‘The Witness’ and Splashy Fen, a new partnership, built on tradition

2016-09-20 14:42
The Witness is the official print media partner to the Splashy Fen Festival 2017.

The Witness is the official print media partner to the Splashy Fen Festival 2017. (Supplied)

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The Witness, SA’s oldest continuously published newspaper, has announced that it will become the official print media partner to Splashy Fen, the oldest music festival in South Africa.

The announcement coincides with a new era for the famous music festival, as recently appointed promoters Impi Concerts look to take the festival to new and exciting heights in the future.

Splashy Fen is a household name among not only music fans, but with families who annually make the short trek to Underberg to experience this special festival, which includes family-orientated activities such as yoga, trail running, cooking classes, meditation and drumming sessions.

“Over recent years, Splashy Fen seems to have attained a bit of a negative perception in the mind of its previous fans. Originally a family-focused music festival known for being the friendliest festival in SA, Splashy lost its unique identity. Instead of seeing this as a threat, we saw it as a challenge to bring back the core of what Splashy Fen has always represented; what fans have always known and loved about the event. Our revival edition of the festival staged in March this year proved beyond a doubt that the friendly atmosphere had returned to Splashy and that families and fans are interested, once again, in attending their favourite festival,” said Impi’s Stu Berry.

“Interestingly, the average age of attendees at the 2016 festival increased from 23 to 30 years of age. We even had a couple, both in their 80s, who attended Splashy Fen 2016 for the first time and left wanting to return again in 2017. So there is no doubt in our minds that the change has been for the best.”

Stephanie-Anne February, marketing assistant at The Witness, said the association was also an easy one for the publication. “In 2016 Splashy Fen approached us to help bring it back to its former glory as SA’s most iconic festival. We had our reservations, and followed the 2016 event closely. After the feedback we received and having attended the 2016 edition ourselves, it was clear that the festival was back on its feet and offering a unique and truly special experience for its attendees, young and old, and regardless of race or interests. It really did encompass absolutely everyone. With so much history behind the festival, combined with the history behind our publication, the decision to partner formally was an easy one for us,” February said.

The partnership will see The Witness become the official media publication of Splashy Fen Music Festival. Of particular interest to our readers will be the unique and interesting approach to the partnership beyond the marketing reach, as well as the special features that the publication will be running.

“Our partnership is not just focused on spreading the good word of a festival that encompasses everything special about South Africa and its musical heritage.

“The partnership aims to share special historical elements of the festival through weekly editorial inserts leading into the 2017 festival, such as the day in 1994 when the festival closed its doors and transported over 800 people to voting stations across the district for our country’s first democratic elections.

“Stories like these expose memories for so many of our readers and educate the other portion of readers on what Splashy actually means and the fact that it is not just any music festival, it’s a festival with 27 years of history,” said February.

The 2017 edition of the festival takes place from April 13 to 16. In the coming weeks, The Witness and the Fever publications will profile the countdown to the announcement of the festival’s first batch of performing artists, including an international headliner who Berry suggests will make Splashy 2017 the best yet.

“After the success of 2016, we knew that 2017 was going to be a key year for us, and we have managed to sign an international headliner who we think will complement Splashy Fen amazingly well. Our international act has had several number one hits in SA, sold over a million albums worldwide and was extremely popular two to three years ago in the South African market and on our radio stations. In addition to this headliner, which we will announce on Thursday in The Witness, we have already secured five top SA bands that will definitely appeal to everyone, and can’t wait to share the news with our fans … and hopefully new fans too,” said Berry.

Early bird tickets are currently open for purchase at R620 for the four day festival via www.splashyfen.co.za and will close on 9th October, after which normal-priced tickets will be available.

Keep reading The Witness during the week of September 29 for all your Splashy Fen 2017 artist announcements news, including the big announcement of which international band will be headlining Splashy 2017.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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