On Saturday morning I hopped onto the Gautrain to Sandton to catch the second edition of Rise and Shine Festival at Sandton Central Park. I did not really know where the park was, but luckily Legend Frans bumped into me a the station. We took a brisk 15 minute walk down 5th street and arrived at the venue just before 11 AM.
After checking in at the media desk I explored the venue. Sandton Central Park is the perfect venue for an outdoor one day music festival. The stage and bar areas were set up in the right places and the atmosphere was chilled out despite the fact 1,000 tickets were pre-sold for the event. I almost pinched myself a few times to make sure that it was not a dream and that I was in fact only 3 blocks from the hustle and bustle of Sandton City Shopping Center.
First on the line-up was singer-songwriter Lucy Kruger. Once again she amazed me and the tiny Rise and Shine Festival crowd with her awesome vocal talents and very deep song lyrics. It was the perfect artist to start the days proceedings. Next up were G-Force (who mesmerized the crowd with their unique sounds) and Laurie Levine (who managed to get the growing crowd into an even more chilled out mood with her sweet sounding voice). After these two acts it was time for Earl Grey and Croquet (a feel good rock ‘n roll band) and Them Particles (a rock / folks / blue outfit). Both these Johannesburg based acts entertained the crowd and added ambience to the day. It was the perfect way to pick up the pace of the festival.
Francois Van Coke and Jedd Kossew made their way onto the Rise and Shine Festival stage just before 3:30 PM and had the crowd singing along to their montage of Van Coke Kartel and Fokofpolisiekar songs in no time. It was great seeing these rockers in such a chilled out setting. Next up were Naming James (who tore into the psyche of the crowd with their cutting edge lyrics and sing-a-long sounds) – I suggest that you check them out whenever you get a chance to see and hear what I mean. The last act of the day were the Black Cat Bones (minus bassist Chris Van Der Walt and drummer Jason Hinch). They proved that they are still be the best live act in SA, even if they swop their electric guitars for acoustic ones and a box / kick drum.
Overall Rise and Shine Festival was a well organized event. There were enough food stalls for the hungry, service at the bar was quick, there was ample space for the crowd, the sound was perfect and there were enough toilets. I was also amazed by the efficiency of the clean up crew. Kudos to all the organizers.
It was also great to have a mini STRAB Festival reunion with Joan, Suzette, Skillie, Legend Frans, the guy with the weird blue and white hat and a few others. I’m looking forward to the next edition of this up and coming one day festival in September 2013.