THE first time I ever heard of Splashy Fen was in my matric year, a few years ago. All I knew is that Splashy Fen was a music festival that only played punk, rock and metal.
09 April 2013 | Kwazi Ngubane
Going to Splashy Fen on Thursday 28 March I did not know what it was that I was in for although I had asked question upon question about what Splashy Fen was all about, researched the website and scoured the internet for photos, incidences etc about the event.
I wanted to be sure about what it was that I was getting myself into. I arrived on Thursday evening around 11pm and, with nothing much to do, we set up camp and started a fire and went to sleep. It was only in the morning that we learnt we had camped in a family camp site and had to look for a new site to set up camp.
Waves of campers
It did not take us long to find the right area as we were attracted to noisy cars and a group of peers our age. We were quick to set up the tent and as soon as we were done, we set out exploring Splashy Fen.
The waves of campers coming through the gates were endless, the age groups could not be more different and the number of stalls, tents and stages blew us all away.
It was clear to us why Splashy Fen had such a huge following; it is a place that has a culture of its own. Everyone was friendly and helpful and when they knew it was your first Splashy Fen, you were greeted with smiles, hugs and wishes that you enjoy your first experience.
The mornings were laid back with many choosing to go swimming in the lake, stay at their camp sites, walk around or drive to the town of Underberg, 18kms away, to explore what the town had to offer.
The afternoons would be a hive of activity with three major tents hosting shows till midnight. The busy muddy roads would be filled with youth rushing to the respective tents, stalls or the place where everybody hung out, the bar.
The acts on stage could not be any more diverse in colour, genre and personality and included commercial bands such as Mi Casa shared the stage with acts such as City Bowl Mizers, Matthew Mole, Asleep In Transit, Desmond & the Tutu's, Mean Black Mamba, David Jenkins & Maqhinga Radebe, and the list goes on.
The shows were not only limited to music but also included stand-up comedy showcase with the likes of Paul Snodgrass, Glen Bo, Dusty Rich, Bobby Collins and Lil' Paul (who is not that lil') partaking in shows such as Whose Line is it Anyway, the world’s worst job enactments and plenty more.'
Rocking the stage
For those that longed to hit the dance floor, with heart pounding bass music and blinding disco lights, there was the Uber Cool Tent.
This tent had a mixture of punk, rock, pop, dance and hip-hop music with acts such as German bass, Arnold Ewood Philips; PHfat and more rocking the stage.
I must say that Splashy Fen is the premium music festival in KZN, it has everything that a music festival suppose to have. It's well-organised and safe with around-the-clock SAPS supervision, wonderful tents and stalls to buy from and music that will keep you dancing till the morning.
Use the list
The only precaution that I would advise is to know how to set up your tent, know how to find the right spot to set up camp or you shall be as unlucky as I was and have both your tents flooded with water two nights in a row.
Also when embarking to Splashy Fen, make sure to take note and pack all the advised ’things to bring’' items listed or you shall have a super cold evening sleep and be running around for utensils, charcoal, gas-cookers etc.
Make sure to go onto www.splashyfen.co.za for the dates for next year’s 25th edition. See you there next year.