SA Music Scene does #RTD2017

It’s been 3 Years since I have attended the annual Rocking The Daisies, and wow has it changed. They have definitely bumped up the catering for different music lovers, aiming towards the main market, which is about time.  It saddens me that there was hardly any live rock ‘n roll acts this year, but hopefully, they will bring back the Rocking part to the Daisies Festival with female headliners, along with the variety that they have incorporated now.

Arriving late in the evening at a music festival is always a kak one. Its cold and dark and you have to set up your “Home” before your night of debauchery (I say this like I have a liver of steel when actually 2 shots can sometimes result in a very similar scenario to that of the Lemmon Drug Phase scene in Wolf of Wall Street). Let’s not forget the pairing with the onset of hyperthermia.  Even though it seems like such a luss, trust me, just do it. If that doesn’t go to plan you will probably land up like my next-door neighbour who seemed to find an emergency patch of grass in-between the tents, probably bathing in another’s regurgitated mixture of alcohol and bunny chow.

Leaving Cape Town after work, resulted in just missing two very cool live acts, Shortstraw and Christiaan Tiger School on Thursday evening. As soon as our tent was erected and our cups were filled, my mates and I shot up to the Main Stage to party. To be honest, the international, DJ Yoda, was poop. It felt like I was stuck in a carpool of teenage brats skipping through unfinished songs on their iPod. Luckily Dunn Kidda saved Thursday night, by whipping out some badass beats.

Cruising around festivals during the day sober and alone is always entertaining. Bumping into half dressed stumbling bodies by lunchtime is kak funny. Not to mention the creative pass out locations made by questionably intelligent, intoxicated beings, possibly coming from the kick-ass designed Carona Beach Bar stage. This stage was constantly packed throughout the entire festival, but it definitely competed with the electro dome and completely starved the main stage of a crowd.

The Electro Dome was opened by Floors, a live dream pop duo from Cape Town,  who also happened to be one of this year’s winners of the Rock the Daisies Band Competition.  The only criticism is that there should have been an interlude of at least 30min before the first set at the dome, to welcome a bigger crowd (who were possibly shooting hoops at the Budweiser bar or rolling in the Beach Bar sand). Personally, everyone should have been there to witness this band live. The Namibian Queen, Gina Jeanz, grooved the crowd with her warm melodic beats, pushing up the tempo for the listening bodies. Both of these acts played to a small crowd, but every person that was present was immersed and moving.

My experience of Daisies was slightly different this time because I was able to experience it from both sides, being a festivalgoer and a backstage visitor. Being a writer definitely has its perks, but it’s always best to experience the artists’ and their music with the crowd.  Such perks enable you to be behind scenes and observe the artists’ processes before going on stage, where most people are oblivious to how much effort and care goes into such events.

One artist in particular that did not require presence backstage for evidence of effort was the famous PHFAT. PHFAT’s efforts paired with his sponsor, Olmeca, made for a show and a bloody half that filled the electro dome with squished bopping fans, losing their minds and voices for a good solid hour.  PHFAT knocked us out the park with the visuals and dancers/movers, as well as the features with the sexy beautiful vocals of Mikhaela Faye from Floors, Ivan Ndevu, and Inferno Williams. I still don’t know how PFHAT has not gone international.

Friday seemed to be a bit of a mad rush because there was an overlapping of certain acts that I wanted to see, so I could only watch parts of sets (e.g Ricky Rick, who is one hell of a performer), whilst passing by the food court and stuffing my face with an overpriced meal that I literally paid an arm for, from my “howler” arm (ha! the irony). Seriously though, everything meal wise was at least R10 too expensive.

Having had to run back to my tent to add on those necessary extra layers, fill up my cup and see to the restroom, I managed to lose most of my crowd. This isn’t a worry when you can make your own party, and made my way to the Main Stage for Black Coffee. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Black Coffee fan, but to be honest, I found his set to be too chilled for the time he was playing and I didn’t end up staying for his full set.

Unless a headliner, like Miss Patty Monroe, was on at the Trap House, all I ever seemed to hear was that awful horn, as well as a few repeated songs by different artists.

Unfortunately, one of my favorite electronic acts, Haezer, was slotted at the same time as Flume, but leaving the main stage early allowed me some hangout time backstage and briefly watch part of Haezer’s set. I raced over to Flume in excitement, but I think my expectations were too high. The visuals and the lighting at the beginning of his set were super beautiful and captivating, along with some of his songs, but I felt a bit underwhelmed. Many opinions have been swopped over Flume’s set, and one successful local DJ mentioned that because it wasn’t a live show and rather a DJ set, perhaps Flume’s DJ skills are not on par with his producing. Friday night ended at the Electro Dome, with the crowd jamming to Niskerone and Grimehouse.

The Main Stage during the day was barren compared to the years that I have experienced at daisies. It felt like it needed to have bigger DJs or very popular live acts (e.g. Jeremy Loops) to pull a crowd in the afternoon before or in between the smaller local live acts. Most of the people that were at the festival this year looked like they wouldn’t have a clue as to who Alice Phoebe Lou is, which is a crying shame.

The Main Stage was well packed for the two international acts on the Saturday night. The Naked and Famous and the crisp set of Two Door Cinema Club, both held the crowd. These two bands are such great performers and even though Two Door were in Cape Town not too long ago, they definitely reminded all of us of their insane ability to perform live for a rocking crowd. These two bands put me in the mood to boogie and I found myself back at the electro dome, feeding off the energy created by JNN KPN, D_Know, Nick Grater, and Tune Raider. The International Sam Paganini was good, but Nick Grater seemed to stir the crowd’s energy a lot more. All these DJs powered the crowd through into the final sunrise of Rocking the Daisies until the dome closed at 7 am. Although the dome was closing, Daisies had its first 24hr turnaround, choosing the great Felix la Band to welcome the crowd back to the Carona Beach Bar for a morning boogie at 7 am.

I passed out at some point for a couple of hours.

Waking up to a fixed cycle self-blended Wazoogles Superfood smoothie at the Greenpop stage was pretty cool. Using the consumer’s kinetic energy to make an eco-friendly smoothie was rather fun, delicious and nutritious. I really appreciated the effort Daisies went into making the festival more Green this year, but I was appalled by the efforts of the festival goers and their lack of respect for the environment (I mean there are bins for reason!).

I have to say big ups to Steyn Entertainment for their first year of running daisies. The layout was far better than the years I have attended.  Having the general entrance as a food court/ free walkway along with some beats, instead of face-planting hazardous tents was genius. Although it is always quite a trek for the average festivalgoer to walk from the campsite to anywhere, the stages themselves were close enough without it being too much of a trek and far enough for the sound not to bleed into the other sections.

All in all, it was a positive experience and finishing off the festival on Sunday afternoon with a groovy set by Daddy Warbucks, was a splendid way to end Rocking the Daisies 2017.


Written by Francesca Varrie Michel

Photography: ByJono

Video: Dibert Theron

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