It’s spring and in the Western Cape that means wildflowers blooming en masse and (cue images of a yodelling Julie Andrews) hills resounding with music as the quaintly-named Darling springs to life and hosts the annual Rocking the Daisies festival.
Celebrating its 10th birthday this year, the festival takes place at Cloof Wine Estate from 1-4 October. It offers a stellar line-up of more than 180 different live acts – from the likes of German duo Milky Chance and Australian band The Cat Empire to local artists Jack Parow and Jeremy Loops; a variety of accommodation – from campsites and tent options to the Daisy Den, a girls-only Glampers zone; and a well-appointed food village that caters for a number of tastes from Durban's Finest Curry and Gushi Sushi to Who Invited the Greeks and Nutrify, with food trucks like The Dogs Bollocks and Gourmet Boerie offering red meat lovers the best in gourmet burgers and boerewors rolls.
While all this makes Rocking the Daisies an enjoyable and ever-successful festival, it's their eco-friendly approach that truly sets them apart from other similar events. Their mission is to ‘host a premier music and lifestyle festival in an environmentally and socially responsible manner under the motto of 'Play Hard, Tread Lightly’. And as challenging as it may be to co-ordinate thousands of people, thousands of vehicles and tonnes of equipment in an environmentally responsible way, they manage to get it right having won the Climate Change Leadership Award in 2009 and 2010, the Eco-Logic Award for Climate Change in 2011, the Eco-Logic Award in Recycling and Transport in 2012; and Highly Commended in A Greener Festival Awards 2012, 2013 and 2014.
Not comfortable to rest on their laurels, they try each and every year to improve on their carbon footprint and this year sees the following Greening Initiatives come into play: more waste bins; a Tickets for Trees campaign to offset the carbon footprint; a solar powered Hemp stage; green parking – VIP parking for those carpooling; free drinking water points; and reusable water bottles for purchase to fill at free water points.
As in years past, Rocking the Daisies usually sells out before the festival opens so if you haven't yet organised your entry and you're keen to 'Woodstock' it for the weekend, be sure to buy your tickets today – tick tock. And whatever happens, whether you're lucky enough to be rocking the daisies or relegated to simply frolicking in the daisies, enjoy spring in the Western Cape - it's our secret season and has a beauty like no other.