'The people, the turnout, the energy': What went down at the first edition of Cape Town Cotton Fest

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Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Photo supplied: Cotton Fest Team
  • The first edition of Cape Town Cotton Fest took place at Paarden Eiland Park over the weekend.
  • The late rapper and founder of the festival, Riky Rick, was honoured at the festival with a special moment.
  • The festival featured a variety of DJs, rappers and other popular musicians.

The inaugural Cape Town Cotton Fest took place on 10 December at Paarden Eiland Park, which featured a variety of rappers, DJs, producers and other popular musicians.

At the festival, the late rapper Riky Rick was honoured in a tribute on the main stage.

As part of Riky Rick's tribute, musician Moozlie gave a speech dedicated to the rapper and requested a moment of silence for him.

Moozlie told the crowd:

Ladies and gentlemen, the fact that we are here without our visionary is so [crazy]…this is such a hectic moment. Cape Town, the fact that you guys came here for us tonight – we love you, we appreciate you, we thank you.

Her speech and the moment of silence were followed by a montage video of some of Riky Rick's on-camera moments, accompanied by his song Home.

The Cotton Fest experience

The cloudy weather, wind and occasional rain were not enough to put a damper on the event's lively atmosphere. Paarden Eiland Park's industrial scenery provided an off-kilter backdrop to the fashionable event.

The variety of acts ensured that the diverse crowd had a wide selection of performances to attend. Though the main stage featured more prominent acts, the second stage, too, had lots to offer.

Performing acts

Some of the headliners who performed on the main stage included A-Reece, Blxckie, Shane Eagle, Shekhinah, Pabi Cooper and YoungstaCPT.

The second stage also featured headlining acts such as Simulationrxps and J Molley. Some other noteworthy acts also included Moozlie, Lucasraps and Focalistic.

The performances were all high-energy, with the crowd gradually warming up throughout the day. Most artists dedicated certain moments in their sets to Riky Rick.

The event featured many underground acts that mostly performed on the second stage. Rapper FonZo, who performed on the second stage, told News24 that people who did not know his music still watched his performance.

"It was beautiful to do [my songs] live and to see the energy. Some people were a bit hesitant at first but then thought, 'Nah, let me stick around for this'. That was beautiful to see," he said.

Uno July, another rapper who performed on the second stage, said: "This is the first [Cotton Fest] I am attending. I'm one of the first acts to jump on stage, so I just want to enjoy the acts. Everyone on the line-up is here for a reason; they've got a buzz, let alone the talent. And I feel like they are going to give people a show," he told News24.

He also had a personal connection to Riky Rick; he shared: "Riky used to open up for us when we used to do tours in Joburg."

K. Keed, a rapper who performed on the main stage, said that she felt Cape Town Cotton Fest was a success. "I feel like it's amazing, man; all of Cape Town is here; it's crazy. I don't know what to say, I'm just starstruck, and I'm blessed to be here."

Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.
Cotton Fest Cape Town.

'Cape Town really came out'

"I'm extremely happy with the crowd, extremely happy with the people, the turnout, the energy. The weather is just the one thing that bothers, but there's nothing you can do about it," said Alain Ferrier, the festival director of Cotton Fest.

"Cape Town really came out. They came out with great energy and good vibes. Nobody is complaining, and everybody is amped," he added. "For me, the thing that I am most happy with is seeing how many people are moving around. Because when people are bored, they sit in one place and don't move. When you see people moving around, it means they are interested in your environment."

"Our ticket sales did really well, and I think everything is going as well as it could go," he added. For future iterations of Cape Town Cotton Fest, he hopes to improve the balance between bringing a "Joburg energy" and keeping the event authentically Capetonian.

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