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SPLASHY HITS THE RIGHT NOTES (article first published : 2001-05-17)

The 12th Splashy Fen Music Festival which took place this weekend (April 26 - 29) proved once again that this "grand-daddy" of music festivals has all the right ingredients to continue to attract local and international music-lovers and remain the longest and oldest music festival of its kind the country.

The geographical lay-out of the festival was altered slightly this year, and with these changes came more acoustic music during the day, a blues element and a free stage which saw a number of music acts showcased for the first time.

"For us it was one of the nicest Festivals we have had" says owner of Splashy Fen farm, Peter Ferraz. "People seemed to have a renewed respect for their surroundings and for others. As a result we have had favourable feedback about the lack of litter, clean ablutions and few incidents. In fact we did not receive one negative comment about the toilets this year!"

What also pleased the organisers was the visible increase in the audience mix at the festival: "We are thrilled that the festival is starting to attract a larger audience that represents the demographics of this country," says Ferraz. 'It's hard to please everyone from a music perspective, but we believe that we were able to provide a line-up of music which had broader appeal."

Numbers this year were slightly up on last year at 6,500 and the general feedback from the musicians, audience and traders was very positive. "We are pleased with figures. These numbers seem manageable and easy to work with, and it feels like an optimum for the farm now." says organiser Bart Fokkens.

"Highlights of the festival were certainly TRO, Vusi Mahlasela, Springbok Nude Girls and Max Normal," reports Bart. "And the children's marquee which provided child day- and night-care facilities was well-supported and considered an important part for providing for families."

Dates for next year's Splashy Fen are set at April 26 to 28, 2002. To keep updated on the festival visit the website on www.splashyfen.co.za




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