"Yes! Its Friday! Freedom day!", I thought as I woke up.
Friday morning couldn't have come any sooner. I got up, made a cup of coffee, finished some work and then made my way to my kombi where I started to pack. Tent, check. Cooler box, check. Clothes, check. Food, check. I drove up the road to the garage where I checked the oil and water and topped up with petrol. Everything was ready.
I had four friends joining in for the road trip. Bez, the guitarist for Scarlotte Will. Russel, Scarlotte Wills new manager. Geoff, an old friend from school who I see at most festivals. And Jacky who I had met at Mieliepop festival a few weeks back.
We got everything packed. Roof rack was full, snacks were plentiful and the Dizzy Khaki playlist was already playing.
About 2 hours later (normally an hour and 20 minute drive in a normal car) we arrived in Secunda. We were greeted by a power plant of sorts in the distance supplying our lungs with smog for the weekend. At the gate we sorted out our tickets and arm bands and drove in.
Immediately we were greeted by friendly festival goers. We set up our tents and made our way to the stage just in time to see Strait Jackal.
This was my first Misty Waters so it was an all new experience. I had heard a lot about the previous festival and how well they treated the bands. I was also particularly excited about the line up which they nailed. The venue seemed pretty well set up. The sound was good. The lighting on stage was excellent. There were plenty of shower/toilet facility's that were well maintained the whole weekend. And there were enough bars with friendly staff.
My only issue were the food stalls. The first day there were only two small stalls. The next day there was a burger trailer that was really good. The stalls closed too early each night and there was nothing open for breakfast except a coffee stall. On the up side the festival is close enough to town to drive out and get food, but who actually wants to do that?
As I said earlier, the line-up was amazing. So good in fact I struggled to pick a favourite act for the weekend. And if I start naming who I enjoyed I'll end up reading out 90% of the line-up. Stones & Gold nailed closing the stage on Friday night. This was the biggest stage I've seen Kings Of Improg play on. They were very impressive on that stage even though they switched off most of the stage lights making it virtually impossible to photograph them. Deon Bakkes And The Stolen Horses definitely had the most energy. My favourite new band that I had never seen before was The George who had a very cool performance on Sunday afternoon.
Tidal Waves, Albert Frost, Dan Patlansky, Black Harbour, Gunshot Blue and Piet Botha are just a few of the other musicians I saw that gave amazing performances.
Sunday crept up quickly and before I knew it we had to leave. There was still quite a large crowd when we left on Sunday night who I assume were staying until Monday. We made a pit stop at Burger King (because the food stalls were closed) and made our way back home.
The people were excellent. The music was amazing. The venue was good. I'll definitely be back for Misty Waters Music Festival next year.