours just to get into the gates is simply unacceptable.
That aside, back to the positive side of things. It’s a rare occasion to be at a place where a communal sense of happiness arises throughout an entire day. Not once did I see someone look unhappy about life. Somehow the massive splurges of colour naturally brought out everyone’s inner child and with that a sense of playful, and at times, naughty, behaviour. What is more fun than pelting a dash of neon colour at an unexpectant passerby? Not much, I can assure you.
An exciting line-up of electronic acts accompanied this flamboyant colour event. Sadhu Sensi, DJ Mighty and Richard the Third were first up, but somehow couldn’t create the same kind of vibe that was experienced later in the day. Maoriginal, the originator of the renowned Balkonology concept, was up next. Dubbed as a Nu World DJ, the crowd clearly loved his thumping beats, as he gracefully moved between genres such as Gypsy Electronic and Jazzy Traditional Turbofolk. The international addition to the line-up, Super Flu, managed to lift the hype and vibe of the fest with his contagiously energetic beats. Kid Fonque’s set introduced a fresh sound consisting of house, jazz and dubstep fusion. This guy has been doing his thing since the late 90s, playing at underground venues, big festivals, as well as outside SA’s borders, and it was easy to understand why he is so popular. By the time Toby2shoes did his thing behind the decks, the party was in full swing and the sun was slowly sinking away. This Cape Town based DJ is majorly skilled and knows how to drop a beat, so make sure to check him out at pretty much any festival in the near future.
Many Holi One festival goers stated that the party only really started when the electro dance trio GoodLuck hit the stage. This may be the case. That, or the crowd was yearning for some vocals and familiar tracks to sing along to. Either way, GoodLuck brought their A-game and had the entire crowd move closer to the stage, waving their hands in the air and screaming the lyrics along. Big ups also to Mathew Gold who joined in for ‘Taking It Easy’. His debut solo album is on the verge of launching, so be on the lookout for this talented artist. Mix n Blend, followed by Niskerone were the perfect acts to end the fest off with an explosive bang. Mix n Blend are known and loved for mixing old and new, various styles and a variety of rhythms, while Niskerone is a master of the drum & bass genre.
All in all the line-up was very well put together, although the vibe was not consistently high. It makes sense that the organisers opted for electronic acts above bands because of the nature of the fest, but the crowd’s exceptional reaction to GoodLuck showed that more high-energy vocal groups would have been a good idea. Other activities on the festival grounds to keep festival goers busy in between the massive hourly colour throwing would also have been welcomed. Literally anything fun and festive would have worked, as time can drag if the particular act on stage does not tickle your fancy.
Every hour on the hour a countdown echoed through Cape Town, as the ten thousand festival goers threw five different colour powders in the air in unison, leading to a mass of colour clouds raining down on everyone. As my friend said: “It felt like New Years every hour.” Indeed it did. The hype, the build up and then the actual “Three, two, one, HAPPY HOLI!” is difficult to explain to someone who was not there to share in the experience. The first hour you are nervously excited as the first dash of colour paints an abstract picture on your white attire. Thereafter the excitement exceeds the nervousness, as you start to blend in with the crowd more and more with the passing of hours.
The feeling of liberation and unity forms the building blocks of Holi One. Simple concepts you’d think, but the colour aspect of the festival embodies these notions brilliantly. You leave with a sense of belonging and significance and a heart filled with the realisation that although we don’t usually all look like rainbows, there is more that binds us than meets the eye.
We still have a double ticket to give away for ONE lucky winner!
To win answer the following question in the comment section:
Which two emotions did the colourful powder bring out of people?
Competition ends on the 28th of March.
Winners will be announced via email and our Facebook Page and Twitter Handle.