With just over a month to go before South Africa’s friendliest festival kicks off in the rolling foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, fans are booking their tickets at a pace of fury in anticipation for another sold-out festival this year.
With the recent announcement of the full 2020 festival line-up, there has been a buzz around the amount of local talent that will be playing at Splashy Fen Music Festival this year.
“We spend months curating a unique line-up that appeals to our fans,” says Stu Berry, Festival Director. “And while we’re thrilled to be bringing 5 stellar international acts to our stages this year, we’re also very proud to remain whole-heartedly invested in the superb local talent that South Africa has to offer. In fact, more than half of this year’s acts come from KZN.”
In its early days, the festival genre focused heavily on folk and light folk-rock with the inclusion of traditional music styles such as mbaqanga and isicathamiya. Over the years, this offering has grown to include hip hop and pop music and in very recent years, electro jazz.
From local Underberg legends, to South African favourites, up-and-coming musos and international hotshots, there really is something for everyone to look forward to this year, with over 100 acts performing across 5 unique stage areas.
THE SPLASHY FEN MAIN STAGE:
The Splashy Fen Main Stage kicks off on Friday the 10th of April, and will have the crowds on their feet all night and all weekend. Mali Zulu, Coleman Hell, Goodluck, Mi Casa, The Ndlovu Youth Choir, Frank Turner, Bad Peter, Shakey Graves, Rubber DUC and The Pierce Brothers are just some of the acts to catch; as well as the brand new Splashy Spectacle – a music, sound, lighting and experiential display to wow fans of all ages.
THE CORONA RIVER STAGE:
A firm favourite, the Corona River Stage is bigger and better than ever before and fans can make their way down to the refreshing waterside – via the new Corona bridge – from 10h45 on Friday the 10th of April. 4am, The Betsie Beers, Flying Bantu, Zebra, and Faraway George among others, will entertain river-frolicking festivalgoers until late on Sunday afternoon. Fans can also look forward to what is fast becoming a River Stage tradition, with a Surprise Set, where the stage is handed over to a particular artist/act from the festival’s line-up. Fans only know who is performing when they take to the stage.
THE ACOUSTIC STAGE:
In the heart of the Splashy Fen Food Court Area is the Acoustic Stage. Join Freddy-L, Steve Umculo, Down South, Bianca Sontoro, Mbijana Sibisi, Sol Natives, Coby Grant, and friends from 11h30 on Thursday the 9th to 21h00 on Sunday the 12th of April. Lounge around on hay bales with friends, old and new; enjoy a selection of over 30 food vendors and soak up the great sounds of every music genre out there. From acoustic harmonies to ukulele solos, and a dedicated Legends of the Fen set, run by Splashy Legends themselves, Don Clarke and Dicky Roberts.
“When Impi Concept Events first approached us in 2016 to run a stage at Splashy Fen, the objective was to showcase and in turn, celebrate the ‘legendary’ musicians who had played at Splashy regularly over the years,” says Clarke.
“Of course, we jumped on board, and since then, have worked tirelessly to craft a line-up that attracts the more mature festival goers. After three successful years with the likes of Steve Fataar, Brian Finch and PJ Powers making an appearance; we are pleased to note that the average attendance age of Splashy Fen is on the increase.”
This year, the Legends of The Fen showcase starts at 12h00 on Sunday the 12th with the exceptionally talented Rorke; Qadasi & Maqhinga at 13h15; The Songtellers & The Escape Goats at 14h30; Auldfield at 15h45 and Clout, who will entertain the crowds from 17h00.
THE TREEHOUSE STAGE:
The Splashy Fen Treehouse Stage is a magical space of creativity and whimsical wonder. A hand-made wattle stage lies hidden under the canopy of the Splashy Fen forest and has become a popular platform for budding musicians to showcase their skills.
Music performances start from 3:15 pm on Thursday the 9th through to Sunday the 12th of April, so come and enjoy music from Lindo M, Angel Mazibuko, The Kickstands, Gav Ferguson, Matt Gardiner, and more! Throughout the 4-day festival, you’ll also be treated to a series of belly-dancing performances, Digeridoo and Flow workshops, and an exciting new chill-out zone with a twist!
THE COUNT PUSHKIN ELECTRIC BOMA:
And for those who like to party the weekend away, the Electric Boma has it all: great music, quirky décor and party starters. Catch Sennora, Ryan Murgatroyd, Ty Stoltz, Melodica, Knott, Vimo and loads more from 19h00 on Friday the 10th to midnight on Sunday the 12th.
Tickets are limited to 9 000 and available from www.splashyfen.co.za.