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The creators of Psych Night, in collaboration with Vans, presented the collective’s first effort at launching a festival event this past weekend at the allocated Silwerstroom Resort in the Cape’s scenic West Coast region. Endless Daze’s inaugural position thus forged its stance upon an element of surprise that structured an imaginative edge concerning what attendees could expect through a quality of mystery that undoubtedly worked in its favour.
Campers trickled in slowly Friday afternoon, unperturbed and rather casually, as the anticipation of the unknown basked in the glistening rays of daylight sun. As worried faces struggled to pitch tents against untamed winds others gathered in sheltered corners of the beer garden, happy and relaxed, leisurely awaiting the first day’s line-up to commence. A variety of old and new artists were selected to perform, each in possession of a psychedelic flair, which served as the weekend’s acting force of cohesion.
A single platform alone left the music at centre stage, reflecting the neighbouring shoreline’s rolling tides as sound escalated and withdrew seamlessly from one performance to the next. No separate noises competed for one’s attention which meant that the audience could remain fixated on each of the acts in their entirety. Festivalgoers could therefore relish in the fuzzy beach sensations of Retro Dizzy whilst also savouring melodic instrumental compositions from the jazz-inspired Bateleur without missing the tail end of either sets.
Bateleur’s sonic experimentation and nuanced bearing throughout their performance memorably shimmered as dusk approached nearer and the air turned cold. The fresh smell of the ocean filtered into the crowd as the sound of waves breaking interjected the quieter instances between tracks during their set. A handful of individuals chose to gather at the foot of the oceanfront to witness the glowing sunset instead, applauding the sun’s descent of light as it triumphantly disappeared from view.
Oversized faux fur now battled the icy lick of nightfall as a trending accessory amongst the evening’s assembled mass of bodies. The wailing wind from before suddenly comes to an unexpected halt as a solid class of old-school rock ‘n’ roll effortlessly enters the playing field courtesy of Aidan Martin and Sannie Fox. Colourful hues of light project patterned beams about the stage that accompanies the evening’s scheduled artists with vibrant illumination. The responding movement of the crowd is indicative of the dynamic performances delivered despite the increasing fall of temperature at hand. Fox’s voice in particular markedly soars above swaying heads as she moves across the platform in elegant and convincing strides, cementing her performance as one of the tougher acts to follow.
The wind unfortunately returns as the weekend’s first international group graces the Endless Daze stage. Froth’s atmospheric textures of shoegaze instantly lulls the audience, maintaining the day’s psychedelic precedent by gently harnessing elevating levels of distorted gritty guitar combined with soft-spoken vocals. Their exit sees the arrival of the emotive and rhythm-driven aesthetic of BCUC’s self-proclaimed “indigenous funky soul”. The group’s amalgamation of both contemporary and traditional African flavours yields an inspiring portrayal of sound and artistry that indisputably asserts itself as an assured highlight of the festival’s first evening. The surpassing impact of their performance remains an unhindered picture, reinforcing BCUC’s characterisation as a stark collection of music “for the people, by the people, and with the people.”
“You ain’t in Manila now motherfuckers,” a Retro Dizzy member had remarked earlier, praising Psych Night’s initiative in developing its popular solitary evening events into what had within its first hour already felt like a truly unique experience. Endless Daze in its smaller and more intimate form, unlike the large-scale design of an opposing affair, consequently amasses a carefree and striking euphoric appeal. Here one could roam around aimlessly, eat an entire pizza without feeling shame, or dance in front of the stage as if nothing else mattered – and in that instance nothing would have to matter more.
Scattered stars encircled the moon above as natural light cast down after BCUC’s set. The surviving crowd is small, but eager to continue the festivities as DJ InviZible offers an impressive danceworthy closer. I hear the remaining roars of approval with each drop as I crawl back into the tent, half-asleep whilst searching for the zip of my sleeping bag, the resounding pulses of feet still dancing as an early morning hour draws near.
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