Under normal circumstances, the DH and I *don’t* do music festivals. Beyond the expected glut of inebriated youngsters, dust, excessive UV radiation, lack of civilised ablution facilities and typhoid-inducing food, we’re also not great fans of roughing it in a tent. The list goes on…
But on Saturday, December 1, we were tempted from the comfort of the Treehaus and indulged in a mini road trip to Theewaterskloof Dam to attend part of Synergy. Of course it helped that we had VIP media pass status thanks to the fact that we were, technically, working. (Or at least the DH was – put to work filming Th’Damned Crows perform on the LMG stage early that evening.)
Me? I went along for the ride. It’d been more than a decade since I’d last attended any sort of big live music festival (not since Wingerdstok 1997, if my half-addled brain serves to correctly inform me).
|Very happy to reach Strandfontein intersection...|
But first, the detour…
The southeaster, our wonderful summery prevailing wind, was howling. This meant that half the beach on the False Bay Coast was crawling across our intended route. The result: road closed. The way the husband figured it, we had two options: backtrack up along the M5 north then join the notorious N2 where the two intersect or… Google Maps! Yay! And uncharted territory for us through the Cape Flats.
|The main stage at Synergy|
The logical wifely suggestion was: “Dear, it might be a longer route to go via the M5 but it’s a highway, and we’ll be on the National Road soon enough, and then we can drive like all the demons of hell want to drink our blood quite happily.”
The DH knew better, of course. So in the time that it took us to sit in the traffic *trying* to get into Fifth Avenue from the M5 (where we could already have made it to the N2) we sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic through Grassy Park’s CBD… Then in the detoured traffic trying to get into Strandfontein. A word to those who try the same: the outlying areas outside Strandfontein are still agricultural. They farm onions and cabbage, and fertilise with pig shit (or human shit). Either way, it was 36ºC outside, we didn’t have aircon, and we sat in congested traffic next to these wonderfully fragrant fields… For a long, long time.
|These guys had the greasy food vibe totally pegged|
Anyhoo, we took the scenic route via Grabouw, through apple country and into the Hottentots-Holland mountains. [Cue the soundtrack to the Lord of the Rings films.] Yes. It’s that pretty. Try to contrive a visit here during spring when the orchards are in blossom.
Of course the weather wasn’t really playing along. Though iGoogle lied and said we’d have thunderstorms, the Cape weather said it’d only go halfway, so we had messy, bruised clouds and a howling southeaster which whipped up dust and was hell on my sinuses. Husband and I parked the car and ventured forth, obscenely glad we were not camping because hell, it was broiling hot.
|Theewaterskloof Dam looking suitably gloomy|
Apparently the ablution facilities were aces (which was a big improvement on past festival experiences for me), and there were loads of vendors supplying all manner of culinary treats. The DH and I had calamari burgers from the one, and were impressed by the size of the portions, and also the price (student fare, if you ask me). I noted that the vendor also sold painkillers and coffee (reckon he’d cornered the market). Lots of greasy, greasy food to make up for that morning after the night before, hey.
|The LMG tent with The Dollfins on stage|
I must make mention of my new discovery, The Dollfins, a three-piece female-fronted punk band from Cape Town. I’d love to see them again and was glad to make their acquaintance. They played before Th’Damned Crows and got the crowd all worked up.
|The marketplace... Lots to buy|
|Zoltan, Liam and Ronnie showing some muscle.|