Backstage music festival secrets from SA's biggest musos: What goes into playing for a crowd of thousands

Craig Luca, Goodluck (Photo: Kfm)
Craig Luca, Goodluck (Photo: Kfm)

Channel24 nabbed an invite to the Cape's hottest music festival, KDay, with unrestricted backstage access to some of the country's most prominent names in music. 

Cape Town's hottest music event and Kfm returned to Meerendal Wine Estate on Saturday for a day of music, sun, and fun! 

Hot off the stage, and still pumping with adrenaline we caught up with Craig Lucas. This is not Craig's first rodeo, having performed at the festival four-time, even before he entered The Voice, and was crowned the season two winner.   

"Kfm gave me a chance before The Voice, long before I was anybody," he explained. 

But it wasn't always smooth-sailing, he confesses: "I didn't do very well last year, so I didn't expect to be called back. I was going through a lot of things emotionally, and I let it get to me. I suffer from terrible anxiety. I wasn't present, and I was discouraged afterwards, I didn't even do any of the media things afterwards. I went straight home and got into bed. When I got the call, I cried, and I couldn't believe that it was happening. But I made sure to prove why they booked me this year; I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I never danced before, and I did that! I had so much fun today. "

He laughs: "It took me four years to get to the point where I'm proud of a KDay performance - but better late than never!"

Different to the year before Craig says there was no anxiety or nerves."I did something very intentionally. I went out on stage and smiled throughout my performance. Even if I didn't feel like smiling, I'm going to force a smile. I think it shifted my energy. I saw so many of my friends and family, the audience that made me feel really good and hearing people see my songs back to me, that makes me the happiest."

Planning his set to the tee, down to what he would say between the songs took away a lot of the anxiety, he explains. 

The 26-year-old, who loves ballads and slower tempo songs, says he focussed on medleys and mash-ups rather than performing songs in its entirety and saved slow songs for last." He also had backup dancers with him, as he admits he isn't the best dancer. 

And if festival essentials?  Lots of water, a towel and Jagermeister! 

"I remember coming to K-Day and seeing Jimmy, Timo ODV and  Goodluck; now I can call them my friends. It's incredible how far I've come being able to share the stage with people that I used to look up to," he says, when asked about the other artists on the line-up.

The singer also joined Goodluck on stage, during their set for an energetic collaboration! 


Channel24 also met up with Goodluck's Juliet, who despite an ailment earlier in the week brought fire to the already cooking stage! 

"I came into the show post-two-day tummy bug, and I had to rely on the crowd the bring the energy and boy, did they bring the heat," she says. 

About being invited to KDay, Ben says: "It's an incredible line-up, and the cream of the crop KDay features the cream of the crop. We're so honoured, and it's such a privilege." 

When asked how they narrow down their song selections for such a big audience, Juliet explains: "We like to keep it a mixture of the hits that people can sing along to, but today we also played three new songs. It's an opportunity to try new music and see what people think of it. And I'm excited about what's coming out judging from everyone's reaction." 

Ben explains that preparing for a festival of this magnitude doesn't merely take weeks, it takes years. "It's not so much the last sprint. It's the long haul before that that counts. It wouldn't have come together of wasn't for the years of intention that went into our craft, and what we want to present on stage. But it's many, many hours of love and passion and sweat." 

This year KDay brought over 12000 people to Meerendal, and according to Goodluck, it's something to brag about. 

"It just goes to show how Cape Town loves and supports local music. And it's one of the most beautiful cities in the country!"  Especially for the group, who isn't from the Mother City, being able to have Table Mountain as a backdrop to their set is always a treat! 

Even though temperatures hit the high thirties on Saturday, Ben says it's important to prepare for all weather conditions, when attending an outdoor festival.  

"Clothing for all types of weather, it might be boiling right now, but tonight it might be minus two. Sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen are vital."

For Juliet, it's all about bringing the energy and a positive attitude: "The more energy the audience gives, the more we give back," she says.