STRAB Music Festival: 10 Things That I Love About It

STRAB Music Festival is one of those festivals that truly has a spot in my heart. To date I’ve attended 6 of them and I’m looking forward to making my way over the border to Southern Mozambique again this year.

STRAB should be on your bucket list if you haven’t been there. It’s totally worth the 8 hour drive from Gauteng. Ask anyone who has been there and they’ll tell you the exact same thing.

Here are 10 things I Love About STRAB festival

1. There’s no other festival like it

I’ve been to 20 Oppikoppi festivals, 7 RAMFests, 8 Mieliepop festivals, more than 50 Park Acoustics Events, 3 Otterlake Easter Festivals, 1 Lush festival and 2 Up The Creek festivals (to name just a few).


From a festival veteran’s perspective, STRAB has always stood out  because it’s so damn unique. It’s a life-changing experience that you should experience at least once in your life.

2. It’s the most intimate music festival I’ve ever attended

It doesn’t matter if you’re watching someone perform on the deck or digging your toes into the sand while watching someone who blows your mind on the main stage, it truly feels like you are connecting with them. This is because it’s such a small festival crowd. Only 1200 tickets are sold for the festival every year.

Photo by Justin Lee

3. There’s so much else you can do at STRAB

Live Music is happening on the deck during the day, but you don’t have to stay at the resort the whole day.

During the day you can pub hop between Ponta Malongane and Ponta Du Ouro with your friends or take a long walk on the beautiful beach (which is walking distance from your tent or chalet).

Fernandos Mozambique

You can also scuba diving, snorkeling, dolphin watching and other things in the morning, go for a swim in the warm Indian Ocean in the afternoon or just spend the entire day on the beach to catch some sunrays. The choice is yours.

4. The Live Music Line-Up is Always Top Notch

It’s hard to say what my favourite performance at a STRAB festival is, because there have been a ton of great ones.

Willem Welsyn at STRAB 2019

STRAB 2019 had it’s fair share of moments:

  • Cindy Alter singing “Substitute” (a song that I grew up to).
  • James Smith showcasing his keyboard / piano talents during Big Shoes‘ set.
  • Hellcats playing their first STRAB.
  • Kenny Hughes transporting everyone to different places.
  • The Black Cat Bones and their tiny TV set on the main stage for their 10th STRAB in a row.
  • Son of Hawk rocking out and nearly breaking the deck.
  • Die Horries completely blowing everyone away.

Other performances that come to mind are The Black Cat Bones vs The Fake Leather Blues Band in 2014, Tuin’s set on the deck (which ended with a school of dolphins swimming by in the background) in 2015, Karen Zoid and Wonderboom in 2010, etc. The list is really endless.

5. The Stage Production / Lighting is truly impressive

The Stage and Sound Crew know what the hell they are doing. I’ve never been to a STRAB festival that had substandard stage lighting or sound. There must be something in the air because the artists / bands just sound better in Ponta Malongane.

6. The deck has an amazing view

Oppikoppi has the top bar, Mieliepop has the rave cave, Up The Creek has the river, but STRAB has that amazing view from the deck. 7 km of white beach sand curving into the distance, and blue ocean as far as the eye can see. Nuff said.

STRAB 2014

7. It’s a few days away from the bloody cold

The festival happens at the end of May (when some of you reading this are freezing your tits and arses off in most parts of South Africa).

The average temparature during the day at STRAB is around 26 to 28 degrees. It dips a little during the night, but I promise you that you won’t wake up in -2 degrees at the festival.

8. It’s the most chilled out festival I’ve ever been to

The festival is really chilled compared to other music festivals in Southern Africa. It’s so quiet in the campsite, you can take a nap in the afternoon and you’ll sleep like a baby at night. I’ve actually slept on a deflated mattress, but it didn’t really bother me because the sand beneath my tent was so soft.

9. You can do STRAB without shoes

I still remember walking onto the deck in my tekkies in 2009. I got strange stares from peeps. It didn’t take me long to get rid of my shoes though. Since then I’ve done a few STRAB’s barefoot or in my slops. Who wants to wear tekkies if you’re going to get sand into them the whole time?

10. Every time I leave I want to go back the next year

When STRAB is over on the Sunday morning, you don’t really want to leave Mozambique. When you’re finally back at the office the next week, you’ll be making plans to go the next one. Mark my words.

Well, there you have it, 10 things that I love about STRAB Music Festival.

I’m already feeling amped for the 2020 edition of STRAB (which is happening from 27 to 31 May).

In case you forgot, ticket sales for this year’s edition will be opening on the 1st of March at 12 noon. You can register HERE.

Some artists have already been announced… You can check out the line-up so far HERE.

Watch this space for updates in the Music category 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

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