I was lucky enough to attend RAMfest as one of the last festivals before all events were banned in South Africa a few days ago.
Groups of people dressed in mostly black strolled to the venue as we drove into Hillcrest Quarry’s parking lot. The security guard stopped us at the entrance, “Where are you going?” We stopped, “To the festival at the Quarry.” He looked us up and down, “But you don’t look scary at all.” We laughed just as two guys covered in piercings and dark eyeliner passed us rubbing their hands with what can only be hand sanitiser. Scary? Nah.
But indeed, RAMfest is one of just a few festivals to truly attract the rock and metal crowds of South Africa. And big ups to them for it.
I fell in love with RAMfest a few years ago at Circle of Dreams. The energy and attitude of the organisers and crowds are simply incredible. Everyone is there for one reason: The love of good music.
This year, the organisers did an excellent job of hosting two stages very close to each other without a clash: The RAM Stage outside, and a smaller Metal 4 Africa stage in the indoor bar area. On both stages, the local bands were phenomenal, from the first act MARENE who I haven’t seen before, to Van Coke Kartel who made a special comeback for the event. It’s hard to mention standout acts, but Stoker, Peasant, Facing The Gallows and Ohgod were favourites.
It was good to see the crowds supporting every act; These days, we’ve become very lazy to back the lineup from start to finish. In return, the bands gave their all. South Africa’s local rock and metal scene is still alive!
“Thanks for yet another awesome event! Great venue, organizing, sound, people, music.” – Joy Ellick, Facebook
This year, RAMfest brought metal heavyweights The Black Dhalia Murder as the headliners. It was evident that they had a pretty big following in Cape Town as large groups of people were wearing their merch. A few songs into their set, I could see why; They are solid and showcase energy I haven’t seen in a while. Frontman Trevor Strnad gave the fans his all, keeping the enthusiasm and fists high throughout their set. A tight performance from start to finish.
RAMfest brought us a brilliant night and event. Well done to everyone involved. And once this virus has passed, we will see each other again for one massive mosh!
“RAMFest was off the fuckn chain Friday night! Had me headbanging in my sleep yesterday morning.” – Mustafaa Hokage Classen, Facebook