The day got off to a slow start as gates opened 40 minutes later than expected. A security guard said that the delay was due to organisers still setting up. However, this didn’t seem to ruin the spirit of those who arrived early.

“I’m a bit disappointed but at least there’s shade,” said Daniëlle van Rooyen, a Tuks student who attended the event. 

Student cards were not mandatory, according to Reneilwe Maleka, Head of Tusho and Student Houses, who said that a meeting held the previous day had resulted in the university withdrawing its decision to make Spring Day exclusive to Tuks students.

The Olympic were the first act on the main stage. Their energetic performance was met by a crowd that was still arriving and an already inebriated fan that left a bread-crumb trail of valuables before passing out in the shade. The small assemblage didn’t dishearten The Olympic as they already have plans for future performances.

“First we’re going to exercise in the desert,” said lead vocalist Charl Greyling, commenting on the sweltering heat..

By the time Die Tuindwergies took to the stage, more people had arrived. However, it was Jeremy Loops that managed to get the crowd packed in like sardines. Loops presented the fascinating show he’s famous for and had the party-goers generating a cloud of dust above their heads. Most amusing, though, were Loops’ groupies. While the majority just wanted photos, one went as far as hanging through the fence of the band area, screaming “Jeremy!” until he obligingly gave her a hug.

“I’m not a fan of groupies but, I mean, it comes with the territory,” Loops told Perdeby. “Girls. They’re human, you know? I think they’re more just people that enjoy the music, which is cool.”

Wrestlerish provided the calm atmosphere needed to rest after dancing through Loops’ set. Most people planted themselves on the hill as the sun set whilst others went in search of the hard liquor that was available from 17:00.

The crowd was back, eager to dance again to Lloyd Cele’s smooth sounds.

“The crowd is amazing. I think people here really love music and what’s even more cool is they’ve got a lot of appreciation for local artists,” said Cele.

Bittereinder brought their throbbing bass, zebra-cow masks, Pretoria pride and pulsating strobes to the sea of arms in front of main stage.

Zebra and Giraffe, fronted by Tuks alumni, Greg Carlin, continued the party with a set comprised of material mostly from their first two albums.

“We’re busy writing a new EP so I think we’re giving the fans as much old stuff as we can and then when we get the new EP we’ll just play the new [stuff].We just like mixing it up,” said Carlin.

The crowd waned towards the end of the set leaving only the most dedicated and drunk to party through the electrifying sets of Haezer and Double Adapter.

Despite the well-intended attempt to generate a diverse crowd, Spring Day still appeared one-sided and smaller than anticipated. Overall, there was a spirited atmosphere all day but the ultimate aftertaste is of a Spring Day that didn’t quite live up to its mandate.

Photos: Charlotte Bastiaanse

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