Surviving the Daisies

Words: Chelsea Haith
Photos: Chelsea Haith & Fiona Christensen

Now is the time to buy a flowery head band and hippy pants. Now is the time to develop a taste for Kloof’s red and white plonk in a plastic bottle. Now is the time to arm yourself with innumerable alcohol swabs and to leave behind your personal hygiene standards. Now is the time to learn all the words to the songs of the bands you didn’t know were incredible and/or existed until Seed Experiences announced them. Now is the time to hunt out that old tent and sleeping bag. Now is the time to buy a pair of Wellies or find your Docs. Now is the time to discard your ideas of what Cape Town is like in October and buy a raincoat. Now is the time to fill up your car. Now is the time to gather your friends and some people you met hitchhiking on the way there and head off to Rocking the Daisies!Intro

Last year I was a Daisies virgin so this year I’m writing the guide that I would have wanted ahead of my first Daisies. It includes handy attire hints and tips and contains all of the reasons why you absolutely have to go to Rocking the Daisies at some point in your life if it’s the last thing you do.

Footwear: Doc Martens or Wellies at night, flip flops or Tommy takkies during the day. Docs are safest because some fool is going to stomp on your feet at some point in MGMT’s set and you are going to hate that person and yourself for the rest of the song (at least) while you hobble around wondering why you go to music festivals and cursing your FOMO.
Pro-tip: Buy a pair of Tommy takkies at Pep for R50 and draw on them like the hipster you are.


Clothes: Jeans, Hoodies, all day, all the time. I had big plans for my bikini and shorts at Rocking the Daisies in 2013 and they were completely unfulfilled. It was FREEZING. I also slept in my clothes to stay warm. Hippy pants are great from about 10am-2pm but after that it’s back to the tent and back into winter wear. Also, it will rain and you will be in it. You have been suitably warned.
Pro-tip: This is not your weekend to show off how fashion conscious you are.


Hygiene: Give up now all you optimists. It is dusty. (Not Oppikoppi dusty of course, just a bit, plus rain = mud). This is special Cape Town wine farm dust that does not land. It becomes one with your skin and when it pours during the biggest set and you’re pressed against the fence at the front of the crowd, the dust beneath your feet will be churned into mud that you could probably plaster a house with.  The VIP and Media area have portable showers that greet you with the happy slogan that in my soggy and tired state was only too apt, ‘A sea of calm in a world of pain’. Other options include taking Vitamin C shots before hand and subjecting yourself to the cold of the dam, or those handy wet wipes they give out on aeroplanes.
Pro-tip: Be a media person or friends with cool band people. Alternatively, embrace the dirt. While the VIP section looks cool, last year it was behind a large fence with security and therefore looked like a concentration camp. It can be so much nicer being with the masses. That is also a better way to meet new people, and band people are mostly pretentious anyway. 


Money: You will spend it and you will not regret it. You need money for food. You need money for merchandise. You need money for recreational activities if you are so inclined. Take cash, and keep it on your body at all times. If you keep your money in your underwear, you are guaranteed to either still have most of it at the end of the weekend, or you’ll go home with the knowledge that you had a very good time. Either way you’ll be happy.
Pro-tip: Keep your money in more than one place.


Food: If you feel up to it, take food and cooking stuff. Just be aware that cleaning is not the easiest task in the world. If you choose the way of the food tent, you are in for a culinary experience. The food is incredible and because Daisies punts itself as a green beanie festival, there are vegan stalls and people who care about putting healthy food into festival goers for not-too-much money.
Pro-tip: If you sleep late you can combine breakfast and lunch and save money that way.


Sleeping arrangements: Go with people you know and love and set your tents up in a little circle so that you have a small patch of communal grass on which to lie in a drunken stupor or the pained repose of the terminally hung over.
Pro-tip: take a small lock and lock your stuff in your tent. The reason seems fairly obvious.


Planning: Don’t. You can’t. There are signs up and they will tell you what is happening where and where you can find stuff that you like, but really, you will probably stumble into awesome stuff you didn’t expect to find or like and discover new and interesting people and someone will offer you a seat and eat all of your Marie Biscuits and you’ll have made a new friend.
Pro-Tip: Take Marie Biscuits in the event of imminent friendship.


Environment: The green aspect of Daisies is an interesting part of what is otherwise your run of the mill music festival and while some people follow the idea of keeping it clean, others don’t and there is nothing anyone can do about that. Educate or incarcerate as the saying goes. Regardless, there are stalls promoting environmental groups and products so Daisies also provides you with an opportunity to work off the massive carbon footprint you incurred getting there (except if you walk or cycle, in which case, you are a smelly saint with sore feet).


Daisies is a wonderful thing. Yes, there are the same fools that go to other music festivals and get in your face with a go-pro and lungs full of cigarette smoke you hadn’t planned on inhaling. Yes, it is cold and it rains and you forgot to take your mattress. No, those things do not matter. No, you will not die without a shower in 48-72 hours.

Also, it’s a music festival. So, there will be music. That’s kind of the best part.


This year’s international line-up includes MGMT, The Rudimentals, The Presets, Tim Green, The Wanton Bishops and (hopefully) Crystal Fighters (they recently experienced the terrible loss of their drummer).

The usual local acts are set to play the festival too, and the many stages guarantee that everyone finds their scene. See their site for more here.

Music II