I really am in two minds about you; you are no doubt one of the slickest music festivals in the south of Africa, you have your big powerhouse sponsors, a myriad musical genres and acts, many different entertainment stations/sections and activities, and by far most importantly, the clout to pull some impressive international acts: Band of Skulls, need I say more.
You're the every-man's music festival and seem to receive a fair amount of flak for this from the more discerning of music lovers. But are you deserving of this discernment; have you lost your integrity for being so popular? I am not so sure.
Okay, so at first I was pretty ambivalent about going and it took the lure of seeing Band of Skulls live to convince me to set up camp in your pretty Darling daisy fields for the fourth time in a row. There was the usual line-up of artists that we see year after year and some of the RTD All Stars seen on Friday night were fairly questionable. Add to this, set-ups like the Daisy Den, manicures, ghd sleekness, mini makeovers - it was all possible at the ladies-only oasis.
There was also the male equivalent: The Man Zone, where guys could swill Black Label, play pool and compare bicep sizes. But, somehow, this all seems so contrived, so wrong. What would your older up-north brother Oppikoppi think of all this? Ladies blow-drying their hair and painting their nails when they should be roughing it. Half the charm of your appeal should be in the escape from the city. Hypocrite that I am, my nails were painted a pearly pink not an hour after setting up camp.
There was media everywhere: photographers, videographers - all trying to get a piece of the action. We should know, we were one of them. There seemed to be more emphasis placed on sponsors and brands, and less on green eco friendliness, the aspect that usually sets you apart from your music fest siblings. And probably most irritating, the fact that after forking out R450 for a ticket, you are forced to buy booze in the main entertainment areas and cannot, unless shneakily
, take your own outside the camping area. And let's not get started on the whole Darling to Carling campaign
, tongue in cheek as it was. Seriously, would you like your town to be renamed after a beer brand? Wonder how the Darling locals felt about that.
Having said all that, my sweet RTD, I had a brilliant time in your presence. Thank you for your slick organisation. Thank you for your many entertainment options, your comedy shows, your circus acts, your electro tent. Thank you for allowing me to see Band of Skulls up close and personal. Thank you for your daisy walkers and cyclists. Thank you for your wrestling ring and your iced tea and vodka. Thank you for your pretty people, your feel-good sunshiny vibes. Thank you for your pink nail polish.
Til next year
Still a Daisy fan