Feature

Emalyth celebrates birthday by continuing to set the standard for alternative events in SA

Emalyth has been an enduring presence on the local music scene for more than a decade. Originally established in 2009 by Sashquita Northey, early shows featured bands like intergalactic space metal group Boargazm, Gabrone’s Wrust, progressive metalcore outfit Riddlebreak and arguably SA’s best metal export, Vulvodynia.

After 15 years it’s clear to see just how much Emalyth has grown, garnering a loyal fan base along the way, with ventures including the continuous development of the local scene through numerous shows and the organisation of the annual continental Wacken Metal Battles.

Operating primarily in Gauteng, Emalyth has also played a vital role in revitalising local gig culture. In a post COVID-19 world, their knack for planning events that grab people’s attention stands out. Pairing up-and-coming groups with established acts offers a unique opportunity for bands to reach new ears and attendees to discover something new.

Their events, primarily focused on giving alternative bands a platform, is also where people meet to enjoy a common interest, attended by a heavily-integrated demographic which serves as a nice touch to reinforce the impact and growth of the scene.

In late January, Emalyth kicked off its 2024 concert schedule at Sognage in Joburg with the successful Emalyth Fest: A birthday celebration, with a diverse line-up that featured an array of impressive alternative bands. Highlights included Crash and the Void’s electrifying set, Capgras Delusion’s powerful sound, and Raptorbaby’s captivating performance. But it was headliners Middle Grounds who closed the night by flexing why they’re the best in the country – they have one of the best curated sets on the scene and if you haven’t made a plan to see their live show, take this as your cue to do so.

Credit Karmen Scheffer

The magic of Emalyth’s events lies in continuity – each event feels like a stand-alone spectacle while contributing to a growing narrative, underscoring the vibrancy of the local rock scene.

As we dive deeper into the year, Emalyth promises exciting events, including Let there Prog – featuring Deity’s Muse at Sognage, and Wacken Metal Battle at Smoking Kills. My plea is to urge you to support Emalyth, a quiet and persistent ally for one of the country’s most prolific scenes.