This year, we needed to be in Cape Town on Saturday morning, so we could only get through to Rocking The Daisies in the afternoon. In my youth (last year) it was a race to get out of the office on Friday, battling through throngs of traffic, arriving in Darling just in time to set up camp in the fading light before heading straight the main bar.
Now that I’m an old woman, I woke up, went up Table Mountain at 7am to celebrate the Cable Way’s 85th birthday, came home and had a shower, packed and headed for Darling around noon. It seems like we actually had the right idea, since thousands of festival-goers apparently spent up to four hours in Friday’s sweltering heat waiting in queues.
Half way there, while I tucked happily into a packed of bright orange Nik-Naks, Keenan turned to me and said “we forgot all the bedding”.
This was to be one of the worst festival mistakes I’ve ever made. Worse than that time I spent my first several hours at Oppikoppi at the Cuervo bar and essentially incapacitated myself for the rest of the weekend. Worse than that time I decided I wasn’t going to drink alcohol, opting instead for several hundred Red Bulls, resulting in a near-nervous breakdown by the third day.
The following is a timeline of my experience at this year’s festival.
Arrived at Cloof Wine Farm and breezed through the gates, since there were no queues. Actually, not “breezed”, since my six pack of Savannah Angry Lemon got confiscated. Stowed the only bag I had with me in the tent that a friend had taken through and set up for us on Friday.
Headed to the Jagermeister bar to find friends. Bought a Jagermeister but gave it away since I don’t drink Jagermeister. Changed my mind and bought another Jagermeister.
14:40 – 22:00
Wandered around looking for shade, drinking beer and trying to find friends. Watched John Wizards (stunning). Begged the barman for some ice to rub on myself. Watched a few more bands.
Randomly ran into friends. Celebrated with a drink before losing them.
Asked the barman for ice in a nice way. Trekked to the bathroom. Returned to the place I had left my friends. They were gone. Happened upon them. Had a drink to celebrate. Watched some music (kind of).
Lost my juice bottle.
Ate some kind of Greek wrap. Ate some chips from the calamari guy. Returned to the tent to dress warmly.
Woke up on the cold hard ground. with my boyfriend trying to get me to go back out to party. Refused point blank arguing that I was “too comfortable”.
00:00 – 02:30
Lay awake with my hip bones digging into the earth, freezing but for the towel we borrowed as a blanket. Put all my clothes on in layers. Lay on my back with bass reverberating in my throat. Thought about vomiting. Tried to use my elbow as a pillow. And my other elbow.
Thought about going to look for more food. Listened to people shouting, laughing, falling and crying around the campsite.
Keenan returned and I asked him to walk with me to the bathroom. Spotted a blanket laying
outside a tent on the way back and I swear it felt like I was finding my own mother after being separated from her in my childhood during a flood. Nominated Keenan to steal it for me. He counted down “1, 2, 3” and did the crime. A technique I wish more thieves would employ so that us victims could at least have a fighting chance.
03:00 – 07:00
Lay listening to Keenan snoring while my various body parts seized up. Contemplated the money I’d spent at the chiropractor in the week before, having my back adjusted and the soft tissue in my hip flexes dry-needled. Wished for morning. Wished the car wasn’t about 8000 tents away.Wished the music would stop. Elbowed Keenan in the ribs to stop snoring.
Repeated several times.
Woke Keenan and told him we were leaving. He was riddled with guilt and returned the stolen blanket to the tent we had “procured” it from. The owner seemed dazed, but happy to have it back. Drove home imagining the McDonalds, KFC and mac and cheese I was going to eat when I got home.
Arrived home and immediately had a nap. Woke up and scrolled through Instagram where everyone in Cape Town was posting pictures of the beach. Went back to sleep. Woke up feeling worse than ever. Realised what it feels like to be old. Realised that no matter what happens, I must never stay awake all night ever again. Decided once and for all that I need at least 9 – 10 hours of sleep to function.
Basically, it was a pretty good festival. My main advice is; don’t forget your bedding.