Splashy Fen Music Festival
Photos © Splashy Fen Music Festival; camping scene photo by Yorke Rodda
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|Country and Region||South Africa — KwaZulu-Natal|
|Type of Festival||Music|
|Location of Festival||Underberg, KwaZulu–Natal, South Africa|
|Festival Contact Information|
Splashy Fen Music Festival
Today, Splashy Fen prides itself on offering festival-goers a total entertainment ‘package’ that goes beyond great live music performances to include a wide choice of outdoor leisure activities for the whole family, as well as numerous different food and drinks outlets, colourful craft stalls and a children’s entertainment marquee and crèche. Also on offer are much-improved camping facilities, a separate family campsite and even a tent ‘hotel’.
Widely recognised for its contribution to promoting local music, Splashy has since its inception provided a platform for close to 1 500 established and emerging artists and helped kick-start many a successful music career. Well-known artists who’ve performed at the festival include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Vusi Mahlasela, Koos Kombuis, Jennifer Ferguson, Madala Kunene, Lesley Rae Dowling, Neill Solomon, Landscape Prayers, Tananas, Just Jinger, Prime Circle, Hothouse Flowers, Tree63, Dan Patlansky, Watershed, Springbok Nude Girls, The Parlotones and Chris Chameleon, to name but a few.
There is now also a broader range of music on offer compared to the acoustic, largely folk selection of Splashy’s earlier days. Over the years, the focus has expanded to include a wide spectrum of different genres – from folk, blues and rock to electro dance and other contemporary styles – all ultimately aimed at appealing to the broadest audience possible.
|Festival Dates||March 28 - April 1, 2013|
In 1990 the first Splashy Fen festival was held on a farm belonging Peter Ferraz where folk and light rock music was featured and attracted about 1200 enthusiasts who camped for the two days. The festival infrastructure was rudimentary—a make-shift stage, a tractor-powered generator and a few portable toilets. With its reputation growing year by year, the festival attracted more and more fans, and more and more top musicians from SA and abroad. Now the festival has broadened to include mainstream, alternative rock and pop. It is fair to say that, from humble beginnings, Splashy Fen has snowballed into a major event on the South African music calendar.
- The SAMRO Free Stage
Would-be performers are advised to queue early each morning as competition is guaranteed to be tight, plus the best of the SAMRO Free Stage will go forward to a final where the winner will be offered a main marquee bill at next year’s festival.
- On-site Standard Bank ATM with Saswitch facility
- Piping hot showers supplied by Easigas
- Ablution facilities have been upgraded
- Available at Game stores, Computicket and at the festival gate. Visit the website for pricing information.
- Camping at Splashy Fen is included in the ticket price and festival-goers are free to camp in any of the unrestricted areas. In addition, there is now also a range of new accommodation options:
- Family Campsite
First up and in keeping with the emergence of Splashy Fen as a fun-for-all-ages music festival is a cordoned-off family campsite close to the children’s marquee and entertainment zone run by the Ocean View Montessori School. The appeal of this innovation is obvious, and although it will carry a R30 per vehicle surcharge (payable on arrival), it must be remembered that festival admission for Under 12s is free. Demand for this first-come, first-sited convenience is bound to be high, so anyone with a young family and wishing to take advantage of it would be well advised to arrive early.
- Tent Hotel
The second new venture is a slice of semi-luCamping at Splashy Fen is included in the ticket price and festival-goers are free to camp in any of the unrestricted areas. In addition, there is now also a range of new accommodation optionsxury in the form of a ‘tent hotel’ offering bed and breakfast plus separate ablution facilities. Each of the 100 spacious, high-quality and lockable tents will have either a double or two single beds complete with linen, but guests must bring their own warm coverings. Alternatively, sleeping bags may be hired at nominal extra cost. Breakfast will be served in the ‘hotel’ marquee, after which guests can make use of an around-the-clock outdoor cooking facility. Bookings and special breakfast requests can be made at
Yet another new option is the mobile accommodation offered by Rainbow 4X4 and Motorhome Rentals: air-conditioned vehicles fully fitted with fridge/freezer and stove, cooking and eating utensils, bedding, camping furniture and – in the bigger motorhomes – an onboard shower and toilet. A range of prestige vehicles is available at affordable rates of as little as R490 per day including unlimited mileage, plus there is a convenient and inexpensive collection-and-return service. Vehicle types, depot locations, reservation forms and terms and conditions can be found at
- Local Digs
Last but not least is the wide selection of local accommodation—not a new development, admittedly, but the Southern Berg Escape tourism initiative would like festival-goers to be aware of what is available in the Underberg area and thus within easy reach for daily ‘commuting’ to and from the festival. All budgets are catered for in a range that includes hotels, self-catering cottages, backpacker lodges, guest houses and B&B; establishments. To find out more, go to
http://www.drakensberg.org and to make reservations call (27) 033 701 1471.
- For information on all of the above, full programme details or the latest festival news, visit http://www.splashyfen.co.za or contact Pedro at (27) 082 892 6176.