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Manufacturing Indaba 2018

Steve Aoki's Thunder City cakefest

Take an international electro-thrash icon, another highly rated international up-and-coming DJ, several of South Africa's most esteemed and notorious EDM (electronic dance music) artists, well over 2000 eager fans and put them all into a massive hangar. This was the tantalising recipe for Steve Aoki's memorable Thunder City leg of his South African tour.
Thunder City has hosted some massive international artists before, which produced unforgettable memories and, make no mistake, last Friday night was no exception. Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero, Grimehouse, Pascal and Pearce, Blush & Bass, Haezer and Niskerone were all included in the night's line-up.

We arrived during Nicky Romero's set, after a fun (drunken, politically correct) bus ride to the hangar from the parking lot with about 50 other people as amped as we were about the night ahead. The venue was hot and crowded as we headed straight for the 1000-person-strong dance floor and began to jam to Nicky Romero's blend of progressive tracks. He ended his set off with a classic 140BPM dubstep track before the Asian-American Dim Mak label owner exploded onto the stage with cheers and whistles from every soul in the building.

Although the genre that Steve Aoki is most famous for is not in my list of best genres, I still found myself lost in his high-energy, hour-and-a-half spell, which included props such as an inflatable boat, an inflatable li-lo and several boxes of cake. The cake was used to smother fans in the front row and the inflatable crafts were used to stage-dive. I have never seen a more active and energetic DJ. He literally bolted across the stage dozens of times - like I said - high energy. You could see that he is fulfilling his dream of playing the music he loves to appreciative fans.

At that point we had to leave to wake up early to prepare for another festival the following day, but my friends and sources let me know that Haezer's set, which followed, was huge - some have even said better than Steve Aoki's, and that Niskerone's was just absolutely phenomenal.

All in all, a very enjoyable event, but my only criticism would be the high number of opportunist pickpockets there. In our group of nine people, two of our cellphones were stolen at different times. Although this is not the organisers' fault, people who do this kind of thing have no place at such events.

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About Justin Williams

Justin Williams is a Project Co-ordinator at Bizcommunity, founder of CityLifer Cape Town ( and is also a part-time BizLounge contributor. He is talking in third person.