Future Music Festival @ Doomben Racecourse, 2015
Luckily, this mood is countered within moments of arriving, as I find myself surrounded by ecstasy.
By which I mean people having a really good, fun old time! This must be the happiest place in the world, I think. It’s like Mcdonald’s Playland for big kids, complete with the kind of frenzied energy that comes with freefills of Fanta.
Beneath a perpetual sea of floating, multi-coloured balloons and confetti, people are walking around covered in foam, dressed as bananas, disguised as Teletubbies - in a nutshell, reliving the joys of childhood.
Brimming with excitement and not knowing what to do first, I down some Nando chips w Perinase (which turns out to be ketchup) and take a look at a map, which to my delight, is illustrated with emoji. Ahhhhhh, the future. Judging by the fact that there’s an emoji with one eye open and its tongue poking out (probably my favourite emoji) to indicate the Supernova stage, that is where we head to.
With the setting sun turning the sky bluey-orange, baby-faced Martin Garrix puts on a stellar string of tunes, fists pumping left, right, and centre. I follow a guy with a beautiful afro, and find myself in the depths of the mosh by the time ‘Animals’ is played; a life- changing five minutes of rhythmically-induced epiphany.
A little worn out from cutting lewse to Martin’s sick beatz, we suddenly remember we have access to the Sunset Club, and decide to find out what mysterious privilege lurks in this ivory tower!
Passing through the gates of the Sunset Club and past an intensely-tattooed couple making out on a yellow chair, my friend Maddie points out how many mirrors there are here... it’s an oasis for the Bruss, a figure who reigns supreme in the future.
Although free drinks might have been a well-received addition to this little section, it must have been overlooked. There were, however, some plush yet scarce lounges, a big screen, and a bar with a longer line than any of the other bars I’d noticed at the festival.
Once the sun is gone, beams of green, blue, red, and yellow light reach as far as the eye can see, which is how I know I’m definitely in the future. Those amphibians who never stop giving, The Red Frogs, have lasted into the future too, and are everywhere, being kind and fun and nice, just like in the past!
Die Antwoord bring their next-level choreography and uber-energised weirdness to the Futuredome. Showcasing the gaudy aesthetics of their counterculture movement ‘Zef’, and reeking of white supremacy, I have no idea what they’re rapping about, as it’s mostly in Afrikaans.
Yolandi could be described as an alien-version of Kylie Minogue, with her Lolita-style vocals, and outfits ranging gold lamé bikini through dwarfingly-oversized hoodie and track pant combo. Her male counterpart Ninja, reminds me of those creepy old dudes you sometimes see at a resort pool; way too proud of how athletically he can still thrust in time with the beat, despite how ghoulish he looks otherwise.
I have to say, the bizarre phenomenon of Die Antwoord, whatever their sensationalised antics are all about, is kind of lost in their live performance. Their videos convey so well their kookily post-modern manifesto: nailing a combination of creepy, entertaining, vulgar, oh-so-original, downright bent - but up on stage with bouncing masses below, they’re kind of just irritating after a song or two. Without the trademark minutiae of those bewitching contact lenses, or their foul-mouthed characters played in music videos, their performance art kind of loses its impact...
Last up is Drizzy, kindly reminding us it’s the future, by joystick-controlling his way onstage in a chairlift-flyingfox. As the guy who coined the term YOLO, he doesn’t waste time with walking, nope.
I suddenly have a flashback of a familiar scene at Kanye’s most recent tour, when Drake embarks on a ‘one-on-one’ style chat with the crowd, saying he doesn’t want to change anyone’s lives tonight, he just wants to be a part of our lives...
“You drink what you want, you smoke what you want, you take what you want, when you wanna have some motherf#*$#n’ fun”. The crowd goes berserk, because Drake just said they can do what they want! This cues a really awesome lightshow (inspired by James Turrell’s retrospective mind warp, Drake says), as he breaks into ‘Energy’.
And that’s what the future holds. Get psyched, and do not discard those fluorescent Wayfarers yet!