Burna Boy performance saves a chaotic, queue-filled DStv Delicious Festival

Delicious Festival: Picture: Twitter

Delicious Festival: Picture: Twitter

Published Sep 26, 2022


I knew something was horribly wrong when, about five kilometres out from the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, we were met by standstill, bumper to bumper traffic.

Within minutes, we witnessed mayhem on the roads as some took the risk of going against oncoming traffic to avoid being stuck for hours.

Fortunately for us, our savvy Uber driver knew a back route so we took a half hour detour that led us around the block and right outside the entrance.

Our relief didn’t last for long though, upon entering the gates of the Grand Prix we encountered a long, winding queue into the festival arena that was just as stagnant as the traffic outside.

After about an hour of maneuvering through the mess (it’d have been much, much longer if I didn’t use all of my street smarts and flash my media credentials at every turn) we finally made it in and set our sights on finding the nearest bar.

To say we were parched would be an understatement. A few metres in, we find the bars and what do we encounter? Oh yes, a big ’ol queue. And so was the story of our day. Queues on queues on queues.

Fortunately, at some point my sister was able to get us into the Tanqueray Lounge. While the lounge was extremely packed (apparently people had been duplicating tickets and capitalising on the chaos to get in), the queues at the bar were much better and it was nice to have some comfortable seating to just chill and catch our breath.

I can’t imagine how exhausting and infuriating this entire experience must’ve been for those who weren’t so lucky. Even VIP ticket holders on the left bank apparently had issues because tags ran out and their view wasn’t that great.

By the time we got settled and found our bearings, it was around 6pm. We had intended to spend our time before Burna Boy’s set at 8:15pm at the Channel O Drip Stage, but at this point we’d missed showstoppers like Mellow & Sleazy, Mr JazziQ, Blxckie and Kamo Mphela.

And so we instead decided to go and forage for some food. While queues had subsided by then, we still spent about an hour from the point we got into the queue before we got our food.

Someone in front of me spent about half an hour in the queue before he realised that the festival was completely cashless and he needed a Howler card to pay. His fault?

Probably, I think that was well communicated in the build-up to the event. But issues with the Howler service were apparently an issue throughout the day and were a contributing factor to the long queues.

For what it’s worth, the food was great and reasonably priced.

By the time we finished eating, it was time for the main attraction: Burna Boy. During his sprawling hour and a half performance, the charismatic Grammy award-winning Afrobeats star put on an absolute show in front of a capacity crowd that was eating out of his hand throughout.

He didn’t miss a step as he blended his Afrobeats classics with some popular amapiano cuts.

His brief performance of AKA’s “All Eyes on Me” was a particular highlight, as were his performances of “On The Low” and “Ye”.

He closed the show off in epic fashion with his latest global hit, “Last Last” as he dropped the mic and comically scooped up all the bras that had been thrown on stage by a few overeager fans.

It was an epic end to a deeply flawed festival experience.

Word has it that most of the logistical issues came due to organisers being ill-prepared for the massive demand and the thousands of fake tickets that were in circulation.

After a two-year absence, I feel like a popular festival such as this should’ve prepared for this. With several festivals still set for the coming months, I’m hoping that this won’t be a common theme.

This is a developing story, DStv indicated they will respond to the complaints in the course of the day.