Brace yourself for Smoking Dragon Festival 2016

Now celebrating its 7th year, the Smoking Dragon Festival will bring the spectacular Drakensberg to life for an epic New Year’s festival set over 3 days hosted by Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge.

Only 3 hours from Johannesburg and Durban, this magic New Year’s event is nestled on an idyllic piece of land, encircled by awe-inspiring mountains and, on a clear day after the winds, the Tugela Falls can be seen as it plunges 1 km down the ancient rock face. This sets the scene for a New Year’s like no other.


Every year this annual event gets bigger and better, and 2016 is no exception. This year the festival has expanded to 4 stages with the addition of the Ripple Stage. As the name suggests, the electric energy will be rippling through the dam that has been built specifically for your Summer celebration! Think beach, think dam, think chilling on your lilo watching the sunset over the giant Drakensberg mountains while jamming to an epic DJ with thousands of adventure loving travellers from all over Africa and the world.

The Divas Stage will be graced by some of the best female acts in South Africa! These fierce women will be setting the stage on fire on the 29th December, showing all the event goers just how to get a party started. Famous songstress Nonku Phiri known for her challenging melodies, and hauntingly beautiful voice, will be one of the many lady legends performing on this stage.

Cape Town’s favourite rapper Push Push, will get the crowds grooving to her rhymes, whilst Kaya FM’s Nicky B will mix her winning tunes with a combination of urban, archival, deeply-rooted, contemporary, and cutting-edge sounds. Saarkie will add a country flair with their authentic South African music, whilst Ann Jangle will woe the crowd with a soulful voice. Bye Beneco will stylishly transport the event goers with their ethereal Afro-indie-folk music, while Dope st Jude will rap her way into everyone’s hearts.

Smoking Dragon Festival gave the power to the public and let them curate their very own stage of acts that have previously performed at this annual event, resulting in the Best Of lineup on 30 December. With votes in the hundreds the results are nothing short of the best in indie, rock and funk. Included in this lineup is none other than the energetic loveable CPT act The Kiffness who make jazzy, groovy & uplifting house music and are fast becoming one of South Africa’s favourite live electronic acts.


From the beginning of 2013, they’ve had great success on local radio stations with 6 songs already playlisted & all songs reaching top 10 status in the top 40 charts. Bringing the message of love, peace and good vibes are Tidal Waves: the hardest working reggae band in SA write and perform imaginative music with traditional African music influences like Maskandi and Mbaqanga. The sounds’ original roots are reggae with strong rock, ska and blues influences. Ziggy Marley confessed to the media during his stay that he had “fallen in love with Tidal Waves” after hearing their sound.

Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC) will move the audience both physically and emotionally with an explosion of passion, funk and rhythm. With their music straight from their ancestors, BCUC wants to question the common worldview of Africa through their music. Taking to the Best Of Stage will also be stirring indie band Diamond Thug, legendary SA rock band BOO will bring their monki punk to the Ampitheatre, Verandah Panda will entertain attendees with their unique blend of funk, house and controversial lyricism while Boxer will engage them through sparkling melodies and grooved rhythms.

With 7 more lineups to be announced, this is a music-lover’s dream! Experience The Magic this New Year’s and join us at the Smoking Dragon Festival! Smoking Dragon Festival supports Proud initiatives; everyone is welcome!

Here’s the line-up of artists who have been announced so far:

Saarkie, Push Push, Ann Jangle, Nonku Phiri, Bye Beneco, Dope St Jude, Nicky B, Diamond Thug, Tidal Waves, Boxer, Jack Rolling Dandies, Boo!, BCUC, The Kiffness, Verandah Panda, Grassy Spark, The Rudimentals, Stone Jets, 7th Son, Michael Lesar, Selth Ultang (from the Lumineers), Hezron Chetty, Mr Cat and the Jackal, Retro Dizzy, Crimson House Blues, Sol Gems, Josh Wantie, The Shabeen and a few other artists.

Get more info on the Smoking Dragon Facebook Event or follow @SmokingDragonZA on Twitter. Click here to buy your tickets.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.


Henno Kruger

Blogger, Desktop Activist, Twitter / Facebook Addict, Music Festival Addict, Avid lover of South African music, Founder and owner of Running Wolf's Rant

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