MELINA MELETAKOS

With just a week to go, the countdown to the first music festival of the year has begun. It’s a place where electro kids ferociously head bang next to rock lovers, a place where dust finds its way into every crevice of your body and a place where your inhibitions are silenced (at least for the weekend). Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to RAMfest 2013.

A mighty line-up has been put together by the festival organisers, with American punk rockers Rise Against as this year’s headliners. “We’re really looking forward to coming to South Africa for the first time,” said the band in a short RAMfest promo clip. They’re probably not as excited as the throng of fans who will undoubtedly turn on the waterworks when the band takes to the stage.

Pandering to the needs of metalheads will be Britain’s Bring Me The Horizon, who are sure to be the whiplash-inducing addition to the line-up with their eclectic metalcore. Bringing the drum and bass will be Pendulum. In January 2012, Pendulum announced that they would be taking a hiatus from touring and that there would be no further live shows. Luckily, Paul Harding and Ben Verse still perform their DJ sets across the world and RAMfest-goers can expect an electric set from the duo who also graced the festival in 2010.

These international acts will be sharing the stage with some of the best local talent: Jack Parow, Van Coke Kartel, Fuzigish, Double Adapter, Das Kapital and Shortstraw, to name but a few.

As always, there are a few things you should bring to a festival and a few things that should rather stay at home. If you’re staying the entire weekend, don’t forget all your camping equipment like a tent, fold-up chairs, etc. If you do, your car makes for good shelter too. Alternatively, a thorn-free bush will do. If you’re not camping, you can use the park-and-ride system that operates from Cresta, Clearwater Mall, Cedar Square, East Rand Mall, Menlyn Park and Centurion Mall. There are also numerous party-bus services that are available. Either way, don’t forget sunblock. Last year was a scorcher of a day that was only alleviated when the heavens opened up briefly over Riversands Farm.

What should you leave behind? Don’t bring alcohol – there will be cash bars at the event. Also, lose any preconceived notions of hygiene. Trips to the portaloos are never pretty. Neither is not bathing for two days.

Don’t pack your inhibitions. Be prepared to have some loony dude in the mosh pit trip over his own feet and spill his beer all over you. Be prepared to implore a fellow camper for a place to rest your weary head because you can’t find your tent. Most importantly, be prepared to have fun. It’s the first festival of the year, so make sure RAMfest is a damn good one.

Tickets for the Johannesburg leg of RAMfest are still available at www.ticketbreak.co.za/ramfest

Photos and images provided

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