Mielie Pop Festival 2016, the good the bad and the miss guided!
18 MARCH 2016: I set out to experience, well, I had no idea, see the truth is loyal readers, I’ve never been to a big music festival before! Sure, I’d watched live music, attended music ensambles and gone to the odd show, but never a festival. I had no idea what to expect, but what I did know is that I’d be changed forever! Ok, it’s not that dramatic, but I was excited.
I set out with two boxes of Oreos, a box of survival gear (yes survival gear) and a half a tank of petrol and setoff into the unknown of one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa: Mpumalanga, past the forgotten town of Ermelo and just before the one horse town of Lothair: the Tolderia farm/resort.
Besides getting there four hours late. The first night was unforgettable! That is, the first few hours until I over indulged in the plentiful free liquids offered everywhere.
Music on the first day set the standard for the rest of the weekend: Awesome! Up from Durban, Black Math was particularly epic; a combination of something that sounds like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and old Linkin Park minus the hip-hop.
You got the sense that the best musical talent from across the country from every genre decided to meet in a single place to shatter the sounds of silence and break the board back of the world! Everyone was there, from reggae to hip-hop, hard rock, to afrikaans metal even to a rock brass band! I’m looking at you Nomadic Orchestra!
More than just the bands and their talent, the wealth and mix of people at Mielie Pop was unlike anything I’ve experienced. You got the sense that there was no click, or group or cult in any segment of the venue, everyone was unto themselves, and each, extremely different in style, culture, attitude and entertainment preference. A true indaba of the people of South Africa coming together to celebrate the last tail of summer with the best bands around.
It was amazing!
Yes, I’m stary-eyed, yes, I had a great time, and true, there are probably better festivals throughout the year, but what made Mielie Pop Fest special was the people, the music and the fact that all the toilets were clean, I had a hot shower every morning and there was more than enough space to go absolutely nuts on a dance floor even when I had no idea what I was going.
Do yourself a favour, try get to the a festival to listen to epic ass kicking band: Coelacanth (Gareth Wilson, Andrie Kriel and Jaco Mans), they are a new kind of awesome. Hard rock and roll classics, mixed with a bit of folk, add a drop of mad faces from Wilson, and you got yourself a party! (Thanks gents, you rocked)
What do we say to a festival like this, it was awesome in so many ways, fun in so many others. The whole event ran smoothly that I could see, the bands were epic, the booze were cold, the coffee was strong, the pool was cool, maybe if we could get FNB to get a working ATM next time, that would be great. I can’t imagine the stalls made as many sales as they could have.
Other than FNB playing the old man in the room, the festival is perfect for any newbie, like me, and great for anyone who loves good local music and good people to enjoy it with. For the full line-up: check this out: Mielie Pop Line Up
(Shoutout to the organisers, you pulled it off!)
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