Monday, 6 February 2012

Paul van Dyk Gatecrasher Summer Festival

Music Festivals is one of the things I always look forward to when summer arrives and this festival was no different. There wasn't much advertising done around this event but news of it spread like wild fire. The line-up was mouth watering and anyone who knows good music would have definitely tried to get their hands on a ticket. From the likes of Haezer to Niskerone and the headlining act, Paul van Dyk (PvD), one would have thought that this was going to be the event of the year! The ticket price was reasonable considering the line-up, but being me who likes to save, I thought I should try my hand at entering a competition. My friend told me about a competition that Review Me was running, I won double tickets to the event and decided to take her with me. None of the other girls wanted to join so it ended up being a 3 man mission as her boyfriend joined us too.

We left for the event late Saturday evening, but things were off to a less than perfect start, we missed the turn off into the site as they didn't have any markings to show where the turn off was so we had to continue straight until we found a safe place to make a U-turn. When we got to the site we had to wait for about 40 minutes to get into the actual event. The parking was also poorly set out and no one was there to allocate parking spots to the cars, so we ended up parking right at the top of the field. 

As with most parties alcohol always plays an important role. Alcohol was not allowed into the event so we decided to car bar before we went in. The security was more worried about people bringing alcohol in than anything else. The drinks at the bar were over priced and the bar closed at around 1:30 am. Water couldn't even be order from the bar. I thought that was absurd as the party carried on until the next morning. The food stalls were just as disappointing, there were like 5 different food stalls and they were all ridiculously overpriced, at the one store I bought a falafal shwarma. It was filled with just two falafal balls and topped with salad for R40, I couldn't believe it! The venue wasn't very pleasant either, it was sandy and there was loads of dust which was made worse by everyone who was stomping to the music.

Other things that annoyed me was how freaking dirty it was there, there were none or very little cleaners, the toilets were a mess, and there were papers and cups everywhere on the floor. It looked like a junk yard in the morning. There was only one section of toilets at the entire venue and they were the dirtiest toilets I have ever used! I feel there should have been some toilets by the main stage as it would have been more convenient.

The visuals at the main stage looked as if it was a windows '97 screen saver, I could speak louder than the music and while we are on the topic of sound the speakers at the electro stage blew just before Vava was about to play. Instead of trying to resolve the issue, they cut the music. The situation was handled very poorly by the organizers. Apparently the music also cut out during Niskerone's performance earlier on in the night.

With big events like this medical staff should always be on hand. My friend had an asthma attack during the night due to all the dust. When I rushed her to what seemed to be a medical tent it was vacant, no tables, no beds, no nothing. There was only one medic present and she was sitting in her camping tent, when I asked her to help my friend, she was reluctant and told my friend she should have brought her pump. She eventually helped her out after we caused a scene. 

The design of promotional elements were also very poor, take a look at the banner they had on the side of the stage, rather boring hey?

If it wasn't for the awesomeness that is Paul van Dyk, I feel the event would have possibly been one of the worst outdoor party experiences I have ever had. With great friends comes a great party, so besides the poor organisation by the Soundscape team I still had an awesome time. Next time international artists should rather perform at our well known festivals with good reputations. Not festivals that have never been heard of and that are filled with people who have never experienced a proper outdoor festival. Soundscape should be ashamed and I feel they should send out a public apology to all of those who spent money on an event that was nothing short of an epic FAIL! Thank goodness I got my tickets for free!

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