Mieliepop 2017 – The Most Beautiful Fest

Photos by Henry Engelbrecht (@henry_e)

This was not my first Mieliepop, and it certainly won’t be my last.  Mieliepop Festival in Lothair, Mpumalanga is one of the most beautiful festivals in the whole of South Africa, and the photos, and other people’s memories won’t do it justice, but if you missed out this year, let it be the last time you miss it.

After first thinking we would leave before the sun came up on Saturday morning because myself and my roadtrip buddies missed the first Friday of the festival where DJ’s were playing like Catherine Grenfell and DJ Bongwater, we actually took it slow on the Saturday in no particular rush.

Driving to a festival always feels like forever, but with good tunes, a lot of gees and some of our friends being able to get some signal to tell us where they are camping, we entered the beautiful farm of Tolderia.


PopArtLive – photo by Henry Engelbrecht


Setting up was easy, and it’s one of the few festivals that I actually don’t mind ‘slumming out’ at and bringing my own tent because the bathrooms are always clean and accessible after last year, and the setting is awesome.  We took some time to chill and catch-up before we headed for the stages that have already started.

Mieliepop is a boutique festival, with a maximum of 2000 people, including everyone walking around in their active wear aka the Yoga-Flow people. So bumping into someone it inevitable be it at the top bar, the new pool bar, the rave cave, the cave bar or the food court.


Academie – photo by Henry Engelbrecht


There are two stages, and the line-up is what makes Mieliepop really win.  With only local bands on the Main and the Willow Stage, it’s a nice spread between new, old, hard rock, reggae, blues between the stages.

This year many bands stood out for me – Academie blew me away with the sun setting during their set.  Gerald Clark made everyone groove to the blues.  The Tazers had probably their best set ever at the festival, and everyone was basically star-struck while watching them.  Hellcats had the maddest sound, amazing lights and a stage that wasn’t big enough for them both rocking out during their set. Black Math had amazing energy during their set, and everyone just wanted to get onto that stage.  And that wasn’t even the main stage!


Hellcats – photo by Henry Engelbrecht


Main stage brought acts like Femi Koya, Urban Village, BCUC, HAEZER and Retro Dizzy. The only disappointment during the whole festival was Grassy Spark – and it was because of their sound, and not their gees during the performance. I still remember their set at last years Mieliepop, so it was really sad that their sound guy let them down. Pop Art Live was also a massive treat, specially seeing them in full swing on the mainstage late on Saturday evening. Although PH FAT ended off the main stage on the Monday evening (even though many people left on the Monday morning already) it was amazing to see everyone dance til the last second.


BCUC – photo by Henry Engelbrecht


The ‘Rave Cafe’ and the brand new ‘Cool in the Pool’ area had great line-ups and good vibes through-out the whole festival.  And don’t forget all those comedians on the raft during the day.


Urban Village – photo by Henry Engelbrecht


The reason Mieliepop wins and gets better year after year is because all the festival orginisers also want to enjoy the festival in it’s own right, which really makes a big difference to the whole experience – musically, layout and pleasure wise.  Big ups to everyone’s hard work this again year to make it an unbelievably great experience!

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