Your ultimate Splashy Fen guide

It’s that time again when music fans go on a four-day bender to Underberg, lose their inhibitions, soak up the sun (and, like sponges, the alcohol) and the music.

It’s Splashy Fen, baby! From Thursday, April 18 to Monday, April 22, some of the country’s best live acts will perform at the festival, one of the most popular on the continent.

"Splashy Fen is so much more than just a music festival.  It is an outdoor festival that allows people to break free from their normal routine driven lives, and forget all that is bad in the world for four days among fellow attendees who are simply around to be friendly," said festival director Stu Berry of Impi Concept Events.

With so much to do and take in that we have made it easier for you to decide who to watch and, most importantly, what to take to have the best experience.

Main Music Attractions:

Wheatus – With a  debut album that’s more than 17 years old, the well-known rock band from America have become synonymous with their timeless hits Teenage Dirtbag and A Little Respect. Easy lyrics, beats you can bop, mosh and dance to and a typically larger than life on-stage presence, they’re one to look out for at this year’s Splashy Fen Music Festival.

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Jeremy Loops – From cult live act status in his hometown Cape Town, to a chart-topping album domestically, and a number of world tours; Jeremy Loops is nothing short of a world-class international artist. And he’ll be back at Splashy Fen this year, with his foot-stomping, beat boxing, looping antics.

Kim Churchill – Splashy Fenners can expect intricate guitar work, intuitive vocal melodies and a wonderful feeling of space and warmth from Australian born Kim Churchill. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter once spent 18 months working on an album, only to scrap it moments before it was due for release. Churchill picked up his guitar and wrote a second version of the album in one frenetic week. The results? The ‘Weight_Falls’ album – a kaleidoscopic collection that is bound to take both fans and critics by surprise.

What To Expect:

Splashy Fen has become an integral part of the South African music scene. And with only days to go, here’s an “all you need to know” guide for those splashy virgins.

* Splashy is for everyone from oupas and oumas, to merry campers, happy hippies and kids in size one gumboots, all seeking different forms of recreation. So have as much fun as you like but remember to respect the artists and their music. After all, Splashy is about the music.

* Be prepared to rough it out. If you’ve booked a Splashy Harambee tent or a Splashy Teepee then you shouldn’t wake up with aches and pains as you will be sleeping on proper beds. If not make sure you carry your own camping tents, equipment and air mattresses so you can retire to bed in comfort…well that’s if you plan to sleep at all. Also remember that there are showers, but queues are extremely long so try to get to it early. Sometimes there isn’t any hot water so brace yourself or you can prepare yourself for going a few days without a splash.

* From delicious stir fry delights, hearty potjies and vegan treats to all sorts of hamburger, panini, wraps and sandwich offerings, pizza cones, gourmet Greek, Mexican and Shisa N’yama meals, chicken bites, smoked meats, soups and wors rolls, festival goers can sample a massive variety of options from more than 30 food vendors, to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner and any-time snacks in-between. Food vendors will operate from 8am every morning until late.

* Although security at Splashy Fen has been beefed up over the years, with this year being no different, it’s always better to keep your belongings safely and insight. Also know your rights as a guest to avoid any altercations with police.

What to carry:

Don’t burden yourself with a lot of things. Just make sure you have the necessities – such as the proper camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag/blow up mattress, the works), cooking utensils (you have to eat) and a first aid kit (and all your medical details just in case you have an emergency). With the “serious” stuff sorted, here are the cool things to take to Splashy:

* Wellingtons: From mosh pit adventures to making sure your feet are warm before you go to sleep, they are a classic festival requirement.

* Statement T-shirt: You need to make a massive statement while you’re at Splashy, so that people are aware of how cool you are – and for the street style bloggers who will be snapping away. Be loud, proud and outrageous.

* Bandana: There is so much you can do with a bandana – pull it over your face to keep out dust, drench it in water to cool yourself down and, most importantly, use it to keep the sweat out of your eyes.

* Tinted sunglasses: Just for the cool factor. Be an enigma, while also making people interested in you and what you think about the act on stage. Just don’t wear them at night. No one likes a douche bag.

* Carry your swimsuit – the river is a great way to cool down if the sun shows up!

* Carry plenty of water, your own toilet paper and sunscreen as it does tend to get extremely hot during the days. If you are a big drinker take as much booze as you can with you because buying at the festival can be very expensive. Don’t bank on the nearest town (Underberg) on having booze because they either sell out very quickly or, being Easter weekend, they are closed on public holidays and Sunday.

Over the four day the festival offers a fantastic line-up and fun activities for the whole family. 

For other information visit www.splashyfen.co.za

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