Doing Daisies right

2013-10-02 13:00
Tent? Check!

Nice full cooler box? Check!

Tickets? Check!

Toilet paper? Ummm... good point.

Party spirit? CHECK!

Well, once you've stocked up on the TP, it seems like you're pretty much ready for the 8th installment of Rocking the Daisies happening on the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling this weekend. 

However, no matter how well prepared you are when hitting the road, fully enjoying the festival depends greatly on how you navigate the space over the 2 or 3 days you're there.

So, if you're a music festival rookie, or maybe feeling just a little rusty, heed the following tried-and-tested advice and you'll be thanking us later...

1. Get there in an eco(both -nomically and -logically)-friendly manner

If you aren't signed up to walk or cycle to Daisies, you simply have to car pool. Seriously!

Bundling three or four people into a car will be a lot cheaper, gentler on the environment PLUS probably quite a lot of fun. And if you're coming from Cape Town, it's really not that long a drive. So just suck it up!

2. Download the app

Yes, there's an actual Rocking the Daisies app that allows you to build your own custom schedule AND has all the important GPS coordinates to help you navigate the area and, most importantly, find your tent!

The app is available on iOS, Android and, yup, even Blackberry. Check it out!

3. Get there early (and pitch your tent)

Only leaving after work on Friday afternoon? Bad idea! Firstly you'll hit beast-like traffic, second you'll have to park a universe away and last, all the prime camping spots would have been taken. 

No, no, no. IF you want to start your weekend off right, put in leave for the Friday and head there on Thursday evening already, as the organisers have decided to open up the camping area the evening before. Can't take the day off? At least try leaving at lunch time.

Once you get there, practice a bit of discipline and pitch that tent! While it may seem like a schlep at the time, you will be oh-so-grateful when you crawl back to your spot in the early hours of the morning. Of course, there are ways of making the pitching process more fun - crack some beers or get your creative friend to invent a drinking game. 

4. Chill out on arrival

Well done! Your tent is standing tall and strong (or possibly slightly lopsided and wonky - whatevs, it's not that important), your crowd has started gathering and the atmosphere is a-crackle. Awesome! Instead of rushing off into the main festival area, enjoy the vibe in the tent village. Gather your friends, make some new ones, sip ice cold drinks, have a few shots and LINE YOUR DAMN STOMACH! 

5. Bring a cooler box, gas ‘skottel' and chairs

If you don't have an ‘organized' friend in your group it's either time you got one, or alternatively, became that one. Yes, rock festivals are an excuse to rough it and really let your hair down, but let's face it, the little comforts are always welcome. Things like a self-cooked breakfast that won't cut into your partying budget, perhaps some chairs to make the campsite more welcoming (or at least a blanket or two) and then of course a cooler box. You need a cooler box filled with loads of ice and your favourite drinks, of course. 

6. Bring your own booze, ice and water

(Shutterstock)

Which brings us to this point. Booze. Unless you're rolling in dough, it's absolutely essential that you bring your own. While of course you will be spending a good deal of your weekend cash on drinks at the bar, it's best to balance the budget by making sure your own stock is large and attractive enough. 

If you normally enjoy a glass of red wine or two at night, don't make the mistake of bringing only a few bottles of your favourite vino. You will get thirsty and then red wine will be a terrible punishment.

Instead, mix things up a bit: some wine/sherry for a late afternoon buzz/crack of dawn night caps, beers and ciders for the heat of the day and something with a little kick to get the party going. 

Daisies doesn't allow alcohol to be brought into the stage area from outside, but what's your campsite for? Also, and let's be a bit cryptic here, water bottles are your friend. 

Oh, and while we're on this topic, it's also a pretty good idea to bring your own H2O. While there should be thirst-quenching stations all over the place (there were last year), it's much nicer just to have your own 5 - 10 liter stash.

