Well known for breaking new artists, this year’s Splashy is no exception. The festival, now in its 26th year, has debuted countless young bands, many of which went on to become household names across the country.
South Africa’s international blues maestro, Dan Patlansky always credits Splashy Fen with helping launch his career. He calls his debut at Splashy in 2002 his first “really big gig” and one that opened doors to more bookings.
Says festival organiser, Pedro Carlo: “As one of the premier live music showcases in the country, Splashy is obviously a great way for up-and-coming artists to share their music with larger audiences, and we’re passionate about giving them that opportunity.”
He continues: “Of course it’s great to have top established artists in the line-up but it’s often the lesser-known names that make the biggest impression and become the ‘finds’ of the festival. For us, a successful line-up is one that includes a balanced mix of new and established artists.”
Last year’s winner of Splashy Fen’s prestigious battle of the bands was Mickey Burns. The Durban five-piece opened the festival in 2014, which in itself is a huge accolade for any aspiring young band, gaining them invaluable experience on a big festival stage as well as wide media exposure.
The band then went on to record their debut single ‘Recovery’, which is currently receiving airplay and climbing the charts on radio stations around the country. Mickey Burns will be back at Splashy this year and are set to bring the house down with their brand new material and energetic live show.
Held on a farm near Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal, the Splashy Fen Music Festival is coming up over the Easter long-weekend from 2 to 6 April and will offer a line-up of more than 80 of the country’s hottest acts. Also included on the bill are the likes of Matthew Mole, Shortstraw, aKING, The Muffinz, Taxi Violence, KAHN (frontman for The Parlotones), MonArk, Beast, Dan Patlansky, Hot Water, Urban Creep, The Anti Retro Vinyls, Nakhane Toure, Majozi, Reburn, Veranda Panda, The Kiffness, Pascal & Pearce and 5FM DJ Catherine Grenfell, among many others.
Visitors can look forward to multiple stages, a new EDM marquee featuring more than 30 DJs, as well as a craft beer arena, drum village, loads of food and drink outlets, plus a colourful craft market and retail zone. For the more energetic, there will also be bag jumping, dirt boarding and a fun trail run presented by TRAIL Magazine.
Camping for the entire four-night, five-day festival is included in the ticket price. Another option is Andy’s Tent Motel offering a comfortable and hassle-free camping experience. There is also a separate family campsite, or you can choose from a wide range of accommodation in the area.
Sponsored by Tourism KZN, Splashy Fen has been going strong since 1990 and is South Africa’s longest-running annual music festival. With its spectacular mountain setting, winding river, open fields and unique vibe and character, there is simply nothing else quite like it!
Tickets are available at Computicket.