Slaying Leuwks and Moving To The Beat at Bazique Music Festival 2018

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Thesaurus classifies the word Bazique as a noun and defines it as ” a trick-taking card game for two players that is played with a special deck of 64 cards consisting of the 7, 8, 9, 10, J, Q, K, and A cards from two different decks.” However, states that the word is a verb meaning a state of ‘being beside oneself’ and all the words synonymous with euphoria that you can possibly think of. Which left me a little bit confused hence I had to go experience it all for myself and perhaps reach a conclusion or be beziqued.

This past weekend @baziquefestival was birthed and became a whole thing at The Elgin Grabouw Country Club, an hour drive outside Cape Town City. The three days music festival lends itself towards being a hybrid of music-come-art. There were over 40 music acts on the lineup and more than 15 pieces of artworks & installations across the venue and three artcarts. One of them was Molly the snail by Brian Tompkins and his son. I saw Molly at Bazique giving more rounds than a greyhound. The last time I saw that gurl was at AfrikaBurn, she sure does get around. I suppose when you are a snail called Molly, it is no brainer to piece it all together.

Some of the artworks on show were, the Grasshopper by Dale & the little mini by Tomer Dorron. The Bad Taxidermy Bar was the creative concept of Rebecca Davis. The electric Jellyfish fish was done by Liz Kruger. Two site lights; hanging was done by Now Now & the crystal was done by Brian Tompkins. The LED lighting wall was done by ThingKing and the beautiful Origami artwork by Juanne-pierre De Abreu. The infamous hug deli was the creation of Nick Ladd. Danny Popper created the Greenhouse & the Diachromatic Crystals.

The art was not only limited to sculptures and installations. Ana Kuni brought with her a bag of fine art skills and slayed a piece called Warrior Woman. “I describe her as conscious, compassionate, creative being living in harmony with the inner and outer world! It’s an inspirational piece to remind us to embrace the female energy in all of us” said Kuni. The graffiti mural at the Corona Ukudlala Beach Bar was done by Nick Carr and a Berlin graffiti artist who joined him for the piece. The third mural opposite the main stage leading into Baziqueland was done by Alexis Aronson & Jessica Doucha.

Not too sure if the strong Western Cape had anything to do with this but I was blown away by all the art pieces and stages scattered around the field cutting through the thick of night with their exquisite illuminating colours. The first piece I interacted with was the archway by Gordy & Phil one had to walk under from glamping. There were two more other arches I discovered later on during my festival missions. The main arch  by Maurice from Germany & the Stick Arch by Chip Sleddin.

The festival boasted six stages which offered intercontinental sounds for whatever taste one might have needed to be satisfied. Walking towards the main stage on Friday night to watch Jimmy Naves performance. It was the beautiful stage lighting design and engineering by Matthew Meyer under the technical directorship of Marcia Alves and Rodney Hansen that made the photographer within me smile. The Protea stage was a thing of absolute sheer beauty. Created by the festival’s art director Daniel Popper and Bryan Tomkpins. The lighting on the Protea stage was done by Thomas Steiner. Popper also conceptualised the Frisky Disco with the creative Diskotekah team.

The overarching music programming was done by the music director Nick Ladd who is also the event organiser. A man who wears many hats and sure does hold magic tricks underneath each one of those. One of the many reasons I like about music festivals is the chance of being introduced to new acts you have never heard of and the great ones you always want to see in the lineup. Nothing like a live performance. Fact.  Toby2Shoes’s disco set at La Fee Verte was the right amount of disco tunes one needed to jam to on a Friday night. Even Jimmy Naves could not resist he boogied a little bit after his performance on the main stage. Things then picked up the tempo with DJ &Me at The Protea stage.

on  Saturday morning I took some time off the festival and engaged on a pleasurable drive up the mountains’ rugged terrain in the Ford Ranger 3.2 FX4 4×4. I just had to test that sexy beast out. It was that on a swim at the lake. In the afternoon I vegged-out at the main stage lawn to the incredible sounds of Ard Matthews performing some of his new songs from his recent album. Riky Rick is a great performer with captivating stage presence and energy. I have seen him countless times live and the momentum is still there, his performance on Saturday night was IT. DJ InviZable’s set at Frisky Disco was everything, he was so good I spent most of the time gawking at his performance than dancing. He served sound, he served drama, he served moves, he served leuwks honey I was there for all of it. DJ Floyd Lavine at Corona Ukudlala Beach could have easily made me miss my flight that afternoon. If I stayed for “one more song”. It would have been late for me.

For those who missed the first. There will be many more starting with Bazique2019 and it is going to be set in March annually.