Crowds of people braved the blazing sun on Thursday, sitting in makeshift campsites in the long line outside the main gate of the entertainment area. Despite the thriving festival grounds, there are only a few rows of trees making shade a rare comodity. Due to the fact that the parking and camping areas are completely separate, disgruntled festival-goers also had to perform a Groot Trek from their cars to their campsites in addition to finding shade.
With the great variety of activities that Rocking the Daisies offers, it is surprising that only 20 000 people attended. Apart from the main stage and the electronic dome that were always packed, the organisers were kind enough to add a cosmic spread of colourful and intriguing decorations such as laser beams and a giant illuminated rocket. Also forming part of the scenic festival experience were the colourful windmills around the dam at the Beach Bar where you could see an array of inflatable swimming toys and a few intense sunburns.
Sticking to the festival’s theme of conservation, strictly vegetarian food stalls were available. The entire festival was also made wheelchair-accessible. If all the lights and distractions got a little overwhelming, the Red Frogs were also present with free pancakes and coffee. Another high point was that the all festival-goers were all able to shower, which made for a better experience when the third day came around
It also became quite clear how Rocking the Daisies manages to be an eco-festival with litter marshals walking around the festival, naming and shaming messy campsites and blaring phrases like “I love you, but the world is not your dustbin” over a loudspeaker.
Crystal Fighters was the first international act on stage on Saturday night. They were dressed in elaborate costumes made of feathers and leaves and performed for a very interactive crowd. Many people were waiting to hear “Kids” and “Electric feel” by MGMT and although the familiar favourites did not disappoint, their set consisted of many unknown songs resulting in a dispersing crowd.
Rudimental surprised the crowd as they are not well known in South Africa. Their set was busy, which proved to be confusing at times, but their interesting methods of performance, such as keeping the beat with spoons, was exciting. The last of the international acts were The Presets, causing the electronic dome to overflow with people as they blew the audience’s minds. They were undoubtedly one of the biggest acts at the dome, with Pascal & Pearce a close second.
Drawing a crowd consisting of girls wearing flower crowns, bulky men sporting vests, veterans with white beards and a colony of hipsters, Rocking the Daisies is an all-inclusive festival and worth the trip for any festival enthusiast.
Photos: Maggie Roodt