My 2 Cents on the 5 Gum Experience in Johannesburg

On Friday night I attended the 5 Gum Experience in Johannesburg at a secret location (which turned out to be somewhere under a highway in the Jozi CBD). It was a night filled with awesome vibes, rain, cold and awesome tunes.

We arrived at Oriental Plaza at about 7 PM and waited for the buses that were transporting party goers to the 5 Gum Experience. It was a bit frustrating because it was pouring like it could’ve been the 2nd version of Noah’s flood in the Bible, but eventually we were on our way to the venue. We arrived during Short Straw set and were amazed by an awesome performance. These okes recently won the MK Award for Best Indie and showed just way they won it. Next up were The Stella’s who rocked the semi-drenched Jozi crowd to the max. Eventually it was time for UK Indie Act The Kooks. These boys amazed me with their live performance skills. I was also impressed by how many of the 5,000 strong crowd knew their songs and sang along. The vibe was absolutely amazing. We eventually left the venue around 1 AM and finally got back home to warmth in Pretoria around 3 AM.

To be honest, the transport to and from the secret venue where the 5 Gum Experience was being held could’ve been organized better, but the music, vibe and excellent bar service made up for it. My toes may have felt like they packed fish in Alaska for a month at one stage, but it didn’t matter: I had a good time. Kudos to everyone involved in organizing this event. The 5 Gum Experience was proof that Johannesburg still knows how to party (contrary to popular belief). Here are few photos that I took during the event.

What did you think of the 5 Gum Experience in Johannesburg? Leave a comment and let me know! Feedback is appreciated and welcome here.

If you’ve enjoyed reading my review and viewing these photos, feel free to share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.

Watch this space for regular updates in the Music, Opinion and Photography categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.

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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

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Cayleigh

    Many may say that I am ungrateful for what I am about to say but I speak only truth. Now before I start my rant, let me say I did enjoy myself but the organiser’s could not have organised a piss up in a brewery. I understand it was “free”, but I felt let down. It was advertised as being “exclusive” but with that many people I would rather have paid for a ticket with designated areas and not be pushed and shoved around. Lucky Strike could teach 5gum a thing or two about planning such an event.

    First of all there were major mess ups regarding people trying to enter and not receiving emails and then not being able to retrieve tickets. That already put a bad taste in my mouth, but Kooks are one of my favourite bands so I was adamant to remain positive regardless of the bad planning.

    I was on the very first shuttle and I was probably within the first 15 groups to stand in line to gain entry. I printed out 4 copies of my ticket, but when they were scanned it said “access denied”. Now this irked me more than just a little. I am then asked who did I buy tickets from, a pointless question because the name on the ticket matches that on my ID, but wait they did not request to see that. If you say no under 18s, you should mean it, especially when a girl who looked about 13 was let in and then proceeded to spew her guts all over the place and I am sure she was not the only one. Back onto the point regarding access being denied, I heard many complaints regarding this, which leads me to believe that there were either fake tickets or some people were sent the same tickets. Either way, that was unacceptable and preventable.

    Once inside I was impressed at how cool the venue looked. I was not bothered by the rain and thought that it added to the experience. I commend the bartenders for speedy and friendly service. I cannot complain on that front and nor would I want to. When going to the bathrooms though I was bothered by the fact that there were men walking around inside that area. I have never been to an event and encountered this. Usually there is security to prevent this type of occurrence. Some may say this is petty but I think not.

    When Shortstraw came on I was blown away. Being about 3 rows away from the stage I loved it. I could see everything. MY sister pointed out though that the drummer was very low down and she couldn’t see him which is very saddening as we are people who enjoy the technical aspects as much as we do the lyrics. We love watching the band members and how involved they are in the action. Also the sound quality was poor which can be attributed to the venue. The singing was drowned out by the music and instruments. I don’t think proper sound checks were done. I cannot blame the bands. The actual music and performances were spectacular though.

    Crowd control was pathetic. I could go on about this for days but I won’t. I will say only this, the potential of a stampede occurring in the event of a disaster was astronomically high and people would have died.

    Being pushed and shoved in that way was not fun and I have never been to an event where it was that bad. we started in the middle of the crowd just before the Kooks came on and by the end of two songs we had been forced behind the pillars and could not see a thing. Again, crowd control was non-existent!!! Barriers should have been placed from pillar to pillar so that people were not forced out of the action. “Security” saw men pushing and shoving women and they did nothing but stand and stare. Yes it is a concert and I expect a tight fit but not to that extent. We all got free tickets so no one should have made others worse off. Drunks who were throwing cups of water off the floor at people should also have been escorted out.

    The placement of the VIP tent was also rather stupid as it blocked out a large portion of the area where people could have stood and at least seen the band during the performance.

    I could write so much more but I know that it is a pointless exercise. The idea was great, the decor was amazing but the organiser’s were not thinking practically and logically. I was also alarmed by the lack of security and did not see first aid anywhere.

    Also why did some people get freebies and not others? I was amongst the first there and I got nothing!!

    In closing I would just like to say that the bands were all amazing and I will pay money to go see any of them again but poor planning ruined it for me in many aspects. I really did have fun but again, the organisers were unprepared and did not put in the required thought and effort to ensure smoother sailing.

    1. Henno Kruger

      5 Gum SA has posted an official apology ““We really appreciate your feedback and we take all points constructively. Our intention is to improve every #5GumExperience and the experience of every attendee. Unfortunately the bus system in both cities was problematic. In the past this has worked really well; however we will definitely review this going forward. The JHB event was certainly challenging in the extreme weather we were presented with. As for crowd control, first aid, and all other logistical arrangements, we are confident we produced an event of a global standard by exceeding some of the strictest legal measures in terms of permits and all other requirements.”

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