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.
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.