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15th SPLASHY FEN FESTIVAL (article first published : 2004-04-13)

The 15th annual Splashy Fen festival is ready to rock. It also promises to “send adrenalin-levels soaring, inspire ‘One-Tribe’ unity, heal jaded souls, thrill with exotic sights, delight young minds, deliver cultural insights, tempt with unique handicrafts, tantalise the taste-buds and, as always, surprise with the unexpected”.

The musical line-up promises the widest ranging and most accomplished roster of artists ever seen at Splashy. From rock’s multiple sub-genres to pan-cultural funkiness and earthy blues, the finalised stage lists are a veritable who’s who of long-standing crowd favourites, more recently-emerged chart-busters and word-of-mouth underground bands alike.

While striving to ensure that the spectrum of talent to be aired is as broad as possible – for the benefit of festival-goers as well as the local music scene – quality control was priority number one at Splashy HQ when submissions came pouring in. Names such as Shamanzi, Prime Circle, Pestroy, Ketamine, Marlowe, Jo Day, Squeal, Cynosure, Nemesis, The AK Massive...Nibs van der Spuy, Syd Kitchen, Guy Buttery, Deluxe, Maqhinga, Bobby & The Dynamites, Dan Patlansky & The Mississippi Muthers are a mere sample of the chock-full line-up.

The Drum Cafe promises its highest-profile presence to date, along with eliminating the term “rhythmically-challenged” from anyone’s vocabulary. Alternative therapists are set to swell the Rainbow Village into a teepee land-marked ‘healing magnet’ of considerable size and spiritual strength.

Apart from the sporting and action attractions, visitors can explore the Stone Age cave dwellings of the Berg’s original inhabitants and the more recent historic reminders which dot the surrounding countryside. Relive the “No-Man’s Land” days of old when smugglers roamed free and easy, and stroll leisurely through terrain hotly contested by Boer, Brit and the Zulu empire.

Youngsters can be transformed into drum-wizards and initiated into the mysteries of camel-riding. If that “altitude” is a bit too daunting, perhaps they’ll be more drawn to the low-level approach of a pony-cart. The Menagerie will introduce its “family” of orphaned and rehabilitated wild animals and birds to help cultivate those nurturing instincts. Magic and mime, puppets and face-painting plus all manner of fun and games are scheduled at regular intervals to allow parents to plan ahead their free time for rocking and rolling.

Ocean View Montessori School runs the professionally-staffed Festival Crèche where much of the Children’s Programme takes place, maintaining between-acts activities designed to keep youngsters fully occupied and enthralled.

The now-legendary Beer Tent, as proceeds play a significantly charitable role in the local community, thanks to an arrangement with the Sani 152 Round Table.

Splashy Fen is a one-of-a-kind event already topping the list of South African outdoors experiences. Splashy Fen 2004 is guaranteed to boast more than enough fine music and additional thrills to ensure its status as ‘trail-blazer’ for Splashy’s new era.




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