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RAMfest: Bad Cop

RAMfest: Bad Cop

by Diana Gross, images by JR Onyangunga and Kevin Goss-Ross / 11.03.2010

Music festivals have always been a bit of a piss take for me. Never having had to pay for one in my life (luv u journalistic skillz), I lack the fundamental respect or reverence (that music journo’s usually endow themselves with) for the whole hallowed business of rounding up a bunch of bands and their fans in The Nature, and milking them of their money and dignity over three or so days. No, not I. Screw your ‘cultural manifesto’. Fuck your ‘festival spirit’. And while you’re at it, you can wring out that soggy little wank towel that is “providing a platform”. Throw the whole lot on the pyre, I say.

Oh get a grip, it's only outrageous if she tries to put it in her mouth.

Oh get a grip, it's only outrageous if she tries to put it in her mouth.

I’m not here as your eyes and ears. I’m not here because my opinion counts. I’m not here because I have any sort of vague interest in what whoever is doing “for south African music”. I’m in this for me. Give me that different coloured wrist band! Hand me my laminated tag with big name publication printed on it! Give me free booze, hot showers and a place to charge my laptop. And don’t you dare so much as look me in the eye when I steal from the courtesy bar, break in to your car and do drugs off the dashboard or throw up in an uncomfortable proximity to The Guy That Runs All This. Oh, and did I mention you’re gonna pay me? Sweet. You get the picture. So imagine my absolute shock and horror when, due to bad planning on my behalf, and pussy-ness on my editor’s behalf, I had to roll civilian-style at Saturday’s Emmarentia leg of Ramfest. No backstage access. No free booze. No kidding. I was scared. And rightly so.

Booooshhhh! Someone's head explodes, everyone else  thinks, Cool. Backlighting. Take my picture!

Booooshhhh! Someone's head explodes, everyone else thinks, Cool. Backlighting. Take my picture!

Arriving at round 3:30, the place was a goddam feeding frenzy. The general masses were out in full force, resplendent in novelty festival hats, chanting cries of rock ‘n roll camaraderie into the howling dusk. There were the expectedly tanked university students in offensive attire, grappling for their chance to have a Brannas met Frannas; or snappity snap some posterity points with that ogling blonde from aKing. Not to mention the hordes of erstwhile social outcasts, decked out in ironically self-depreciating slogan t-shirts, waiting patiently in the endless queue for the portable toilets. There was also the requisite cool kids camp, situated humbly to the side (so away from the mnstrm rite now), along with DJ booth featuring the usual suspects. Most exciting about this little nook-nook was the fact that one could actually access the bar. That’s not to say we did. Instead, comrade Ben (who was using his Zoom lense to check out tween tits) pilfered a bottle of Rum right under the nose of a virginal looking plaas-seuntjie met ‘n faux-hawk and a slightly divergent squint. Finally. Some sense of deviation! But our joy was short lived. Farm-boy Frikkie indeed had one eye on his customers and another eye on us, and Captain Morgan was sent back to the high seas… without so much as a fight. So we did what we always did. We got roaring drunk on Jaegermeister, half-watched the bands with a sort of passive acceptance (you’ve seen them a thousand times, you’ve seen them two thousand times) and appeased our hunger for something more with fistfuls of halluginocenics and bags of overpriced baby powder. Fast forward a few hours and I’m stumbling blind-fucked through a montage of scenes that include washing dog piss off someone’s Egyptian cotton sheets (they really are softer), reverse parking a Jeep that isn’t mine, and going in search of a friend’s car that, it transpired, was actually in Durban. Another day, another night, another jol. Cynical? Perhaps. But as my mother always said:

“There’s no point in dressing the sheep up in sexy underwear just to fuck it. At the end of the day it’s still a sheep and you’ll still be a sheep fucker.”

Hey, can I eat your flower? Back in my day that meant something else entirely.

Hey, can I eat your flower? Back in my day that meant something else entirely.

The side whisper. The look of I'm-not-sure-if-I'm-seeing-this. The wide smile.

The side whisper. The look of I'm-not-sure-if-I'm-seeing-this. The wide smile.

Hi, I'm cute and I'm open and free. And untouchable.

Hi, I'm cute and I'm open and free. And untouchable.

Shit! are these really small girls or is that a fuck off huge bicep?

Shit! are these really small girls or is that a fuck off huge bicep?

If this was Ramfest CT I'd say she was watching the spirals in the grass, but seeing as it's JHB I'd say she's judging them. Or SMSing someone.

If this was Ramfest CT I'd say she was watching the spirals in the grass, but seeing as it's JHB I'd say she's judging them. Or SMSing someone.

