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Splashy When

Splashy When?

by Alex Sudheim / 19.03.2010

Splashy Fen, South Africa’s longest-running music festival, in 2010 has the surreal distinction of itself being the average age of its vast legion of patrons. Started in 1990 as a highly inauspicious and impromptu gathering of several dozen acoustic folk types, Splashy has grown exponentially in scope and size and this year celebrates its 21st birthday in style.

Running from April 1 – 5 in the serene surrounds of KwaZulu-Natal’s Drakensberg mountains, the event remains subtly committed to its folksy roots whilst letting rip with all the clamour of young adulthood. The festival gathers many of the country’s finest in the exuberant genres of rock, indie, punk and ska giving it horns on stages equipped with the most cutting-edge sound and lighting rigs on the planet. Over the four days of the festival one can gorge oneself on the electrifying sounds of Cortina Whiplash, The Shadowclub, Captain Stu, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Sheep Down, Catlike Thieves, Holly & The Woods, Spitmunky, Car Boot Vendors, Manuvah To Land, Lowprofile and The Otherwise.

Splashy from the air

The rambunctious new wave of Afrikaans rock is well represented by Straatligkinders, Jack Parow, Die Heuwels Fantasties and Fokofpolisiekar whilst old-school folk, reggae and blues is in the veteran hands of Syd Kitchen, Dan Patlansky, Celtis, The Meditators, Southern Gypsy Queen, The Death Valley Blues Band and the ubiquitous Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters. Visit www.splashyfen.co.za for the full lowdown.

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RESPONSES (18)
  1. G5K5 says:

    This year’s line up consists up: Whitey McTightie & The Y-Fronts, The Southern Albino Blues Band, The White Brothers, The Melanoma Settlers, Honkie Cracker & The Paranoids, Rooinek, Pale & The Gang and…The Meditators.

    Yes, we’ve come a long way, baby.

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  2. Andy says:

    G5K5 makes a funny, but relevant point. Most of the “big” music festivals in this country still cater to a largely white audience, who attend in large numbers and pay for the privilege. When are we going to see a predominantly black music festival?

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  3. Dube Dube Du says:

    Darkies still don’t dig heading into the sticks for a jol
    theres associations with ‘the farm’ that aren exactly enticing. (plus the ladies cant crump in heels on a field fulla cowshit)

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The Sick-Leaves will be there as well.

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  5. Sianna Grove says:

    Its a nice festival, dont get me wrong – i have beautiful memories, its just that im friends with so many of the musicians who get badly paid for making it a “music festival”.
    15 000 people X R500pp = R7.5 million.

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  6. leigh says:

    bands should always get paid more in south africa, no doubt.
    but ticket prices aint the problem.

    no one pays for splashy.
    everyone gets free tickets.

    its 500 for the three people who arent in a band, friends of a band, friends of a manager of a band, friends of a friend of this guy who knows this other guy who got tickets.

    so actually its 1500 to put on the whole 5 day extravaganza.

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  7. Lindiwe says:

    @Dude Dube Du – you’ll be suprised. There’s lots of darkies, the artsy type anyway, who wanna do such festivals. It’s not about the “farm”. I suppose it’s the kinda music they wanna hear. A nice mix of all kinds of music could be good. I like the farm – I go to Rusler’s Valley & now Naledi for a jol now & then, and I ‘ve done Afrika Burns twice & I know a lot of my friends who want to join me next time when they see my pictures. Aso, maybe a lot of people aren’t aware of such places.

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  8. Sianna Grove says:

    @ Leigh
    the bands partners get in for free.
    to satisfy you lets say 5000 of those attendees are muso’s & guests.
    now do the math.

    all the musicians playing in the daytime are playing for free.
    musicians playing for free at a music festival…

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  9. Whatever says:

    Andy honestly wtf, why make it racial nobody keeps anybody out it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. If you want to go; go , if you don’t have the money save up. make your choice your choice either you sit in the bar every evening or you save up like me who doesn’t get free tickets and just go and have a brilliant time in the bergs. Why would you think it only caters for whities?

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  10. Andy says:

    I’m not talking about who wants to go… I’m talking about who actually goes. You’re right, it’s a free country and we can do what we want. Big ups for that. But it’s weird that 16 years in, big music festivals celebrating original south african music are largely attended (and organised) by whiteys. That’s all I’m saying. It’s not about racialising the issue. The issue’s already racialised. All I’m doing is questioning the elephant in the corner of the room.

    That said I’ve seen things change in the last few years. More black peeps are pulling into festivals like Splashy, Afrika Burns, Oppikoppi etc. Rocking the Daisies was almost entirely net blanke a few years back and that’s changing. But black people are still a minority at these fests. And I wanna ask why?!

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  11. sweat-face mcgee says:

    Andy-Fail
    Why is it always the race card.why cant it just be SA.
    I hear your point but I am totally bored with this mentailty
    but I fucking Love YOU GRANDDAD!

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  12. filipa says:

    @Sianna if the band agrees to play at splashy then they obviously think its worth it…

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  13. James says:

    Walking around Groovey Troopers (festival) yesterday i overheard a loud jockish private school accent loudly proclaiming ” Ï woke up this morning and realized for the first time that i was black” he looked pretty black to me but it was nice this was not the center of his universe…. , this seemed a rather trivial revelation with many festival goers seeing the new day in with the possibility that they were re-incarnations of budda, a jellyfish or that blue guy from avitar…

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  14. Whatever says:

    Well said and the elephant is regressing all the more one of these days he will be on the stoep and we will party like the bunch of Africans we are.

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  15. aimee says:

    no other fest in the country pays their artists as little as splashy does.

    dont get me wrong, i love splashy fen… but respect to the artists who
    are actually willing to play. most of the bands barely make enough
    to cover their petrol.

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  16. Whatever says:

    Now i’m gonna apologize. Screw it the world is what it is. if your bigotted, your bigotted, if your liberal your liberal. None of my business your not opressing, your barley slandering and it’s not my business. freedom of speach motherfuckers. Enjoy it

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  17. Andy says:

    “you are” becomes you’re when you shorten it. “Your” is possessive. As in your grammar stinks!

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  18. Whatever says:

    When YOU ARE commenting with your phone and not on a pc or laptop or notebook for that matter you kind of get sick of typing the correct form of words. But you know who gives a fuck honestly, whatever man. If you need a ego boost go get it boy’tjie.

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