Rocking The Daisies 2015
“I don’t know why girls even bother standing in the queue at the Daisy Den… They’re going to get dirty again anyway, this is a festival for goodness sake!” I hear a girl say as we walk past the “festival spa” at Rocking The Daisies. But no, I think, they will not. This is not any festival, this is Rocking The Daisies at the opulent Cloof Wine Farm just outside of Darling. And it has now been dubbed by many as SA’s answer to Coachella. People dress up, they do decent festival-prep, and they have Apps on their fully charged smartphones that notify them when the next act is on. It’s a well-organised music and lifestyle festival machine, and every year it gets bigger and more packed.
Featuring nine stages and more than 180 absolute killer local and international artists, RTD 2015 drew in the crowds. We were lucky enough to arrive on Friday morning. We skipped the queues and got a pretty amazing spot not too far from the main entrance to the festival area. Open beer, get armbands, pitch tent, blow up mattress, greet neighbours, go watch bands. In that order we got ready for a weekend of RTD at its finest: A 10-year birthday celebration of note.
Before the masses streamed through the gates, we checked out the massive Electro Dome and the Beach Bar. Scantily dressed people were already prancing around. And the beats started early. We watched a bit of Thor Rixon and Sibot and left just as the masses arrived soon after the sun set.
The Hemp Stage provided some random, but very cool, acts and a tiny audience. Just perfect and exactly what I remembered from my very first Daisies four years ago: Good music and great vibes.
Saturday was spent walking between stages to catch as many acts as possible on the line-up. In the City opening act winner, Grassy Spark, brought some crazy beats and fun in the sun. Later, the remaining members of Hog Hoggidy Hog gave a very emotional tribute to George Bacon. We managed to catch only the last 3 songs, but it was beautiful. Hundreds of friends, family and fans joined in and paid tribute to the legend, and long after the lights went out and the artists left the stage, the crowd were still chanting his name: “George, George, George!”.
The cold crept over the festival as Milky Chance entered the stage. The crowd stood like one man. No one moved. It was so packed you could barely breathe. And as they played their hits “Down By The River” and “Stolen Dance” thousands sang along in unity. Just beautiful.
Later, I found myself sitting at a table outside the main bar, giggling with content. We just watched what was probably one of the best Jack Parow sets I’ve ever seen. Maybe it was the crowd, or the fact that the Springboks won earlier that day, heck, maybe it was even the fact that I had too much gummy berry juice. But what a high.
We spent a few minutes at the Headspace Tent before the last international. Although I never really checked the line up, I am always happy when I end up here, especially when there’s fewer people. It’s like a little oasis in the middle of the madness, where you can just dance to the beats, meet awesome people, or relax on the beanbags. Just renewing the energy for the last time.
We watched The Kooks from the smoking lounge, as everywhere else it was packed to the brim. They played basically all of their songs in one really long set. We were on our last, but stayed till the end. Fulfilled. Satisfied.
Sunday was reserved for comedy at the Savanna Comedy Tent and the amazing Rudimentals at the Main Stage. Thanks guys for making it extra special!
Generally, I just found it an easier festival than last year: I heard nobody complain about insanely long queues to get in, the longest I waited to get a drink was around 10 minutes, and neither our tents nor our neighbours’ got slashed by hooligans. During the day, the Green Village was great for chilling and hula-hooping while local bands provided cool tunes. The Daisies organisers made sure the entertainment programmes was jam-packed. But as with all the festival it should be said that the camping area looked terrible after the festival. Thinking that you can leave your trash behind, because RTD will clean up afterwards anyway, is just plain stupid. And doing so just shows what a shit person you are. So, next time you attend a festival, any festival, don’t be a shit person, and pick up your trash!
Well done Daisies and Seed Experiences! And a happy 10 years!
Heard at Daisies
“I feel completely overdressed” A Rocking the Daisies first-timer.
“I got a cup of snow!” Girl at main bar after receiving her slushy.
“I’m going to phone my x-girlfriend now” Heard from the tent behind us.
“This is not my mattress, but I’m afraid I’m not getting up until Sunday morning” Heard on Friday from the tent next to ours.
“I feel unsafe here” Heard near the Silent Disco event.
The Comedy Tent
No queues at the bar
Jack Parow’s set
Watching Springboks win with 20000 other people.
George Bacon Tribute
Partying with old friends and new ones
People leaving their shit behind
Guys without their shirts offering random pills
General access for media
Aggressive people at the Main Stage
Someone trying to steal a wallet at the Electro Dome