The last Splashy Fen I went to was about 10 years ago. I knew I was going to be impressed by the changes, but I underestimated just by how much.
Arriving midday Thursday, I was surprised to see how full it had gotten already, seems many people paid an extra day and made their way up there on Wednesday. The Acoustic Stage was in full swing by this time, putting on an amazing setlist keeping the festival goers entertained with the main stage only opening on Friday night.
The atmosphere was one of anticipation with many excited music lovers getting into the groove that would set the tone for the rest of the weekend. After a quick look around to see what I could see before the sun set, I was only just so excited to see the stages brought to life with lighting and a great act. With regards to décor, the Treehouse Stage was my favourite. With hanging décor from the trees to mushrooms in the rocks, this intimate stage was just magical. The thought that went into the décor for this festival was nothing short of amazing.
The vibe was banging at the Acoustic Stage so we spent the night singing along to our favourites, having the time of our lives in true Splashy fashion. The headlining act for Thursday night was Crimson House, supported by Freddy L. They had us enthralled with their stellar performance. Crimson House has a lovely knack for making you want to jump up out of your seat and just, well, bop! Super energetic and loads of fun to watch. At one-point, the lead singer was playing against the tent poles, what a way to get the people going. Absolutely brilliant to watch! If Thursday night at the Acoustic Stage was anything to go by, this festival was going to absolutely blow up.
Friday kicked off with awesome weather…for now… we went and chilled a bit with the drum circle at the Acoustic Stage. This, I must say was a favourite for the kids. There were spare drums for anyone to join and mostly we had the Splashy children drumming away to the rhythm and it was quite an experience and loads of fun.
The line-up for Friday was insane, so much talent in one place. It was hard but exhilarating trying to fit it all in, like a kid in a candy shop! Apart from the amazing artists floating around, Splashy treated us to some of Durban best graffiti artists Kev Seven, Mook Lion and Jarred Leroy Camp, painting live each and every day something fresh to feast your eyes on. The visual appeal of Splashy throughout was just pure joy to look at.
At one point during The Kickstands set, they had a bunch of other artists up on stage with them. It was really something magical to watch. A trend that seemed to follow throughout the festival, artists jamming together on stage having the time of their lives, while the Splashy Fenners had the time of theirs.
Main stage opens! Rubber Duc, Hot Water, Mango Groove and Napalma. Let that sink in. the energy at this stage is extraordinary. From Rubber Duc rocking their hearts out to Hot Water’s colourful performance (so good!) to Mango Groove having more fun on stage together than I’ve ever seen to last but not least Napalma and their local super talented trumpet addition. Each band playing harder than the next, it was the perfect build up to the weekend and almost hard to believe this was just the start.
Saturday we had a surprise! Down to the River Stage we go for a surprise set when they said River Stage I was thinking smallish kind of kind of low key stage. It was like a full on whole other festival going on down there. People in the river, its tradition. Nice sized stage with amazing décor, bar, and toilets. You could easily stay down there for hours. The Pierce Brothers bust out on stage, Splashy Fen goes absolutely wild and the set consists of a Didgeridoo and one brother popping up in the crowd playing a tent pole in complete rhythm. It was really something to make you look forward to their set with the full band on Sunday night.
Saturday night was the night of our headliner performance, the excitement building up to this was massive, splashy fen sold out on tickets, that’s 7000 tickets plus the artists, staff and sponsors came up to a little over 8000 people. And rightfully so, Stone Soup, our beloved winner of the Battle For The Fen opened the stage that night and warmed up that Main Stage good and proper. They put on an amazing show and the buzz that came off them when they got off stage was electrifying. Then some favourites, Stone Palace, Perez and Prime Circle and finally Bowling For Soup. Bowling For Soup is like two shows for one. The comedy that comes out of those guys is really just funny AF. We were all in stitches the whole way through. They captivated the crowd, interacted, and engaged with them and put on one hell of a show, definitely worth the money, rain, mud and cold. The performance so good I thought maybe it's scripted, however, I find out after the show, where we had the opportunity to sit in on an interview with Jaret and Chris that it is completely made up as they go and that is just them being them. Authentic.
Can’t express in words how amazingly put together everything was, from the guys working backstage to the vendors and artists, it was so impressive. Get your Splashy tickets early next year as they will not be making more tickets available than the 7000! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us then. Thank you Splashy Fen for having UNDERGROUND PRESS, we all love you!