KIRSTI BUICK

Sonop’s annual music festival, Halfjaarkalendardag, took place on 21 July, and once again did not disappoint.

The doors officially opened at midday, and by the time the first band began their set at about 16:30, there were many who had clearly been making the most of the student-friendly booze prices. However, the real party began as the sun went down, with crowds of students flocking in after a day of classes.

The show featured Fokofpolisiekar, Ef-El, Isochronous, Van Coke Kartel, Tidal Waves, Die Tuin Dwergies and Black Era. While it was the big names that drew in the masses, the first few bands didn’t fail to deliver.

Black Era, first in the line-up, are definitely a band to watch. Lead singer Karlo de Villiers told the crowd that their first album, Feel Good will be available this week. Their first single, “Terugveg tweegeveg” is already charting on MK.

Die Tuin Dwergies, who were on next, toned down the edgy rock of Black Era with a more acoustic-driven set. The group describes their sound as “innocent melodic grooviness”, and that is exactly what they provided.

As the evening wore on and the small crowd of rock fanatics (and Sonop boys, who, for some reason, were wearing neon pink gumboots) were joined by throngs of concertgoers, the relaxed vibe of the afternoon dissipated. It was replaced with an electric atmosphere driven by great music (and beer). Emos in their skinnies and jocks with their collars popped partied alongside each other, the she-mos were joined by some party girls, and a chilled afternoon became an unforgettable party.

For many of the partygoers, Fokofpolisie-kar’s set was the highlight of the night. Although the band broke up a few years ago, they have a large Pretorian fan base who were excited for this rare reunion. The band did not disappoint, mixing old favourites like “Hemel op die Platteland” and “Tevrede” with newer hits like “ Ek skyn (heilig)”. In true Fokofpolisiekar tradition, the crowd was rough and rowdy, and more than a few people walked away either having gained a black eye or lost a shoe.

The festivities continued until the early hours of the morning, indicating the concert was indeed a success. Perdeby can’t wait to see how Sonop manages to top this next year.

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