On Saturrday the 16th of April I made my way to Parklife festival at Marks Park in Emmerentia, Johannesburg. Getting there was quite uneventful (besides experiencing horrible Saturday morning traffic on the M1) and finding parking turned out to be a breeze.
I got myself tagged and started missioning around. I got a feel for the venue whilst enjoying my first two beers of the day and watched performances by Josh Wantie, Majozi and Tresor before finally settling in at the Orange stage to watch Monark perform. It was the third time that I’ve seen these boytjies (who originally hail from Potchefstroom) and I have to say that I was impressed. They seem to be getting better every time I see them.
I wasn’t impressed by Kyle Deutsch & Shekhinah (who decided covering a Nicky Minaj song was a good idea) so I spent the next hour in the VIP bar enjoying a Swedish craft beer instead.
Next up was Desmond & The Tutu’s at the Orange stage and they did not disappoint. Their on stage energy and antics got the party started and before you could say “Shallow Waters” it was time for Just Jinjer on the Park Stage. It’s been years since I’ve seen them perform and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed their set.
Cape Town Indie gods Al Bairre were up next and got the crowd dancing and singing along within minutes. It was great to see them playing a set that did not include a cover of Mango Groove’s “Special Star”. If you ask me this proof that SA bands don’t need to cover each other to attract the attention of the crowd at festivals.
International headliner Jasmine Thompson was up next and I have to say that her set was impressive. Her music isn’t really my cup of tea, but one has to recognize and compliment talent when you see it. Austrian rocker James Hersey did not disappoint either. He hasn’t released a full album yet, but I’m definitely cranking it up when he does some day.
The highlight of Parklife 2016 was definitely Jeremy Loops’ set. The vibe was absolutely amazing. Hearing a capacity crowd singing along to almost every song and experiencing Jeremy interacting with them was definitely the cherry on top. Jeremy Loops has definitely come a long way since I watched him perform live for the first time at Up The Creek festival in 2012.
The last act of the day that I experienced was Goodluck and they had the crowd dancing in no time. Their on stage energy knows no bounds.
Kudos to 947 and Breakout management for organizing an amazing day festival. 12,500 people showed up at the event and I have to say that they managed it quite well. Toilet queues were not to bad and the food choices were amazing. Getting out of the venue was a breeze as well. The only complaint I have is that there weren’t enough rock acts playing on the day, but I’m hopeful that they’ll make up for it next year.
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