Splashy Fen2014 was no different.Held annually over the Easter weekend, this festival definitely rates among the best on the local festival calendar. Splashy celebrated its 25th birthday this year, making it the oldest running music festival in the country. Veterans and first-timers alike made the trip down to a farm just outside Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal to enjoy a weekend filled with great local music.

SplashyFenis a family festival where young and old enjoy the picturesque scenery of the southern Drakensberg. The infamous Splashy rain showers stayed away this year which ensured a dry festival and happy festival-goers. “The weather is marvellous [this year] as it rained every day last year,” says festival-goer Nicholas Reinten.

Attended by a lot of KwaZulu-Natal locals, Splashy was just as popular among South Africans from the rest of the country. Festival-goers from the Highveld that have not attended Splashybeforebut know Oppikoppi very well will find them different in many ways. Oppikoppi headliners include international acts whereas Splashyis more focused on local music. Splashyhas the added bonus of the magnificent scenery and lack of the massive amounts of red dust Oppikoppi is known for. Furthermore a river on the farm serves as a very popular hangout spot during the hot daytime and RedBullmade sure the crowd at the river was kept entertained by DJs and artists playing in front and on top of the RedBullsound truck.

The festival is held over four days. With all the public holidays over the Easter weekend, many festival-goers could leave early on Monday morning, which meant that they got to watch all the acts perform.

Dan Patlansky was a highlight of the weekend but other local bands also kept the Splashycrowd happy. “I thought the bands at this year’s Splashywere amazing. Gangs of Balletwas really good as well as Dan Patlansky,” says festival-goer Casper Badenhorst.

Jeremy Loops and Matthew Mole both attracted big crowds, and Mole got overwhelmed with emotion by the audience’s great response to his music and performance.

The “Battle for Splashy” winner Mickey Burns, a band hailing from Durban, was another highlight on Thursday evening. Pretoria-based band Haggis and Bongrepresented with their bagpipe-infused metal sound.

Older, more established local bands Wonderboom, Tree63 andJust Jinjershowed the up and coming bands how it’s done with their rocking performances. Other established artists who put up stellar performances were Chris Chameleon, Vusi Mahlasela,Arno Carstens and Francois van Coke. Carstens and Van Coke performed a special set together, playing both Fokofpolisiekar, Van Coke Kartel and Springbok Nude Girlsfavourites as well as renditions of a few other South African rock icons’ songs such as Sugardrive’s“Disco lazarus” and Battery 9’s “Kom hier”.

Splashyalso catered for festival goers who enjoy the electro scene with performances by Veranda Panda, Das Kapitaland Bittereinder.

All of the big performances took place in the Grant Erskine Marquee, while the IWantMyRadio.comMarqueeensured more entertainment including daily comedy showcases. The Sedgwick’s Acoustic Tentwas a very popular addition to the festival where festival-goers could sit on hay bales and listen to acoustic performances.

Other popular attractions at the festival included the many tasty local craft beers for sale and the “Dominator Burger Challenge” at the Burger Expressstand, where the objective was to finish a 650g burger, that had a lot of bacon, within half an hour. Completing the challenge meant you didn’t have to pay the R150 fee for it and this attracted quite a few brave men and women. Animal caps and “onesies” together with gumboots were the most favourite festival fashion trends.

SplashyFendid a good job of making a lot of festival goers very happy over the Easter weekend and was also successful in recruiting new regulars. Perdeby spoke to Splashy first-timer and Tuks student Kirstin Bosch, who said that Splashyis worth the 627km drive from Pretoria. “My first Splashy experience was absolutely amazing. The weather was amazing, the group I camped with was so chilled and epic and we all had a lot of fun together. All the music performances were worth the drive down to Underberg. Basically to sum it up: Splashy Fen 2015 here I come,” she said.

Website | view posts