My Favourite Mieliepop Festival Moments
Earlier this year I read about the death of the South African music festival. The article predicted doom and gloom for South African music festivals. In hindsight, the words seem to have been made in haste with 2016 (only a quarter of the way through) turning out to be a healthy year for South African music if the barometer is based on the amount and quality of music festivals.
Mieliepop, LUSH, Outland and Splashy Fen all took place in the space of 14 days with the latter three taking place over the easter weekend. While some were lucky enough to experience all four festivals, I decided to lose my inhibitions at Mieliepop in Mpumalanga.
Ulitmately, the festivals are all quite similar with the only substantial differences being that they are hosted at different locations with different names. Each festival has it’s own marketing campaign and theme which highlights the distinction of the festival. What really separates the festivals are the moments one experiences at them and the moments I experienced at Mieliepop are moments which will see me return next year.
Now I wasn’t around when this moment took place, but it definitely contributes to my desire to return next year. I was only able to head through to Mieliepop on Saturday which meant that I had missed Haezer, Chee and Phizicist who all performed on Friday. Next year I’ll make sure that I take the Friday off and experience al three days.
An aptly named rave cave
Reading the press release I thought that rave cave was just another marketing tactic disguising what would be your normal electronic stage. Having missed my some of my favourite electronic acts the previous evening I checked out the “rave cave” and was surprised that the electronic stage was in an actual cave.
BCUC invites guitar for the journey
It’s always a gripping experience seeing BCUC perform live and more so when their performance take place in the midst of what is largely an Afrikaans audience. But for the first time ever I got to experience the low drum and bass rhythms of BCUC with electric guitar. Michael Plaxton-Harrison joined BCUC on stage weaving some blues guitar into their rendition of “The Journey” and I’d love to hear more guitar collaborations from BCUC in the future.
My virgin urban village experience
The first thing which caught my eye about the band was their style. If there was an award for best dressed at Mieliepop it would belong to Urban Village. But Mieliepop isn’t about the fashion and Urban Villages dress sense is subordinate to the music they make. It’s probably ignorant of me, but the most simple way I could describe it is that it is a folkier version of BCUC. It’s great to see more and more musicians making music authentic to Africa.
Josh Kempen cantare in italiano
I was single the first time I watched Josh Kempen perform at the Bohemian. He was alone on stage and I was smitten. This time at Mieliepop, he was joined by Saul Nossel and Noah Bamberger (of Go Barefoot) on drums and keyboard. I was worried throughout his performance that my girlfriend would break up with me for greener pastures (pronounced Josh Kempen) and it took great courage for me not to run away with my partner when Josh performed “Ysabel Lola”.
Fanboy-ing over Hellcats
Hellcats is my favourite local band currently, and those who were in attendance for their performance at Mieliepop will understand exactly why. The duo is able to move bigger mountains than some orchestra’s could with their music. When Alex Benigno threws his drumsticks out to the crowd, I scrambled for one like a fourteen year old at a One Direction concert. The stick now holds a worthy place within my memory box. Memory box? Maybe I am a fourteen year old.
Married with The Moths
The Moths arrived to their performance stylishly late. The surf punk trio needed time to get all suited for their performance. The formal attire suited the moment as before their final song; a guy took the opportunity to propose to this partner. She said yes.