This Easter, the rolling foothills of the Southern Drakensberg mountains will come alive with the sounds of 7 000 happy campers, a host of musical talent from across South Africa and activities for the whole family to enjoy.
In its continuous efforts to not only be South Africa’s friendliest festival but one which encourages participation and interaction, Splashy Fen is proud of its long list of family-themed activities and entertainment for fans over the Easter long weekend this year. From yoga to belly dancing, drumming workshops, trail running, river frolicking, face painting, fashion shows, art and music from all genres, there really is something for every kind of fan, of every age, race, culture and gender.
2017 saw the introduction of the festivals first art installation, The Rising Earth Pod, a wondrous creation by KwaZulu-Natal artist and sculptor Kim Goodwin. Kim created an impressive towering structure on the banks of the Splashy Fen river by weaving and manipulating Wattle, an invader plant material found in nature. “I challenged myself with this concept,” says Goodwin. “I wanted to create something that looked like something you would see under a microscope or through a telescope. Something we don’t necessarily recognise. It creates a sense of wonder and I’m drawn to that. As are others.”
Having conceptualised and built structures at the well-known Afrika Burn Festival in the Karoo, Goodwin says that this year, fans can look forward to something a little more interactive. “We are building a slightly scaled down version of a piece we did in the Karoo recently. Because there is, so much work and time and effort that goes into creating one of these structures, when we recreate it as a smaller version of itself, we really get an opportunity to focus on perfecting it.”
By no means, a small installation, the 3-metre look-out temple that is near completion on the Splashy Fen Farm, will offer Fenners a new perspective. Made in nature, using only nature as a primary building material, the temple showcases the beauty of the festival and its magical surroundings.
Splashy Fen isn’t simply a showcase of acclaimed musicians and artists, but a platform for everyone and anyone to share their passion, learn new skills or simply enjoy watching others do so. The Treehouse stage is another of Kim Goodwin’s creations made out of Wattle and has become an area synonymous with creative freedom and hippy-style happiness. It’s an area that attracts more and more fans with its offering of activities that encourage creativity and participation. Not to mention décor that is out of this world.
Art-Go-Round, a creative art concept, will give fans the chance to add their creative mark to a 4-metre canvas throughout the festival. In addition, Yoga sessions take place every morning at 9 am. Hula-hooping, fire-breathing and day and night time Poi displays can be seen throughout the festival, as well as face and UV body painting, henna, hair wrapping and other activities. Drumming sessions take place every morning and evening, belly dancing and Digeridoo workshops, fire-breathing and dancing around the Acoustic Stage bonfire, a competition for the most creative campsite flag and not to forget, the ever-popular Splashion Show with the amazing prize to Seychelles, courtesy of Air Seychelles and Eden Island.
A group of qualified professionals head up the Splashy Fen Kid Zone. To ensure the utmost safety of the children, the area will be cordoned off and parents will sign their children in and out. Children of all ages can enjoy sensory, educational and fun activities such as reading, colouring, face painting, construction areas filled with building blocks, a game zone filled with play equipment like hula hoops, bean bags and balls and of course, a traditional Easter egg hunt.
Over 300 acts across 5 unique stages, and you’re bound to discover new favourites, enjoy old classics and get to know the great musical talent that South Africa has to offer. The Steezies are an example of such talent, as a product of South Africa's multicultural musical paradigm. Their songs boast isiZulu hip-hop and South African style guitar alongside funk melodies; and European trumpet lines within Afro song structures. Fans can catch The Steezies at 12 pm on Saturday the 31st of March at the Corona River Stage.
Other acts to appear on The Corona River Stage include Jerry and the Bandits, Mali Zulu, Georgetown and Easy Freaks on Friday 30th March, Charlie Finch, Gus Brown Band and a surprise set on the Saturday 31st March and 4 AM, Stone Jets, Josh Wantie and Monark on Sunday 1st April.
The Budweiser Main Stage will commence on Friday the 30th and will showcase the likes of Abaqgobi, Rubber DUC, Hot Water, Mango Groove, Napalma, Stone Palace, Perez, Prime Circle, Bowling for Soup, Veranda Panda, Ard Matthews, Matthew Mole, Pierce Brothers, Desmond and the Tutus and festival favourites, GoodLuck.
The Acoustic Stage will see Chico Muya, FREDDY-L, Crimson House, The Kickstands, Alex Cavan, Lindo M, Mike Wagner, Hayden Hack, Seb Goldswain, Qadasi, Jessica Martins and many more take to the stage, starting at 2 pm on Thursday afternoon through to late Sunday evening.
The Treehouse Stage has a jam-packed line-up that includes Gemma Early, Chadwick Jubber, Rusty Red, Martin Gill, Werner Bekker, Dawn Morey, Nish Pillay, Shannon Connolly, Zacas and more.
The Red Square Electric Boma is a music and dance treat for those who love to party. Catch Ty Stoltz, Knott, I am Rogue, Ryan Murgatroyd, Bhashkar and Royal Love on Friday 30th March. Hendrik Joerges, Amigo & Tim Lewis, Craig Rude, G-Major, Asante and Ph Fat on Saturday 21st March, and Sennora & Kritik, Slim Beats, Groove Two Us, Huckleberry, Jayy Jabs and Chunda Munki on Sunday 1st April.
South Africa’s oldest music festival will take place over the traditional Easter weekend from Thursday the 29th of March to Monday the 2nd of April 2018. Tickets are limited and still available at splashyfen.co.za.
For more information go to splashyfen.co.za.