The SPLASHY adFENture 2005
I set out to the annual Splashy Fen music festival(one of the biggest, if not the largest of its kind in South Africa) with the amp-o-meter not rating too highly. Due to some dismal planning and failing car brakes I wasn't too sure if the trip was going to happen, let alone be successful, but brakes or no brakes I was on my way to Splashy. But how would this year's Splashy match up to the year before, undoubtedly one of the best times of my life. From crowdsurfing to 16 Stitch and going crazy-mad in the Sibling Rivalry and Mr. Smug moshpits to telling stupid jokes around the campfire with the dudes from What Now?! to watching topless lesbians make out in seductive Sapphic pleasure right before my very eyes to emceeing in a cipher with the South African emcee of the year(at B.O.T.Y) Ewok, Quincy Fynn from the Big Idea, and Jet and Sage from the former Nomadz to having an unlimited supply of nature's finest. Splashy Fen 2004 was unsurpassable in experience and events, almost surreal - maybe it was all that nature's finest... Back to this year's trip, once the car was sorted out(yeah right) and fully packed Matt and I set out on our rooaad triip! Big ups to Matt for taking the wheel with the shitty brakes(we almost ploughed into the back of a taxi, cuz of them damn brakes.) After picking up another bud (Cas) on the way, there was a quick stop for the stocking up of vital fluids. Quick stop my ass, Cas bought a whole case of brandy just for five days, looking at it made me feel sick. Instead I was content with Captain Morgan, the Brothers as well as a couple of six packs of coolers keeping me company. We had already set out late and that 'quick' stop saw the sun dip even lower over the picturesque vallies of the Natal Midlands. By the time we were in Splashy territory it was already dark and, for those of you who don't know, Splashy's quite a bitch to find, especially for novices in the blanket of darkness that is the Midlands sky, so inevitably we got lost. After travelling for about 30km in the wrong direction and endless, "it's just around the corner"s, with not a car or homestead in sight it finally sunk in that we were truly lost. Stopping on a desolate road with nothing but the eerily slow sway of the grass and the encroaching darkness in sight is pretty creepy. But we still had Sibling Rivalry to watch, "dude it's past 6", okay scrap that. After endless searching for signals and phone call attempts we finally got back on track. By the time we arrived even the cold weather couldn't put a hold on our super-amped states, Matt and I attempted to put up the tent in the darkness(another bitch) while the Diesel Whores were putting up their darkness in the music tent. The cracking open of Klippies & Cola signalled that we were in town and off we set for some debilitating, drunken debauchery. Apart from the prior dismal planning one thing did go exactly according to plan, a few internet searches and MS Word edits, along with some ingenious presentation work led to 'The Press Passes.' 'The Press Passes' were our ticket to backstage heaven. I wasn't quite sure if they were gonna work but pulling the right moves and brimming with the right confidence they worked alright. Think unlimited access to a fridge full of Heineken, a fridge full of Archer's Aqua, fridge full of Lipton Ice Tea, fridge full of pristine mineral water, hot chicks on standby to make you milo or hot chocolate or coffee, not to mention getting to watch the bands and chilling with them from backstage. It was unbe-fucken-lievable! Watching waves of people mosh in unison to The Narrow frontman, Hanu's haunting voice and the rest of the band's hard sound from backstage plus scooping free shit was definitely a defining moment of Splashy 2005. Matt hit the hay(more like the ditch in the ground) early cuz he wasn't feeling too good and I carried on the endless search for Splashy satisfaction. After a couple of bouts with the bong I was K-O'd and looking forward to the next day.
The rest of Splashy was just as rad and followed pretty much the same suit - wake up, piss on the neighbour's tent, eat breakfast, take a swim in the Alaskan-like temperatured river(while watching half-naked hippies frolick in the water), roam around the place and scope out the eye-candy, then get back to rocking out to some of S.A's best bands and emptying out some of S.A's best band's fridges. Apart from major action attractions like the above 2005 was also spent the true Splashy way - playing hacky sack with dudes I'd never seen before; playing guitar, singing songs and telling dumbass, but funny, stories around campfires with good company; broken hearts and broken guitar strings; and spending some time with sweet Mary-Jane. The amazing brotherhood, togetherness, and chilled vibe at Splashy, as well as the partying and punking and the amazingly majestic splendour of the sky and surrounding mountains make it one of the most unique and special places on this earth. Leaving Splashy in a 2 hour traffic delay, thanks to major rains turning the dirt roads into mudslides and some dude flipping his bakkie into the river, my heart ached along with my liver and kidneys(but that was from something else) to say goodbye to Splashy once again. Splashy Fen 2005 was just as good if not better than Splashy Fen 2004(and that's saying a lot.) Back at home unloading my bag was a tedious and time-consuming task but unloading the memories of Splashy, I'll be willing to do anytime (at least what I can remember.)
Splashy Fen story by Dashy En. (D)