Disciples of the dark side. Get ready for RAMfest, the touring festival that celebrates alternative music culture around the country, including Durban, the Western Cape, Joburg and for the first time, Port Elizabeth.
In the Western Cape, RAMfest has found a new venue in the aptly named The Circle of Dreams at Riviersonderend in the Overberg.
RAMfest organiser Dawid Fourie describes the venue as “giving even Tolkien a run for his money”.
The line-up for this year includes Rise Against, metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon and Pendulum.
On the South African side, RAMfest features Jack Parow, Van Coke Kartel and the swiftly rising Goodnight Wembley who have emerged from the ashes of Taxi Violence.
This year there are four stages in the Cape.
The Red Heart Rum Stage is the main stage. Acts will include Rise Against, as well as The Black Cat Bones, Fuzigish, Woodstock Mafia and Durban’s Dead Alphabet.
The Monster Energy Alternative Stage caters for metal acts like Facing the Gallows, Haggis and Bong, Juggernaut and Pestroy.
The Olmeca Tequila Electronic Stage is for those caught up in the arms of electronic dance music.
Besides Pendulum there are Niskerone, Das Kapital, Sibot, Tommy Gun and P.H.Fat to look out for.
The Boom Stage is the rock stage and includes Love Glove Pyrotechnics, Holiday Murray, Andy Lund and Tailor.
The following weekend RAMfest moves to Jozi and Riversands Farm in Fourways on March 15 and 16.
International acts remain the same, but local bands differ somewhat.
There are also only three stages. Organisers expect over 20 000 people for this event.
Joining the local line-up are Tamara Tree, The Frown, Rambling Bones and Short Straw.
Durban, live music’s seemingly second cousin, experiences RAMfest over two weekends.
On March 8, electronic lovers are invited to Origin for what RAMfest bills the DJ Side Show.
Featured are Pendulum with their DJ set, Icarus & Clip on Toy (whatever that means), Das Kapital, Night Vision and Bear Girls.
Four dance floors will keep the party going until the early hours of the morning.
The men with guitars arrive on March 15 at Wavehouse.
They include the two international acts, as well as Pestroy and Durban’s Lowprofile, a punk band which has played the punk circuit for over 10 years.
“This is not a metal festival,” said Fourie.
“It’s an alternative music festival, where we also bring in international rock, metal and electronic music, and then, of course, there are the local bands. RAMfest is cool to do on a national level.”
In all the cities it has been to, RAMfest has been next to sold out, attracting thousands of people each year in its seven-year history.
Music fans can camp in the Cape and Jozi, or purchase day tickets.
Go to RAMfest’s Facebook page for more information on offers for party buses and other specials.