Splashy still has that mellow vibe

2010-04-03 00:00

AFTER 21 years of festivals, Splashy Fen has seen many people from all walks of life enter its gates. Young and old, hippies and punks, each year they come to enjoy the music and the festival vibe.

James Liebenburg (45) of Monteseel has attended 20 of the 21 Splashies.

He has watched things change and develop over the years and says that some of the developments have been for the better while others have made the festival too “commercial”.

“It is a much younger crowd now, and it is not because I am getting older,” he laughed.

“The earlier Splashies were more folky, then it became all about hard rock and now it’s mixed, but it’s still the same mellow vibe,” said Liebenburg.

His best memory is of the first one he attended in 1990.

“There was a really earthy feel, and experiencing it was amazing and the artists like Jennifer Ferguson made it for me.”

Liebenburg has spent most of his Splashy Fens painting people’s faces, “but it got really taxing. Now I just paint my family and friends,” he said while daubing a friend’s foot with luminous paint.

Liebenburg and his friends and family all camp in a “teepee village” that they put up each year.

Their campsite on the mountain near the river is hard to miss with its Red Indian aesthetics and tie-dye marquee.

Katelyn Bruce (21) of Durban North was born in the year Splashy Fen started.

This is her first time at the festival and she said it has been amazing so far.

“The people here are so laid-back, there are no fights like in clubs and everyone is so welcoming.

“There are people playing bongo drums in their campsites and they invite you to join them, it’s so chilled,” said Bruce.

She said she is looking forward to listening to all the punk and rock bands.

“I already watched Hog Hoggidy Hogg and they were amazing, I am looking forward to Fokofpolisiekar tonight.”

The consensus among Splashy Fenners is that the weekend is all about chilling out and enjoying oneself.

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