On the 29/ 30 and 31st of December 2017 the annual Smoking Dragon Music Festival will yet again set the Northern Drakensberg afire. The hills will come alive with the sound of music. All kinds of music that is. From the raw minimalistic music of Gqom to the complex, syncopated rhythms of jazz and everything in between.
The setting is breathtakingly beautiful located at the foot of the mighty Amphitheatre, the most well known feature of the Drakensberg, home of the highest waterfall in Africa. The stages are built around dams and overlooking that gob smacking view. The event will take place at Amphitheatre Backpackers, an eco-mountain lodge built by Linda Haley one of the owners. She has set up a grey water system, grows her own organic veggies, uses solar geysers and recycles all lodge waste. The nearest town of Bergville 21km away so if you are looking for a New Years away from the urban jungle this is the place to be.
The annual Smoking Dragon Music Festival will yet again set the Northern Drakensberg afire. The hills will come alive with the sound of music. All kinds of music that is. From the raw minimalistic music of Gqom to the complex, syncopated rhythms of jazz and everything in between. is regarded as one of the most experimental festivals in the country where new music is given a chance to be heard. The producers constantly push the boundaries, breaking through barriers that exist between music genres and ultimately the people of South Africa. “Music is a universal language that unites people and that’s what we do at Smoking Dragon” explains Ilsa Roberts one of the organisers of the festival. Indeed there are visitors from all around the globe that end up at this event.
The divide between the heteronormative world and the LGBTQIA community is also widening, it seems, with many incidents of abuse being reported, even in the supposedly “liberal” environment of a music festival. Smoking Dragon has stepped up to the plate and created a “PINK TENT” to “…make a statement that everyone has a right to love without feeling unsafe or inhibited…” says Taya Heath the PINK TENT’s curator.
The festival is a project of the Non Profit Company R.A.I.S.E. The NPC is involved in workshops and THETA learnership programs, supporting families in need, sponsoring school children, building schools as well as generating income for musicians and artists through Smoking Dragon. One of it newest projects is the “PINK Workshops” where members of the LGBTQIA community attend lectures and discussion groups around issues that directly effect them. This is done 3 days before the festival at the UFS campus in Qwaqwa.
The 29th of December is always SMOKING DIVA DAY where only female fronted acts are showcased on two of the stages. Here Nonku Phiri, Moonchild Sanelly, Holly and other talented women will show us their stuff. There will also be a fundraising initiative in collaboration with POWA and the #METOO campaign
There will be a gourmet food village, fantastic ablutions, 5 zones of music and a brilliant line up with Desmond and the Tutus, BCUC and many other live acts. There is also an “Electric Jungle” which will see the likes of Haezer, The Kiffness and many more. Pink artists include the fabulous Nakhane (who is up for an oscar) Lo-Ghost, Sim Star and other DJ’s.
TICKETS are available from R250 either in the General Camping or VIP Zone. They can be purchased off the Smoking Dragon website www.smokingdragon.org phone calls are also always welcome on 0825512495 or the lodge at 0768227508