What does one pack? Where am I going to bath? Where am I going to sleep? Am I required to hunt in order to eat? Is there network? Are there facilities to charge my phone? Is it necessary to take my pyjamas?… These are the questions running through my mind at 09:30 am after receiving a text telling me to start packing for a weekend away at the Bazique music festival, a CAMPING music festival nogal! Camping. What a stressful word for a modern African woman whose only real interaction with mother nature is taking a bomb-ass selfie with an unaware giraffe at a city zoo.
Pack light. It’s always so difficult to pack for an event which one doesn’t know the vibe of. One ends up packing 10 different outfits for just 2 days. However, I have learnt that one needs to pack lightly because a person never knows how far the camping site is from the parking lot and believe you me there is a 99.8% chance that its 2 km away and there is no ground to pull a wheeled luggage bag. Word of advice: rather use a duffel bag.
You think you have seen weird, prepare for her twin sisters weirder and weirdest. Baboon suit, ankle length fur jackets (in the heat mind you), people in cages, walking Christmas trees, halos for wings and I could swear I saw a human body with a rabbit head carrying a briefcase walking by. Name it and it was there! At some point I felt that I had not gotten all the information from my source; as much as one would think that they (i.e. the ones in baboon suits and those in cages) are the ones who would have been out of place in the larger society I was the one who was out of place, I was the one who was considered weird.
Self-expression produces the best form of art. Too often we think that to produce art you need to be an artist. However, I have come to realise that we as humans are walking, breathing and speaking forms of art. For artists, there need to be extensive amounts of energy and effort put into creating a great piece of art, however for me and you, all we need to do is dress up and show up and tada! There you have it, a masterpiece!
There aren’t enough hours in the day. Upon arrival and after nosing around I was convinced that the organisers wouldn’t have enough activities to keep the crowd entertained for a whole weekend. But boy was a girl wrong! There was masseuse, man-sized bowling, dance battles, free hugs, ‘beach’ parties, silent discos, and and and… one would be out here getting her groove on, rotating from one stage to the next, then the next thing one knows the sun is rising and the stomach is growling and the population of the dance floor went down to 10 people. Man, time sure does fly when having fun.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The thirst is real! (literally, well and figuratively) after a full night of screaming and excessive alcohol consumption, the body needs what it needs. I found myself having to buy a 1.5 litre bottle for a whole entire R30, THIRTY RAND!! I conserved that water and drank it over the whole weekend, 0.5 litres per day. Moral of the story: buy yourself a 5 litre bottle of water beforehand.
Live in the shoes of the one you have always identified with. Nobody really pays mind to the everyday kind of gal. Unleash that Lady Gaga and/or Skolopad side of you. Don’t be acting brand new, I know you get that freak on! Treat it like your very own Cinderella story, except instead of being blessed with a golden carriage you fairy godmother has blessed you with a whole weekend.
Daytime is ‘power bank’ time. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are immortal and capable of getting down throughout the whole night and morning thereafter. Take a break, catch up on some Z’s, lie on the grass somewhere near a stage and meditate during the day to be ready for the nightlife; that is when everything comes to life in any case
Get yourself an extra layer of skin. Black may not crack but it sure does burn. A layer or two of sunscreen hasn’t hurt anybody. I have had to deal with my very first sunburn over the week, not only does it burn and hurt my skin is peeling. As if turning 5 shades darker on specific parts of my body wasn’t enough, now I’m walking out here looking like a snake shedding its skin.