Before you read this, I would just like to state that I have never been to Grietfest before. If it wasn’t for a beautiful chain of events I wouldn’t have gone this year either. To be honest the dancing thing put me off. Not that I’m against it, of course not. If you have hips why let them lie?
Rather it was the fact that every piece of Grietfest documentation contained the best dressed people dancing like they had a short resume in Modern Dance. I cant even finish a song without feeling winded. However in a spontaneous moment, induced by the crippling FOMO, I agreed to go.
Saturday morning: 9:00 Wake Up. Print tickets. 9:15 Check closet for outfit that makes it look like I at least did an introduction class into Modern Dance. 9:30 Return to bed as the realisation sets in that I have nothing good in my closet. 10:30 Stuff face with a high calory snack.
Eventually after repeating this a few times, we were on our way to Grietfest. I don’t know if it was the stunning view of Johannesburg, or the Red Bull I downed, but suddenly this wave of calm swept through me. I was ready. Ready to dance through a crowd of strangers. Ready to drop it like it’s hot, or well, as warm as my Afrikaans body could handle.
My mission for the night was to see every local artist who’s sets I have missed in the past. Sometimes you read Sunday instead of Saturday and miss an entire set you were super rev-ed to see. First up we made our way to The Village stage. Kid Robot, one of PTA’s top exports in going good vibes, was on at 5 PM.
It might just be Park Acoustic nostalgia, but every time I hear Kid Robot I feel sunny inside and likely am to get home after Cart Blanche has started. The ground at Grietfest was covered in fine greyish sand which made high performance dancing with limited effort extremely do-able.
I power-danced my way through Missu’s set. Missu was listed on Between 10 and 5’s best new electronic talents out of Durban.He was a really cool find to stumble on. So good that I totally forgot my drink was close to done. Snap back to reality the dutch courage was wearing off.
We parted our ways with Missu, restocked our drinks and made our way to the Main Stage for PH fat. The stage was stacked with these huge screens with beautiful graphics. I have been a huge fan of Phfat since I got my hands on their 2013 album Happiness Machine.
However this would be the first time I would actually see them live. Smooth Mike rolled on stage and the crowd erupted. We bounced our way through classics like Jump and Business. PH Fat has been doing shows non-stop this year and it shows, they know how to keep a crowd.
Up next we headed back to The Village stage. Blairing over the speakers was Capetownian DJ Jacob Snake. Jacob Snake has one of the greatest ranges I have seen on a DJ in years! He started out his set with thick, bassy grime and transitioned it elegantly into Radiohead. In that moment I kind of saw him as the MacGyver of local electro. You could gooi a pan flute album at that guy and he’d make it into something befok!
After Jacobsnake, I stayed firmly in front of the stage. Up next was Moonchild Sanelly and I wasn’t going to miss it. The Village stage was kind of an intimate set up. Who ever was on stage was only a meter distance form the crowd, divided by an imaginary barricade that no one dared to cross.
Moonchlid has been one of those acts that just pop up every where. Her music is a perfect blend of Electro/Pop/Hip-Hop/Rock/ALS! The Internationals had also just started at Main stage, so The Village stage became a wondering ground for people looking for a good time.
Moonchild was 3 songs in when the imaginary barricade disappeared. A while later she was in the middle of a rather large crowd dancing and handing out garters. Moonchild Sanelly’s shows are like nothing I have experienced before. She knows how to get a party going!! Definitely my number one pick of the night.
Soon after the day of Grietfest, news rolled in about robberies and a case of assault. This is always heart breaking to hear. Nights like Grietfest are supposed to be beautiful, safe nights where people can have a good time. Something the organisers work hard to provide.
From my side Grietfest was a great experience. Thank you to the secuirty guard who walked us to our Uber. Thanks to the Koppi Container people for giving us paint and lemonade. See you guys next year.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion and Music categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.