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By Anakin Curtis

All roads led to Cloof Wine Estate on the weekend of 7-9 October as thousands of people made their pilgrimage to South Africa’s premier music festival, Rocking the Daisies. After an almost three-year covid-induced hiatus, festival goers were more than ready to set up their tents and explore all the wonders that Daisies had to offer.

Performances were spread over four stages: the Johnnie Walker Jungle, the Maybelline Station, the Heineken House and the Savannah Beach Club. Although there had been some reservations about the line-up, the vibes proved to be immaculate. With a good mix of local talent and quality international imports, all four stages provided something special. 

On Friday night, UK-based Angolan rapper and singer IAMDDB lit up the Johnnie Walker Jungle with an electric performance. With the crowd already fired up, pop-icons Clean Bandit cleaned house with their hits “Symphony” and “Rather Be”. A-Reece and Drake, co-signed DJ Uncle Waffles, brought the local flavour with stellar sets as the night closed out at the Maybelline Station. 

As the sun beat down on Saturday, people rolled out of their tents and made their way down the long and dusty road leading to the myriad food stalls around the festival grounds. Food prices were unforgiving to student pockets as people were forced to pull out R65 for a boerie roll and chips. Nevertheless, drink prices remained relatively cheap, so people were happy to ignore their banking apps until Monday morning. 

When the sun started to set on Saturday, people were drawn to the Johnnie Walker Jungle to experience Stellies native Will Linley’s set. This was followed by incredible performances by Matthew Mole and X Ambassadors. The headline performance from Kehlani left fans quaking as her sultry tones filled the hot evening air. From J Cole’s Dreamville collective, Bas and Buddy kept the party pumping at the Heineken House. As the night wore on, Capetonian DJ Das Kapital ended the festival on a high note, nearly blowing the roof off the Maybelline Station. 

Rocking the Daisies’ management hosted various meet-and-greets where fans could get up close and personal with some of their favourite artists. Fans got to spend time with X Ambassadors, Saba and Bas. 

“All the artists this year were absolutely amazing to work with. Singling one out would be impossible. This was a unicorn year in that every team brought the same positive energy to the event,” said Shannon Valstar, General Manager at Steyn Entertainment, the company that organised Rocking the Daisies. 

This year’s Daisies was easily the biggest iteration since the festival started in 2005. When asked if the next one would be even bigger, Valstar responded: “Hell, yes! This year was the start of a new era for our team. We learnt so much, so I hope that moving into 2023, we can make the necessary changes, front-facing and behind the scenes, to elevate this event to an even higher level for all involved.” 

Look out for announcements on the upcoming Rocking the Daisies in 2023 on their socials @RockingtheDaisy.

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