Ke Dezemba down here in South Africa which as you may know means summertime which also means festival season. I had some pretty great luck to end up at Synergy Live, held at Anura Wine Estate near Stellenbosch this year – my first one and my first camping festival in far too long. In case you missed it, I gave away two sets of double tickets on my Instagram, so go follow on there and sign up for my newsletter if you want to hear about giveaways first! (International travel vouchers, events in the different places I’ll be going to soon, etc.)
You ever make a plan that goes through so many little hiccups and detours that it starts to seem less than worth pursuing? (Me, all the time). Like this one time I ended up at a techno festival solo dolo. It was dope.
Check out my vlog below and read on for more juice and photos ;)
Stage 1: getting there.
So I had various loose plans with various people to head to Synergy with, but really all I knew was I had a tent and a sleeping bag and that I was going. Cut to day 1, Friday: packed and ready knowing my possible companions were ill or working so I was definitely on my own for the trip up at least. I was in for 2 nights when some banking issues coupled with transportation woes ensued and took the entire afternoon to sort out. It got dark and I quickly decided to just stay in town and enjoy a braai at home. Better luck in the morning.
Morning comes, I’m slow to get up and try to get moving. By the time I do the afternoon is here again and I’m trying to take advantage of a pretty great Taxify voucher the festival has hooked up to get to Anura. Get 4 friends together and it’s an easy R50 each for the hour ride. Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I seldom have 4 friends in one place at one time. One driver cancels on me, the other ends up going to the airport. Sigh. Chat to my colleagues at the reception of the hostel I work at and a German dude sitting right there was going to Stellenbosch any minute and that was that. Last Taxify attempt is successful. On the road we go.
Stage 2: check in, get settled.
Nice easy ride into the winelands and we arrived at Anura around 3pm. The actual festival entrance was tough to figure out at first but the sweetiepie who handed me a VIP camping wristband on the low along with my media pass made up for it! (Bless you)
A quick tent set-up and I already had plans to check out Kyle Watson at the Paradise City beach bar stage with my darling camp neighbours. We bonded over just how seriously we take beach bars at festivals, and got going to deliberate after a few drinks. It was windy as anything and I soon realised my sombrero wasn’t always going to survive at the top of my head. I rolled with it though.
Stage 3: dancing. Lots of dancing.
The beach bar had no sand and was not beach-like but still pretty dope. I see most of us telepathically agreed on the swimwear theme for the afternoon because it would NOT be feasible when the sun went down with the temperature later. Jam for a while in the stage-side cabins and I leave my companions to go dancefloor-hopping for essentially the next 8 hours or so.
The Love All stage for mainly hip-hop but very eclectic vibes, the Main Stage for some more summer electro beats (and some West/Central African drum influences, we see you Floyd Lavine!), the Anura Wine Bar for easy living with couches, its own sounds and a less busy bar. Variety is key at these weekend festivals and Synergy nailed it with this, I must say!
Stage 4: Food. And Drink. Lots of both.
Props again to the festival organizers for hooking up things like the ATM-van in the stall area and handy things like the phone-charging station (even though you had to pay for it and there were no other - #sideeye). With the help of that I remember buying a delicious brownie from one of the jewellery stands and some bomb fries and samosas from Shawarma Express. Bless street food!
Stage 5: Make friends and get on the main stage
Yup, that happened. (If you're confused you probably haven't watched the video and seen how Paranoid London invited me up on stage during their set and we all jammed wearing my sombrero. Cuz why not?). They also handed the mic to me to say things over the beat, stage-fright ensued and I went with howling like a wolf. Seemed to work for the crowd. Shout out to Craig, Del and Quinn for being such sweeties :)
Stage 6: Sleep
I'm not even going to lie to you right now, I snuck off at like midnight to crash. #granny
Stage 7: Escape
Woken up by the sound of my camp neighbours singing total nonsense and the sound of rain on my tent, I was ready to go to a real bed, honestly. Thank goodness for brownies and coffee and sombreros that double up as hands-free rain protection. I eventually hitched a ride back to Cape Town with said neighbours (seriously, what angels) and I was back in my cocoon an hour and a half later.
Stage 8: Recovery
Lots of rest and water, an actual shower and a face mask later I can honestly say Synergy Live 2017 was just the summer festival debut I needed for the season. Do yourself a favour and check out their social media pages (twitter, instagram, Facebook) for more about what went down and what's to come next time!
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