Splashy Fen music fun

24 April 2003

It’s Splashy Fen time again and lovers of local music, fun-seekers, ravers and hippies are gearing for 5 days of revelry in the scenic Drakensberg mountains from 24 – 28 April.

This is the 14th Splashy Fen festival and promises once again to attract an impressive line-up of local talent. The festival has evolved from a smallish affair with the most basic of infrastructure to a huge event with major sponsors that draws large crowds and attracts South African and other musicians from abroad.

Along with Oppikoppi and Rustlers Vally festivals, Splashy Fen is now a major landmark on the national music calendar.

In its early days the festival focused on folk and light rock music as well as indigenous styles like mbaqanga and iscathamiya. Now, however, the scope has broadened and mainstream and alternative rock and pop are part of the line-up.

The Splashy Fen website describes the festival as “a wild, sprawling experience of people, tents, music, microphones, sunshine, cold, herbal remedies, guitars, children, fires, crafts, take-aways and everything in-between’.

Some of the bands scheduled to play this year include: The Finkelstiens, Ketamine, Sons of Trout, The Drum Cafe, The Blues Broers, The Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters and the Gateway Philharmonic Orchestra.

The festival takes place on Splashy Fen farm, about 19km from Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg Mountains. (About 6 hours by car from Johannesburg and 2 hours from Durban).

Campers should bring tents or (other modes of shelter), cooking utensils, warm clothes, sleeping bags and sunblock. Hot showers and plenty of toilets are available as well as a bar, food stalls, an arts and crafts market and children’s entertainment, including puppet shows, theatre and clown shows.

The Oceanview Montessori School from Durban runs an “Arts and Crafts’ centre in a large marquee for children aged 3 – 12. The centre is not a babysitting facility but is available for children who want to take a break from following their parents around from one music stage to the next.

Swimming in the crystal clear waters of a Drakensberg river

Other activities include horse rides, paragliding, trips up the Sani Pass (passports are required as this entails crossing the border into Lesotho), trout fishing in the dam, swimming in the river and dam and walks around the farm.

Tickets are R285 per person at the gate (children under 12 get in free), R230 from Computicket or R200 at Compact Disc Wherehouse stores and other selected stores. See the website for more details.

SouthAfrica.info reporter