Splashy Fen: Off to a muddy start

2011-04-22 00:00

MUD puddles, flags, tents and a sub-culture of gumboots set the scene for the 22nd Splashy Fen music festival, which started yesterday and runs during the Easter weekend.

Fans and stallholders reportedly arrived at the beginning of the week for the festival, filling the grounds in masses.

“The festival has just started and we’re expecting more numbers,” media liaison Mandy Carlo said.

This year’s festival also pays a special tribute to KZN guitarist Syd Kitchen, who died of cancer earlier this year.

Pietermaritzburg band the Hairy Legged Lentil Eaters are the featured honouree act for this year.

Yesterday’s set list included talented youngsters Toxic Candy, who had played well beyond their years.

Pietermaritzburg’s progressive percussion band, Four Leaf, had their first performance at the festival in the Splashy Marquee.

National favourites from Pretoria, Wrestlerish, led through the rest of the evening.

“It’s kiff hey, we’ve had our breakfasts and we are now amped and ready,” said band member Chris Melling before their debut performance.

Said festival organiser Pedro Carlo, “We’ve had over a thousand entries with the festival being focused on folk rock. There’s changes every year and new additions with different artists.

“Like this year we have the Hooter’s Comedy tent. So we’re keeping it fresh, keeping it different.”

Carlo told of Syd Kitchen’s contribution to the festival, saying, “Syd had played at every Splashy. He has been part of Splashy for 21 years and organized the acoustic group Aquarian Quintet. Syd will be missed.”

More patrons are expected to attend the festival in the course of the weekend. A limited edition Splashy Fen CD featuring this year’s artists as well as Syd Kitchens’ work is available at the merchandise tents.

So far, it looks like Splashy Fen 2011 is off to a good start.

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