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RAMfest… The Lessons I Learned

By Thursday night I couldn’t sleep. A combination of heat and extreme excitement were keeping me awake. As the sun came up on Friday morning I was pretty much ready to walk to Ramfest. Thankfully Nash had taken Friday off, so we loaded up the car with the essentials- and I mean “essentials”- nice and early, and set off on another weekend of adventure. No silly luxuries like “soap” and “food” were part of our baggage… we have managed to get Festival Packing down to a fine art…

The key to Festval Packing is to never, ever undergo Festival Unpacking. When Nash got back from Up The Creek, he just didn’t unpack his car. Which worked out wonerfully, because by the time Ramfest came around, we could pretty much just throw our clothes on the back seat and go!

Here’s what we were packing:

*Please note that this list has been finely tuned for maximum levels of fun, comfort, and randomness*

A case of Windhoek (for Nash) and a 6 pack of Black Label (for me)
2 bottles of vodka
3 bottles of fruit juice
1 bottle of Jack
16 litres of Tiger Blood
5 litres of water (for teeth brushing purposes)

1 x Havaianas Gazebo
6 x Giant Havaianas Flip Flops
Cooler box filled with ice

Tent (minus the tent pegs)
Blow-up matress (minus the ability to stay blown-up)
1 x pillow
2x blankets

Juice bottles
Permanent Marker
Plain white sticker labels
6 x towels

2 pairs of shoes (1 for day, 1 for night)
Not nearly enough clothes to ensure that we always looked clean

Upon our arrival we immediately realised that we were going to be uncomfortably hot for most to all of the weekend. It was boiling and I couldn’t have any kind of intellegent conversation due to the fact that my mind was constantly occupied with thoughts of finding shelter from the sun. (What do you mean “intoxication”?)

I was like a fugitive…the sun, an angry cop, hot on my trail.

As soon as we had set up our tent, securing one corner with the one and only tent peg we had(tent pegs, I’ll have you know, are less essential than they seem) , the wind picked up, and dust rose from the ground to lodge itself firmly onto our upper lips. Adorned with dust tache’s, we made our way down to the river with awesome inflatable flip flops around our shoulders, like backpacks of sheer empty awesomeness. I soon realised that having a giant inflatable shoe on your back at a festival, has the same kins of effect that having a tiny baby cat has in the queue at a grocery store. People were loving it!

Mere minutes after submerging, I managed to injure my already mangled right foot. You know, the one with the broken toe? Not one easily defeated, my mangled foot and I soldiered on and we all made our way to the main stage and bar.

Frinight (we have talked about this before-why say FriDAY NIGHT? It’s silly) started off with me NOT enjoying Blk Jks. If everyone around you is loving them, raving about them, can’t stop talking about them… and you have been too afraid to speak out, now is your chance. Get up, stand on your desk/chair/boyfriend and shout it out: “BLK JKS ARE A SHITTY BAND THAT SOUND LIKE THEY HAVE NEVER PLAYED TOGETHER BEFORE EVER AND EVEN IF THEY DO LOOK VERY COOL AND PHOTOGRAPH WELL THEY ARE STILL AN ABOMONATION UPON MY EARDRUMS!!!”

Feel better? Thank me later.

Frinight Highlights:
Ashtray Electric on the other hand… I’ve never enjoyed them more. On a massive stage with the wind in Andre’s hair and eighties scenes flashing behind them on an enormous screen. They looked like a live music video performing right in front of my very own eyes. Mikey from Zebra& Giraffe telling me what a lovely sight I was after the MK Awards (don’t you dare dispute this, Mikey). Rudi Cronje and Alan Shenton at the bar… Alan Shenton jumping over the bar telling the barman “You look busy” before helping us all to a round of drinks. (Never mind that it was about 1:30am and the bar was empty)

Saturday highlights: Nothing. For the first half of the day, everything was absolutely horrendous. Unless you count my hangover, which was magnificent. The way I was feeling, combined with the incredible heat, meant we could do only one thing: drag our blow up (blow down) mattress into the shade, and sleep away our sorrows. So, after a swim in the river that’s exactly what we did. I woke up a couple of hours later feeling even worse than I had before the nap. But, the festival must go on. Running into Jannie (@donmulto) GODOFSEX and having him lick my eyeball also helped get a smile out of me.

Isochronous cheered me up immensely and by the time Van Coke Kartel graced the stage I was back in the Festivities zone. PH fat were on at the Electro Pyramid and as I stood back, a safe distance from the madness and observed this so-called “electro scene” I couldn’t help thinking “I don’t fit in”. Which is exactly why I have always loved rock ‘n roll. Because I fit in perfectly. Electro has no skinny jeans. No boys looking delicious enough to eat. No bass player looking all cute and shy on the right of the stage. Just sweaty 15 year olds and flat caps and none of my friends. PH fat were rad though, and the crowd absolutely ate them up! Like mother f-ing birds!

I won’t say anything about Die Antwoord. I personally am physically exhausted just from debating them, their music, their showmanship and their longevity. I hate them. Now I rest my case.

Things I learned at Ramfest:

1.Never camp next to people who look 17. They are 17. And they act 17. They also speak at a volume above 17. At all hours. And like the nervous habit some people have of saying “um” or “like” whenever their mouth moves too fast for their brain… 17 year olds use curse words. It was like camping next to a Die Antwoord show.

2.When a obviously young boy says: “I don’t know how to put up a tent! I’ve never done it before!” it is not ok to say “That’s because you’re 12! You haven’t had time to learn!!!” He will put on a sulky, hurt face, before uttering through his braces “I’m not 12………I’m 17”.

3.Blow-Up Mattresses are a cruel joke. They were invented by the Gods Of Comfort who laugh and point, high 5-ing each other as we toss and turn in discomfort all night long. If you have one, burn it. You’ll sleep better at night.

4.Pacing yourself is key. Frinights are NOT the nights to party until 4am. If you absolutely must loose your mind on Frinight, make sure you do so by around 11pm. That way you’ll wake up fresh and ready to party for 24 hours on Saturday.

5.Gringo’s tequila should not legally be allowed near/in or around ones mouth area. It is vile. VILE.

5.1 No one likes poor Luca Vincenzo.

6.Desmond and the Tutu’s should gig more. Holy Moses they are incredible. Don’t tell me their music is made up of simple melodies or that they sound like “they cum frum lundun”…. I won’t hear you past all my dancing!

7.Ramfest is harder, hotter, dirtier and better catered for than any other festival I’ve ever done. If this is the quality of festivals we can look forward to in this country’s future, Big Concerts might as well burn itself down and use the insurance money to take a Contki tour around Europe. If you ask me.

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