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4 things I learned at Rocking The Daisies 2016

To arbitrarily condense my RTD experience into a list of four things I learned feels a bit Buzzfeedy, but believe me when I say that if you read this article your life will be better.

This was only my third swing at the behemoth of SA music festivals and I was determined to make it the best one yet. I succeeded in doing just that – as a guest of Sedgwick’s Old Brown I was one lucky S.O.B furnished with a survival kit upon arrival. This included the festival essentials; a zippo lighter, a hat so flattering that even I looked good in it, and earplugs. Sweet, sweet earplugs. Perhaps the fifth thing I learned is that earplugs are a festival essential.

Some things that I didn’t learn simply because they are already widely-accepted truisms, were that the weather was trash, the music divided opinion, and loads of attendees were under 21. The things that I did learn I will mention below. They are all facts. Facts that were unbeknown to me before 6 October 2016 and facts that will make your life immeasurably better.


SA Music Is In Rude Health

If I’m even able to type out coherent words while playing Scrabble (yes all modes of Scrabble in 2063 will be electronic) at 77 I’ll be hella impressed. Speaking of 77-year-olds, Hugh Masekela’s spellbinding performance on Saturday afternoon was just what you’d expect and more from a legendary grand master. AKA’s appearance on the main stage was the first by a South African hip hop artist at the festival and confirms his status as a talented, emerging rookie.

Youngster Nasty C had the packed Two’s Up stage in raptures on Friday night with his infectious energy and flow, while Grassy Spark and The Plastics flew the flag for local bands in front of dancing devotees. 

Angels Exist

If there’s a great set playing or a rainbow forming and I’m privy to any of these events, I will automatically transform into a temporary smoker so that I can mark and accentuate these moments with some rollie tobacco. A good addition to that hobby would most likely be a bottle of cold water. Both of these commodities were quite literally handed to me by strangers within a minute of the idea forming in my mind. 

First there was the rollie tobacco angel. She glided over to me on what appeared to be a Vespa made of cloud, and handed over a pre-rolled Golden Virginia in the fading 5pm sun while my feet were buried in beach sand. Then the good samaritan with the water. Without a word exchanged, the burly lad hoisted an ice cold bottle of water (sealed) at me with the accompanying message that I should “stay blessed.”

#StayBlessed indeed. I loved both of these unsolicited acts of generosity almost as much as I love Incubus. If an angel is listening, please send Incubus to Rocking The Daisies 2017.


The Two’s Up Stage Was An Overdue Addition

No other stage at Rocking The Daisies was as consistently full and as continuously infected by kinetic energy as the Two’s Up Stage. The wild thing about all of this is that Two’s Up was enjoying its inauguration, its baptism of fire, a test that it nonchalantly shrugged off and then passed with flying colours.

The organisers absolutely made the right call by incorporating the stage into the festival offering; the next unenviable task for them is to make it even better next year.


It’s Okay To Call Your Dad On Saturday

I was discussing Stellenbosch with another festival-goer from the area and I thought it necessary to dazzle them with an interesting fact. Since my Dad worked in Stellenbosch for five years he seemed the natural guy to approach. The battery life that this was bound to consume also seemed totally worth it and so I made the call.

“Hi Dad, I know you’re probably busy prepping the kitchen for tonight’s service, but what were those edible mushroom things called again? The ones you sometimes found in trees in Stellenbosch and used to enhance risottos and soups?”

“Chicken of the woods.”

“Ah yes, shot Pops.”

A ‘dazzling’ fact was in my (admittedly pretty sweaty) clutches and I also got to chat to my Dad who I happen to miss very much. Two birds.

As I sauntered out of the venue on Sunday morning, devoid of any energy or personality, I made a brittle vow to myself that this would be my last time. As with most impulsive resolutions, this one was subject to change. See y’all on the Two’s Up Stage on the First Friday of RTD 2017. Just make sure to wear sunscreen.

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