BY MIA VAN DER MERWE
The infamous Bohemia band nights are making their comeback post COVID-19 lockdown. Thursday-evening band nights at Bohemia may seem like a distant memory to the older Stellenbosch students, but fear not, Bohemia is ready to put the rock back in your roll with a fantastic March lineup. Bands set to play include Stellies fan favourites like Uncle Spike and many more. For some bands in the lineup, it will be their first time on Bohemia’s black stage.
Due to the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 and the restrictions that followed, band nights could not continue. However, as society slowly steps into a more “normal” scene, manager Henry Doyle and his colleague, Pierre Rommelaere (who are both in charge of curating the band nights) have decided to bring the initiative back. This will be the first series of band nights to occur since mid-March 2020, Doyle confirmed.
“We started February 2020 with our live bands season, and if I remember correctly, we stopped in the middle of March. We also had to cancel the lineups for the following two months,” said Doyle.
The lineup features crowd favourites that have graced the Bohemia stage many times before, as well as some fresh faces ready to introduce themselves to the Stellies student scene. Doyle confirmed this, saying, “We tried to give some of the old favourites (those we had to cancel in 2020) another go. Also, we added a few new bands who will be performing at Bohemia for the first time.” He also added that he is most excited about Indika Black’s performance on 17 March.
Doyle further stated that the venue is currently only allowed to host 120 people due to capacity regulations. He states that he would be eager to see lines forming outside the venue on band nights and that he cannot help but be reminded about the days where band nights had no capacity limitations. “It would obviously be ideal if we could pack Bohemia to the rafters like the good old days.”
The managers have even managed to ignite the excitement in long-time customer and more recent waiter Stehan Odendaal, who is currently a third-year BA (Humanities) student at Stellenbosch University. “I haven’t been to a Bohemia band evening yet! It’s my first time too, so I’m very excited,” said Odendaal.
He expressed that he is looking forward to seeing Uncle Spike’s performance on 24 March and added that he is excited to work and experience the rush on a band night.
Odendaal strongly advises that customers grab a seat early on the day, as the event is free and will run on a first-come-first-served basis. He says that Bohemia will have Klipdrift specials running all day too. “I’m confident that there are going to be queues on band nights, so as a waiter, I strongly advise all students to come early to claim [their] spot!”
It’s not only the staff who are eager for the lineups in March! Bohemia local Caterina Lourens, who is currently studying BAHons (Social Anthropology), attended her first band night in 2018, saying, “I can’t wait for those tequila-filled nights [of] rocking out with your closest friends and getting to do it all over again on the next band night!”