Thami Kwazi
Lifestyle Print Editor
3 minute read
25 Aug 2018
10:00 am

Five music festivals for the bucket-list

Thami Kwazi

From Belgium, to Limpopo to Southern California, here are the festivals revellers need to check out.

OppiKoppi revellers, August 2018.

Making the short trek to an open air area, like the Karoo, or a wine farm in Stellenbosch, has become a music festival trend.

Events like OppiKoppi, Rocking the Daisies, Bushfire and Tomorrowland are held in such areas. Not being one who enjoys discomfort, I hardly attend these events but I was amused by the stories from friends who did attend OppiKoppi last week about how they got through it. The unspoken is that people don’t shower for a few days. A friend got lost in the dark for two hours trying to find her tent.

Hardcode music fests are about roughing it and freedom. The hippie living … sort of like when Woodstock began in 1969. My list of the standout festivals goes from extreme roughing it to softer living.


Tomorrowland is an EDM music fest held in the town of Boom in Belgium in the month of July. People fly in from all over the world and some camp on site or book accommodation. The easiest way to tackle having nowhere to sleep in a foreign country is to look for a Tomorrowland package a year in advance – one that comes with transport.

The standout tour package for tourists is the friendship package that’s made for a group of friends. You can opt to stay at a B&B, house, apartment or a train hostel. Train hostels are a foreign concept in SA but at the world’s largest music festival they are a necessity. Plan a year ahead if you’re going to attend.


OppiKoppi is held Northam in Limpopo. What many revellers who attend don’t bother with is pre-booking the hostel accommodation.

This sells out like hot cakes. The line -up is meant for rock and indie lovers and the living is rough, but said to be worth it. I’ve heard the fun is in the three days of camping.

Rocking The Daisies

A fest that’s worth travelling to the Cape for in October is Rocking the Daisies. It is held in Darling on the Cloof wine estate, which is massive. It’s grown so popular that it’s currently the only festival in SA that offers a package strictly for women called Ladies Campsite. An area that is only for female campers and perhaps a response to the safety of women at public events, it’s described as an area with porters, hot water and clean bathrooms. There are also different types of packages that accommodate friends and couples.


If you’re really into travelling to alternative festivals Cochella is one of the most sought after. Many South Africans fly to Southern California’s Coachella Valley just to be part of the festivities.

Many who attend camp on site, but it’s the type of event that attracts Hollywood A-listers who’d prefer to book accommodation in the nearby town of Palm Springs and drive to the festival daily. Travel packages that include shuttle services are in such demand that the festival has already set up the 2019 line up and deals. It’s advisable to look for an AirB&B if attending this one, it could be more reasonable.

Fill Up Giyani

A new one to add to the list is the Fill Up Giyani music festival in Limpopo. The festival is to promote the province and give South Africans who never travel far a chance to explore Giyani and learn about the Tsonga and Venda cultures. Benny Mayengani, a Tsonga artist, is the organiser.

It takes place on a Saturday, so Sunday could be used to take a short trip to Venda to find out more about the culture. Many of the artists on the line-up are from Limpopo. There won’t be any camping there, but anyone attending can book into a lodge in the city and drive to Giyani stadium.

Blankets and camp chairs will be allowed. This is one that’s in my budget and I definitely plan on attending at the beginning of September. There are buses transporting people to the fest, so nobody has to worry about the drive. Just arrive and have a good time.