Durban – Not even the cold and rainy weather could put a damper on the moods of thousands of Splashy Fenners who travelled from far and wide to be at this year’s music festival.
They put on their knee-high gum boots, lit their bonfires and partied the weekend away in the heavy rain.
The festival, now in its 27th year, is set against the picturesque mountains of the southern Drakensberg.
It saw more than 4000 visitors and campers, and more than 200 artists perform on various stages across the farm.
Performers included The Temper Trap, Springbok Nude Girls, The Voice SA finalist Freddy Lalendle, Nigerian Afro-folk singer, songwriter and guitarist Blessing Tangban as well as Tebogo Louw from Idols 2016, Dijon Hoarea, Swamp Riders, Alimho and Storm, Holy Smokes, the Godforsaken Rollers and crowd-pleaser Michael Franti.
This year, the music festival also added a few new items to its usual list of events, making it more kid-friendly and health-conscious.
Fairy dances, woodland folk and stilt walkers paraded the courts and there was also an Enchanted Forest Kids Zone.
For more health-conscious campers, there were morning yoga and meditation classes as well as a variety of vegetarian food and veggie juices.
James Liebenberg, a Splashy regular who lives in Drummond, said coming to the festival was a tradition for him and his tribe.
“I belong to the tepee tribe. We’ve been coming for the past 26 years. Every year it just gets better and better.
“It’s an amazing atmosphere where free-spirited people can enjoy themselves. The energy is high and the music is so diverse. It’s something that you have to experience for yourself at least once in your life.”
The tepee tribe consists of more than 50 people who come to the festival and set up their 8m-high tepees a few days before the event starts.
This year, the youngest member of the tribe was only three years old.
Reveller Cody Arntzen attended the festival for the first time and he was ecstatic to be there.
“I’ve always wanted to come to splashy, but my parents never allowed it. Now that I’m 18, I made sure I came to check it out. I’ve always heard about it being great fun and I’m so excited to be experiencing it,” said Arntzen.
He said he’d enjoyed all the music from artists who played at the River Stage.
Thabo Ledibane and his friend, Sly Ngele, had been planning their trip to Splashy for years and finally the day came.
“The vibe is epic and I can already see myself coming back next year. We are enjoying everything that Splashy has to offer, the colourfulness, the vibe, the music and even the view. We can’t do this kind of thing in Durban – it’s so different here. I’m falling in love with the atmosphere and the people,” said Ledibane.
Ngele said the experience of attending such a huge music festival in such a beautiful location was more than words could describe.