7. Head to the main stage early root yourself in front

This is an art to be perfected over many rock festivals - neither arriving at the main stage too early nor too late. If you're too early, you miss out on the cool vibe in the campsite (as discussed in point 2), but if you arrive too late you miss some great bands and also have a sea of heads in front of you. 

So, once you've had a drink or three in camp, get off your lazy bottom and head on over to the stage. Find a spot close to the front and always have at least part of the group stay put while the others go off to forage. 

8. Dress to express

Many hardcore music lovers roll their eyes at the notion of festival fashion. But, hey, if you're going to be having fun, why not go all out and include your wardrobe in the good times too? Festivals are the perfect opportunity to indulge your more frivolous persona/s - enjoy it! Crown yourself with a flower wreath, don a pair of fairy wings, dress like your favourite super hero, wear a bear suit... whatever tickles your fancy, really. Give it a try! This is also guaranteed to make you stacks of new friends. The more, the merrier!

Apart from that, make sure you pack the following items:

- Sunglasses - the bigger the better
- Gum boots - rock festivals have an uncanny ability to be muddy
- Hoodies, beanies, socks, a raincoat and long pants - it looks like the weekend's going to be a little chillos
- A pair of old faithful closed shoes - whether they be some stylish brogues that have seen better days or cheap Pep sneakers, they are an absolute must for dancing the night away
- Swim wear - you are probably going to want to jump into that dam at some point... just saying
- Funky (cheap) accessories - just for fun 
- A hat - once again, the bigger the better

9. Be adventurous, music-wise... and otherwise 

While most of the prominent acts will be found at the main stage, don't limit yourself to this area.

Make a point of spending some time at each of the other stages as well. The Nu World Beat Barn promises some foot stomping sounds inspired by traditional music from around the world, while the Red Bull Electro Stage has a line-up of excellent DJs to keep you dancing all night. You never know what great new music lies waiting beyond the bright lights. 

In fact, spend at least a little bit of Saturday morning exploring the festival grounds and look out for the Lemon Tree Theatre for great comedy, various cool art installations and the Green Village to get in touch with your eco-conscious side. And ladies, even if you're not the grooming type, go check out the Daisy Den for a little bit of pampering.

10. Bring some shelter of your own

Although the weather forecast seems to be mild for the weekend, Saturday does have a few clouds looming overhead, so be proactive and try to improvise some mobile shelter of your own - whether for sun or rain.

Not only will you be more comfy, but also one of the most popular people around. 

11. Have a rendezvous point

You and your crowd aren't attached at the hip, so some straying is bound to happen. Avoid having a completely disjointed weekend by making a meeting time and place where you can reconnect throughout the day. 

12. Tricks to make toilet trips and shower time somewhat okay

(Shutterstock)

What rock festivals offer on silver platters in fun, they really do lack in sanitization. If this makes you squeamish, stock up on toilet paper, hand sanitizer and wet wipes. Also make sure you have a pair of old slops to shower in... 

13. Pack your camera, extra batteries and memory card

You're going to want to capture the memories, so keep your camera close at hand... but safe. Also make sure that you have an extra memory card (or enough space on the one in your camera) and extra batteries.

14. Don't overstay your welcome

(Chris Hinkley / Shutterstock.com)

Sundays at rock festivals are always difficult to navigate - leave too early and you miss the chilled out winding down, the funky reggae bands and the last rounds. Leave too late and you're almost certain to suffer from a worse dose of Sunday blues than you would, had you left just an hour earlier what with the dark creeping closer and traffic being a nightmare. 

My suggestion would be to leave just before the big exodus - normally between 12 and 1pm is a good time - in this way you'll miss the terrible traffic, but also have a last little bit of fest to take home with you. 

Check out the Rocking the Daisies website for more details. 

What are your top festival tips? Tell us in the comment section below or send us your thoughts to info@news24travel.com

 
Read more on:    rocking the daisies  |  travel  |  travel south africa  |  festivals  |  adventure
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