At the entrance to the alcohol area, a sweaty girl zipped down her knee-high leather boots (a summer fashion this year) allowed a group of men to fill it with Peroni beer, pressed her lips to the leather edge – and gulped it down. It was 14:00 when Ramfest Joburg went dry and the thirsty started resorting to tricks. Hundreds of music-lovers waved R100 notes around at the bar, wishing someone would liquorise them – but the bar had been reduced to Red Bull.
And it was on Red Bull that the crowd finally showed some zest as Jack Parow seamlessly rapped about Space Cases and male organs. aKING and Isochronous had already played. Only with Parow did the bodies start squeezing together on the lawns of the Botanical Gardens. Parow left those bodies squeezed together for Die Heuwels Fantasties to electrify.
As the sun was setting and the air started smelling green, the alcohol arrived again and Joburg – blessed with mine dumps and posh suburbs – started showing that just like Cape Town, it can also do a hell-bent-on-a-good-time nature party. It can do a nature party so well that by the time Chris Chameleon appeared on stage in high heels and ripped neon pink leggings, 10 000 people were there to welcome Boo!back from their long absence with trademark ironic boos.
Boo! played some tightly-wound pop rock tunes, with Chameleon ranging his voice from rubbery soprano to deep sailor and Ampie Omo jumping between instruments. Boo! truly delivered the auditory dopamine to the crowd.
Lark continued on Boo!’s high and Inge Beckman executed her usual witchy dance moves on stage with a voice that cast one into a spell. But everyone was more excited about the next band – Pendulum – from Australia.
Pendulum caused a small exodus. They had a fancy green light show that transformed the whole of the Emmerentia Dam lawns into something from The Matrix while the rest of their performance consisted of electro beats from a boom-box and an Aussie in his late-twenties screaming, “Can’t hear you Joburg!” into a microphone.
Ramfest Joburg was Gauteng’s first Ramfest and unlike its Cape Town counterpart, it is only a day long – a packed, feel-good day in the gardens that will hopefully become a yearly event.