Well it was either this or a Yo-Landi Vi$$er haircut. and I'm old and bald, so...

Well it was either this or a Yo-Landi Vi$$er haircut. and I'm old and bald, so...

Casual sorta whatever peace signs always look like fuck off signs, oh, wait...

Casual sorta whatever peace signs always look like fuck off signs, oh, wait...

Fucking goths.

Fucking goths.

Did he hurt himself? Or did his shoe just start talking? Whatever, check out the leggings in the background.

Did he hurt himself? Or did his shoe just start talking? Whatever, check out the leggings in the background.

So hip right now, except for um, Tim Burton, dude, haven't you heard?

So hip right now, except for um, Tim Burton, dude, haven't you heard?

I know, I know, I totally just thought I'd ignore the skinny-headbands-are-crap-now memo.

I know, I know, I totally just thought I'd ignore the skinny-headbands-are-crap-now memo.

Floating immaculate goth chick. Hurts so good.

Floating immaculate goth chick. Hurts so good.

This dude never takes his festival artist wristbands off, checkit!

This dude never takes his festival artist wristbands off, checkit!

If you look on the far right, you can just make out Gwen Gill.

If you look on the far right, you can just make out Gwen Gill.

Using a tight lens can make the most innocuous situation look dirty. Or is that just my eyes?

Using a tight lens can make the most innocuous situation look dirty. Or is that just my eyes?

Our man Pachanga, doing best!

Our man Pachanga, doing best!

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RESPONSES (23)
  1. BM. says:

    Great captions.

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  2. liz says:

    always nice to see people you know being semi hooliganesque

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  3. Mr Gorlomi says:

    Ya u c its a situation whereby a member of mahala cant handel “HE’S A ROOKIE!”
    CHANDER!

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  4. Andy says:

    JR is definitely a ROOKIE!

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  5. Jason says:

    “..milking them of their money and dignity..”

    Great line ma’am.

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  6. Roger Young says:

    I like having my dignity milked. I pay good money to make it happen.

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  7. Princess Die says:

    JR is going to get deported. I am going to call the anonymous tip off line.

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  8. sianne says:

    nice captions. we want the real story though, like someone who likes music should maybe write about a music festival instead of this one whose nose is up their bum and they like it there.

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  9. Mr Gorlomi says:

    Leave the Native alone he had to walk from central baboon africa to taste the glory of South African corruption

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  10. Diana Gross says:

    Sianne: I can assure you and your collective we that the above story is 100% real. I can also assure you that the last thing music festivals are about is music.

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  11. sianne says:

    listen gross, i dont doubt its truth, i doubt the writer’s cred and integrity. some festivals arent about the music. this is just not one of them.

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  12. dylan says:

    Danni this is beautiful, thank you.

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  13. Uno says:

    Last time JR got “deported” it was quite debaucherous. I think it should happen again. Call that tip-off line please.

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  14. so anonymous rite now says:

    Ha ha. Yes. Did I also mention that it is his birthday?

    Dylan: who is this dylan? actually… who is this danni?

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  15. sara says:

    I find these festivals dreary with too much teen spirit too, but this is SO badly written, I am not surprised she got no journo perks

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  16. BH says:

    More on the music?

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  17. jezebel says:

    i LOVE the photo captions. I want whole features with just photos and captions!

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  18. jenny says:

    http://www.mahala.co.za/culture/filling-in-the-blanks/

    There you go Jezebel.
    Anythings better than Danni’s “writing”.

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  19. fret not, danni says:

    tall trees catch the most wind

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  20. toast says:

    Appreciation is 99% of being a nice person.

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  21. Natalie says:

    “I’m not here as your eyes and ears. I’m not here because my opinion counts. I’m not here because I have any sort of vague interest in what whoever is doing “for south African music”. I’m in this for me.”

    This appears to be nothing but a display of ‘Diana World’ better suited to a blog. I’d guess that only people who know her would be interested to hear how her and her posse couldn’t sneak in a bottle of booze into Ramfest, and flashbacks of other ‘blind fucked’ evenings.

    Mahala, I’m not here to read indulgent, narcissistic drivel that reads like an inside joke. What a waste of space.

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  22. dojee says:

    indulgent, narcissistic, yes. drivel, no.

    indulgent, narcissistic, is how to do a fest and why not how to read about it. pure gonzo.

    Natalie if you want ‘this band were like this and that band were like that’ I’m sure you can find some coverage on iol.co.za

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  23. Quote unquote says:

    ”moral indignation is but a poor vehicle by which the common idiot attempts to endow himself with dignity”

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