The Splashy Fen Music Festival organisers have confirmed that it is returning next year. Picture: Supplied
The Splashy Fen Music Festival organisers have confirmed that it is returning next year. Picture: Supplied

Splashy Fen Music Festival is returning next year after a two-year hiatus

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

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South Africa’s longest-running music festival is returning after a two-year hiatus.

When the country went into a hard lockdown following the arrival of Covid-19 last year, many events had to be cancelled or postponed.

The major Splashy Fen Music Festival, which started in 1990, was no exception.

But there’s great news as the rolling hills of Underberg beckon music lovers once again – tickets are on sale for the Easter long weekend festival, Thursday, April 14 to Monday, April 18 next year.

And the event organisers at Impi Concept Events are elated to welcome 3 000 fans back to the farm.

If you had tickets to the cancelled 2020 festival, you will have first dibs on purchasing tickets for the upcoming festival.

According to the statement issued, last year’s ticket holders will be sent an exclusive clickable link via email, which gives them access to buy the same amount of tickets as they had last year, at the discounted Otter Club ticket price.

There will be a two-week window to purchase the discounted tickets. Thereafter, general and normal priced ticket sales will open to the public.

Fans camping out on the farm at Splashy Fen. Picture: Supplied

Those who became a #splashyhero last year, when they donated a portion of their 2020 ticket to the festival, will be eligible for the promised 20% discount, which will be applied to the Otter Club ticket price.

“It seems like a lifetime ago when we made the announcement to cancel our 2020 edition festival,” says Stu Berry, the festival director.

“Collectively, with our fans, we were devastated, but the choice was not ours to make.

“None of us had any idea just what we were up against, how long we would be away for, and what the music scene would look like when we eventually returned. For months, we have waited patiently for the green light from authorities and for the infection rate to drop.

“We have also watched, longingly, as international festivals have taken the lead with a number of entry regulations that allow hundreds of thousands of fans to return to packed stadiums to enjoy live music and entertainment again – something that we are determined to be able to offer to both our South African fans and musicians; as we continue to champion the local entertainment industry that has been hit so hard with the shutdown of events and festivals.”

“We are sure our fans will have many questions regarding the 2022 festival,” says creative director Andrew van Rensburg.

“Our website should be able to address all of these queries, including what we envisage will be the Covid regulations at Splashy Fen 2022.

“It has been great watching the European Festival season operating with full capacity crowds, and we cannot wait to get back out there and deliver a world-class experience once again.

“It has been a tough two years, in which we have all been taught to stay away from each other and disengage, and we hope to get everyone back sharing, laughing and smiling together again. Now more than ever, we need it.”

A crowd shot with the artists at the Splashy Fen Music Festival. Picture: Supplied

If you’ve never experienced Splashy Fen, I highly recommend you remedy that.

Several years before moving to Joburg, I joined a colleague. Although, I didn’t rough it out like the other stalwarts. I stayed at a cottage nearby.

That said, this is an outdoor event that will leave an indelible impression on you.

There’s myriad food and drink as well as arts and crafts stalls. Kids are also catered for with the crèche and children's entertainment programme.

Whether you are catching a performance or taking a dip in the dam, the vibe is infectious.

It also explains why stalwarts like Just Jinger, Mandala Kunene, Springbok Nude Girls, The Parlotones, Prime Circle, Tony Cox, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Vusi Mahlasela played here at one point or another.

The Otter Club Ticket of R1 050 is on sale until October 20.

The early bird ticket of R1 300 is available to the first 1 000 buyers until October 21.

The general festival ticket costs R1 450, For the various camping options as well as kids prices, check the website.

In keeping with the festival’s ethos of transparency and integrity, event organisers have done everything they can to ensure no risk to ticket holders, and fans are therefore guaranteed a 100% refund on their ticket, should the festival be cancelled due to Covid lockdown regulations.

At this stage, no day visitors will be allowed to the 2022 festival.

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