On the weekend of 2 to 5 October I attended the fourth of edition of Mieliepop (a festival that was already marked on my 2014 calendar at the beginning of January this year). We arrived at the venue (Tolderia Resort) on Thursday evening and marched straight to the stage area (after pitching our tents). We caught a few acts and eventually ended up watch the Zefferband. Apart from dressing up in layers (because it was freezing), the rest of the night wasn’t much more eventful, but we ended up drinking beer around the campfire till about 3:30 AM anyway.
On Friday morning, we slowly paced our way into the day, dealing with the strange cold weather (for this time of the year), had a few drinks here and there and waited for the rest of our crew to arrive. Before you could say “Mielie” we had already finished 2 rounds of Kings and it was 5 PM. We enjoyed the sounds of Die See and consumed loads of brandy and coke to keep warm from the cold. Sets by India, Saarkie and Susan the Whore were up next, setting the pace for a great evening of music.
Los Hermanos entertained the crowd with some amazing Latin guitar driven tunes (courtesy of Pedro Barbosa and Albert Meintjies) next. Kinky Robot rocked the crowd to the max with an energetic set soon after, followed by Shortstraw (who played their first ever Mieliepop festival). They did not disappoint, proving just why they are one of SA’s top live acts. Southern Gypsey Queen put on an excellent performance after this, followed by Ultra Natives and Them Particles (who closed the main stage proceedings on Friday night). I ended up partying in the cave bar till around 4 AM and nearly wrecked my tent when I arrived at the camp by falling onto it – luckily it was still fixable with duct tape.
We awoke before 11 AM on Saturday and were greeted by a stunning Spring day (with almost no clouds present in the sky). Instead of rushing to the stage, we decided to take it easy and play a round of Kings at the camp site instead. We eventually made our way to the stage in time to catch Straatligkinders, before deciding to enjoy a ferry ride on the dam (which offers some great views of the festival camp site). We caught Nakhane Toure and bits of Dave Ferguson next before we restocked for the night at the tent. Around 6 PM we were enjoying the catchy lyrics of Naming James. By 7 PM we were being mesmerized by Shaun Jacobs and by 8 PM we were totally rocking out to the Blues Broers (and having a few extra drinks to celebrate the Boks beating New Zealand in the Rugby Championship).
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying Desmond and the Tutu’s, Wonderboom, Mandoza, Bittereinder (at the electro stage), Radio Kalahari Orkes, Shadowclub and Woodstock Mafia. Needless to say, the evening’s party only ended around 6 AM on Sunday morning. It’s not my fault there was a slight delay on the main stage, causing the last act to finish their set around 3 AM, so I improvised.
On Sunday morning we awoke earlyish and caught the rock act Bitches Brew (featuring Lanie van der Walt and Juan Le Roux of Not My Dog), Laurie Levine & Josie Field (which totally made the day feel like a Sunday), Albert Frost & Albert Meintjies (who completely blew away the tiny crowd with their guitar skills), Crystal Park (who reminded us that there are still good country bands out of Benoni) and the Fake Leather Blues Band (which the perfect act to end the festival with). We left the resort around 7 PM on Sunday night and eventually drove into Pretoria around midnight.
Kudos to Coenraad and everyone else that made this year’s festival happen. It was fun even though it was bitterly cold at times. I totally think they should move the festival back to its original weekend in November for this reason. Service at the bar was quick, but the prices for hard liquor were a little steep (for a festival). The toilets were clean and no too occupied, but the organizers did take a bit long to set up the showers. The electro stage was also a little too far away from the main stage. The cave bar could totally have been utilized better for this purpose if you ask me. There were a negatives in this paragraph, but I have to admin that the vibe totally made up for it though (in true Mieliepop style). The people were awesome and the music was amazing. See you guys at Mieliepop 2015!
Did you attend Mieliepop 2014 this year? How was it for you? Leave a comment and let us know what you think. Feedback is appreciated and welcome here. Watch this space for regular updates in the Music and Photography category on Running Wolf’s Rant.