On Sunday, everyone got together in the Pretoria sunshine to celebrate a truly monumental milestone – the 100th edition of Park Acoustics.
For those of you who call the underside of a rock your home and aren’t quite sure what I’m talking about, Park Acoustics is, and has been for many years, one of the most beloved events on the South African monthly music event calendar.
Like moths to a flame, it draws those of us who enjoy live music to the Voortrekker Monument, time and time again, thanks to its meticulously curated line-ups which showcase the best in local and occasionally international music.
Park Acoustics is unique in that its line-ups cater to almost every music taste, bringing a diverse array of genres to its stages, from deep house to Afrikaans rap. It is because of this that people have and will continue to travel to Pretoria from all over, braving whatever the weather may be – from searing daytime temperatures to torrential summer rain – just to sit under the beloved tree and enjoy the music.
Sunday’s edition of Park Acoustics was a celebration that people will be unlikely to forget anytime soon, whether it was because of the sweltering heat and the inevitable glowing red sunburns that came with it, the dust which had me fondly reminiscing about Oppikoppi or just the exceptional line up – because wow, they really outdid themselves.
It was about experiencing the dynamic and atmospheric performance that BCUC is renowned for, through a shimmering heat haze, as the midday sun beat down on the dusty mainstage area.
It was the heaving crowd who were more than happy to get hot and sweaty to the techno-boet-rap sounds of Biggy, his bucket hat and his impossible to get out of my head smash hit ‘Dames’.
It was a foul-mouthed and blonde mullet-toting Jack Parow, downing what I presume was brandy and coke on stage, and proving that he is undeniably “Cooler As Ekke”.
It was a stirring and nostalgic performance by the colourfully iconic Gereformeede Blues Band.
It was pizza, ice cream and pringle nachos.
It was the excellent company and the joy of running into (hot and sweaty) friends around every corner.
It was watching The Narrow perform and trying in vain to get a glimpse of the band through the dust cloud that surrounded the main stage as, undeterred by the exhaustion from a day spent slow roasting in the sun, the crowd mosh pitted away the last light of the day.
Sunday was about ending with a bang, as all good events should. This bang came in the form of Haezer vs Niskerone and, well, need I say more?
The 100th Park Acoustics was wonderful despite the searing heat and the dust and the fact that my sweat itself was sweating; and, as I sat in small a slice of shade, surveying the dust, sweat and cheers which surrounded me, I found myself feeling grateful for the amazing music and dedicated artists we have in this country, for the tireless effort of the people who go above and beyond to bring us these amazing music experiences and for the people who always come out to have a good time and enjoy the music as much as I do.
Park Acoustics is truly something special and, as I sit here writing this, I can’t help but look forward to all the amazing Sunday gatherings that next year will bring.