Rocking The Daisies
As a first time Daisy, I had very little expectations or preconceived ideas. But I set out as an intern for Once Travel (Once in Cape Town & Once in Joburg head office) to get as much out of the experience as I possibly could. I had only started out working as an intern 3 days prior and was already asked to embark on an adventure to a multi day festival one hour outside of Cape Town. I gave it only a minute of thought and agreed ... "hell yes, I'd love to go!".
Even though a small part of me was anxious about partying with strangers and of course... dreading the camping idea. Nonetheless fun was HAD. Once Travel had everything organised from tents, chairs, tables to a gazebo and all the equipment that you needed for a proper set up. All you needed was to bring yourself.
Three days of non stop partying and giggles. My weekend started at about half eight to meet with what would be my family for the following 3 days.
The road trip to the event was an event on its own. Had me flash backing to family trips. The many pit stops for toilet breaks and food stops. Five minutes into the trip we realized someone had left their bag at reception, some of us had no identity documents (me) and our videographer left his charger behind. What a start! We had to wait on the side of the road while another colleague dropped off all the left behind belongings while we went on a last minute booze run. Of course, with booze came the endless bathroom stops. At one point we pulled into a storage facility so the ladies could also empty out their bladders. Music was pumping and conversations flowing. The air was filled with laughter and excitement. Party on wheels!
As we tumbled out of the bus the first thing that hit us was the unforgiving Cape Town sun. And we were all prepared to walk around half naked which is exactly what we did. Fellow daisies were dressed in all sorts of unusual, bright and skimpy outfits.
Unfortunately our bus could not take us into the venue so we had to carry all our equipment to the priority camping section. Some of us were not prepared. I lost two nails dragging mattresses, tents and chairs. Vince our honorable leader and host for the weekend quickly sorted out tickets so we did not have to wait in long lines. That's right...we had a host for the whole weekend to sort everything out!
Now bear in mind some of us were camping virgins. You have not been camping until you have to pitch your own tent with the sun just staring you down! Brutal! We quickly learnt from other boy-scouts and struggled along as a team. I swear I lost weight and went 2 shades darker. Dusty and sweaty I lay sprawled out under the gazebo where we chose our roommate for the festival. Two daisies a tent. After a quick clean up and a change in wardrobe we set out to explore our surroundings.
The next 72 hrs I was daisified. The food court was not just a feast for your eyes, but your tummy too. The food catered to all palettes. From the sophisticated taste buds to bunny chow lovers, Daisies was there for you. There were some stalls even giving away free food and sweeties.
Looking around you can't miss the save environment narrative running throughout the event. We were giving cans instead of plastic cups, even water was only found in a can(tasted carbonated). A few plastic cups here and there.. but all in all, a great effort to minimise.
Sexy pic.. just because
The stages were nothing less than amazing. First day eager daisies were already dancing, bumping and grinding or whipping their hair (yes that's how big the area was). The performance by Mura-Masa had me on my feet! Another highlight was hanging out backstage which was a much needed timeout from the heat.
The Beach Bar had everyone flooding to it. Made u feel like you were at Camps Bay except the sea is a dam. There was a volleyball net that had been erected but the sun proved too much for the more active daisies so it was left abandoned.
Another pleasant surprise was the affordability of everything! You could enjoy a full meal and drink under R50. Made up for the hassle of getting a visa card since the whole event ran on a cashless system.
The beauty bar was everything! Shimmer, shine and sparkle! The ladies there helped us look like the sunbeams we were. I had my face and body bejewelled. Even covered my entire body in glitter which the attendees encouraged, even helped me spread it on my back. SHINE BRIGHT LIKE A DIAMOND!
So when it came to actually sleeping in a tent it was not as bad as I had imagined. The bugs were kept at bay and I slept peacefully for the most part. I did receive some unexpected visitors. Apparently it's normal to have some friendly daisies just wander into your tent and find a new home. First night I kindly booted out the squatter at 4am. The following night another daisy stumbled into my tent... my roommate did attempt to reason with our wilted flower but then decided to give him refuge. Our wilted daisy repaid us by snoring the entire night. I spent most of that night sticking my finger in his nose to persuade him to turnover. You welcome TUKS!
My neighbour also had an encounter with a wilted daisy who had sought refuge in her tent. She had gone to shower and came back to size 11 feet hanging out of the entrance of her tent. So squatters were a thing. The showers were unexpectedly clean and there was hot water. Priority camping had a 15 minute waiting line to the showers with a basin outside for people to brush their teeth. I did sustain a few bruises and insect bites from indulging in the nightlife... but all worth it.
The flamethrowers exhibition by the #unbreakable sign was magnificent! Honestly thought they were going to burn us alive lol. Great show! I was terrified and hypnotized.
The last day most of us were suffering the after effects of the night before and had to muster up enough energy to pack up our campsite. Our gazebo did not survive the previous nights gale force winds so were left it behind along with our sobriety and camping virginity. The ride back was quiet and peaceful.
So I got back to the hotel shoe-less, missing three nails and no voice. Souvenirs that scream this girl had a good time. What a weekend! All in all the whole experience was "Online", a new term I picked up. Once in a lifetime experience indeed. Surpassed all i could have ever imagined.
Thank you Once Travel.
All images are captured by our beautiful friend Leeroy Jason.