October in Cape Town is a beautiful thing. The weather is warm and breezy, the air smells like flowers, and everywhere there are plants budding, trees sprouting new leaves, and happy people emerging from the cold and rain of winter. Sounds a little flowery, but it’s true! Cape Town in spring is just lovely.
Rocking the Daisies is an eco-friendly festival started five years ago, and housed on the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling (about an hour and a half from Cape Town). Their motto is ‘party hard, tread lightly’ and there are all kinds of green initiatives dotted around the festival. Environmentally conscious waste disposal is one of their main aims, and festival goers were encouraged to recycle all their waste in creatively marked bins all over the festival grounds: compost / glass / tin / plastic and paper. A team of 100 hardy walkers (myself included) were part of the Walking the Daisies initiative last year – we walked the 50km from Bloubergstrand to Darling over two (extremely hot) days, in support of the work of 350.org and lowering our carbon footprint. It was an extraordinary pair of days – complete with recyclable everything (even bowls and plates!) and pamphlets with indigenous seeds in the paper so that we could throw them away and grow more daisies!
But it’s not all eco-speak. There are also some great bands in the line-up – last year was all South African (except for a few DJs and one UK band on the Saturday night) and all very hip. We saw The Arrows opening the festival, Jack Parow headlining on Friday night, aKing and Prime Circle on Saturday night. These names might not mean anything to international visitors, but they are a delicious taste of what South African music has to offer the world – and they come with adoring fans and crowds of people dancing their hearts out.
There’s also a giant (freezing) dam, with its very own beach bar (complete with real beach sand!) which was a welcome relief from the blistering heat. And there are great food stalls, a market selling various festival-related clothes, hats and goodies, an amazing ice-cream van and even a lady giving foot massages! Quite the highlight for those of us who walked there…
All in all, Rocking the Daisies is a well-organised, well-managed festival that also happens to be loads of fun and great for the environment. So what are you waiting for? Experience all that spring in the Mother City has to offer!