It’s always an absolute joy visiting Darling, and Rocking the Daisies 2013 was no exception. The Cloof Wine estate is one of the better festival locations with the sleepy town of Darling a mere 15kms away. Most festival goers don’t even realise that it’s so close as they predominantly take the N7/Malmesbury route.
This year’s Rocking the Daisies was its 8th edition of which I’ve been to 6. Year after year the production and “service” has improved. This year we were able to get our media bands before the time and park close to the event which was fantastic as we decided to stay in the town of Darling and so needed easy in and out access. I was also spoilt with an AMAZING pair of Hunter Boots which made my festival experience. They even allowed me to capture and release a giant rain spider! Thank you Hunter Boots!
The Gust Media tent was a welcome hide out from the disappointing weather. It was very cloudy and cold this year (even though the snow had melted already) but that didn’t seem to dampen the “gees”. Festival goers were surprisingly looking worse for the wear when we arrived on Friday afternoon as the festival had started on Thursday evening. Rumour has it that 4000 people had already arrived on Thursday (RTD did post the first few at 7am on Thursday morning at the door!) and it seems the party was on from the get go.
RED BULL STAGE
One big change this year was the Red Bull stage. Although I had been told there would be no tent I was very impressed with the effort that they had put into the new stage. I love art installations of which RTD provided a few. The dance floor was encircled with, what I can only discribe as, wooden pylons with a large center “tree”. The lazers and lights were incredible this year and although the sound rig was HUGE, the stage had to compete with the wind tunnel that it was located in. Wind really does ruin sound so if the weather had been better, the sound would have been better irrespective of there being a tent or not.
The main stage also suffered a bit with the weather. I personally think Golden Circle (sound) did an amazing job but if the wind blows downhill then it’s carried away from the audience. I saw a few people complaining about the sound of the main stage and I genuinely feel the weather played it’s part in interfering. I was right at the back outside of the stage parameters (the edges of the sound rigs on either side) which meant it wasn’t very loud. However, I was in the front for Skunk Anansie and it was 100%. (Who I love btw so they get their very own Skunk Anansie Rocking the Daisies Post and Video!)
I loved the installations around the festival which included the Coke a Cola corners which made a great place to eat and shelter oneself from the wind. The food stands also seems slightly apart from one another this year which was a help because it gets absolutely packed in there. There were ample bars this year although the lack of tequila was a MAJOR downer. P10c had a bar in the Nu World Beat Barn which was lots of fun but one can’t remember substitute tequila for P10c. There was also a lack of bottled drinks. Although I enjoyed the brand new GojiBerry-Mango Brutal fruit, it’s difficult to drink 4 in a row.
This year’s comedy tent was a massive improvement and when I went in on Saturday night they were playing Bingo! I had no idea this was going down and thought it was an awesome idea. I’m definitely keen to play next year. Super Sport was also helpful enough to include the screening of the rugby. It’s such a happy South African feeling when one hears the cheers of an audience when sport is on. I really liked that even though I’m not a big sports fan myself.
Over all, apart from the weather, it was a hugely successful festival. Although a crime syndicate did infiltrate the camping area any many campers had their possessions stolen, I have no doubt that the event organisers will take these complaints incredibly seriously and they’ve already reported back that they will be meeting with the security company to take these issues to task. There was also a complaint about a lack of toilets. I wasn’t happy that the water ran out and there was no where to wash one’s hands (that’s just totally siff with so many people using the same toilets) but the condition of this year’s toilets were a THOUSAND times better than previous years. I did miss the VIP toilets that used to be near the Main Stay Beach Bar.
HUGE thank you once again to Voice Factory, Gust, Pick n Pay, Hunter Boots and the Biltong stand who gave me a free piece!