2014 in South Africa has been a remarkable year for innovative event management and thoughtful lineups. These two aspects mark major changes in the landscape of South Africa’s music scene. Mediocre events are unacceptable; and competing events have been forced to carefully choose their lineups because attendees are spoiled for choice. This list celebrates five outstanding events that took place during the year. Not all events could be included in this list but notable mentions include the numerous Park Acoustics events, Grietfest 2014 and Converse South Africa Presents White Lies.

5. Halloween 2014 at !Arcade Empire

Halloween 2014 by Yetunde Dada

Halloween 2014 at !Arcade Empire landed up on this list for two reasons; the first reason is related to logistics and the second reason comes from Black Tiger Sex Machine’s set. !Arcade Empire and Griet revamped their logistical structure for this event. Alternative entrances and bigger bars were provided and fewer people were allowed into the venue. These measures allowed attendees to enjoy themselves on the night instead of pushing through crowds and waiting 30 – 40 minutes for drinks. Black Tiger Sex Machine’s set was incredible and incredibly sweaty. The crowd at !Arcade Empire was a monster that had been waiting to feast on Black Tiger Sex Machine’s electro trash set and this monster went berserk.

4. Splashy Fen 2014

Splashy Fen 2014 by Henry Marsh

Henry: “Allow me to start by saying that Splashy Fen 2014 was by far the best weekend of my life. That’s pretty high acclaim for a guy who has been to numerous amount of music festivals, has seen some of the best international acts around and has had Deryck Whibley’s spit on his face (that’s a story for a different day).”

Splashy Fen 2014 is a small music festival that hides in the green hills of Kwazulu-Natal. The scenery, friendliness of the people attending the festival, and lineup choices made this an incredible event for our reporter, Henry Marsh. Henry’s review of the event motivates why we should all attend Splashy Fen 2015, click here to read his review.

3. Get Lucky & Another-Day Present Electric Kiss

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Our blogging friends, Another-Day, decided to throw a Valentine’s Day party with a twist. They selected an interesting venue, the Museum of African Design (MOAD), and set up a party with a massive lighting rig. Two 5-metre tall hearts lit up when two people connected through touch, normally a kiss. This rig, designed by Hello Computer, was a clever application of sensors. Couples and singles danced around the rig into the early hours of the morning.

2. Rocking the Daisies 2014

Rocking_The_Daisies_2014 by Christiaan Pretorius

Christiaan: “Rad Things: Crystal Fighters, “The most tumblr friendly band ever,” according to Jethro Westraad, Rudimental’s energy, BCUC, John Wizards, farm fire pools and toilet paper at all cubicles.” 

Rocking the Daisies 2014 on our list of top events in 2014 because of its lineup and dedication to tackling environmental issues caused by the music festival. The lineup at Rocking the Daisies 2014, and subsequently at Vodacom In The City 2014, was the most current lineup that any music festival in South Africa has been able to produce. The lineup which featured MGMT, Crystal Fighters and Rudimental was relevant and well-worth the money spent going to the festival. Rocking the Daisies has evolved a strategy that deals with its impact on the environment. This is a big concern that we have and we’re glad that a South African music festival is pioneering the way things should be done.

1. Olmeca Tequila Presents the Mad Decent Block Party

MDBP_by_Yetunde_Dada-9746

The Mad Decent Block Party in Johannesburg changed the landscape of parties in the city. This Mad Decent Block Party was the first iteration of the event outside of America. The air was charged with excitement and the audience that attended the event did not leave disappointed. The image of thousands of people swinging their t-shirts during this night is a memory that we’ll live with for the rest of our lives. You should note that The Mad Decent Block Party is also the second Seed Experiences event on this list, the other being Rocking the Daisies. Seed Experiences is able to creatively think about events and their attention to detail should be recognised.

We’re looking forward to another year of improved events. South Africa’s event scene will carry on evolving and we’re excited to see what’s ahead.

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