If you are looking for a place to party this New Year, the Smoking Dragon New Year’s Festival is the event for you.
? Hosted at the Amphitheatre Backpackers near Bergville, it takes place on December 30 and 31 and will feature well-known South African musicians alongside emergent talent. The biggest draw- card is undoubtedly Zulu maskandi guitarist Madala Kunene, who will be wowing audiences with his hypnotic, psychedelic guitar work. Johannesburg’s latest and hottest young outfit, The Brother Moves On, will also take the stage, and Durban’s young progressive rockers Coals of Juniper will be performing on home turf. Add to that sets from Cortina Whiplash, Kathy Raven, Josie Field and many other bands and DJs and it adds up to a great way to see in 2012.
Amphitheatre Backpackers, Bergville, on December 30 and 31. Tickets cost R300 through Payfast and R350 at the door. They are limited to 2?000 individuals, so book early. Go to www.amphibackpackers.co.za for more info.
? The Vodacom Unlimited Experience thunders into Durban this weekend with an epic 12-hour house-music party at the colossal Moses Mabhida Stadium. Black Coffee’s AfricaRising makes its hotly anticipated debut, featuring the super-producer performing with a 24-piece orchestra. A host of stellar artists such as Bucie, Zakes Bantwini and Mabi Thobejane, among others, will also be playing the tracks that have made Black Coffee an international phenomenon. Also in the line-up is Spiritchaser, whose massive hit, These Tears, dominated the South African charts in 2011, Low Deep T, a rising deep-house star climbing the charts with Big Love, and remixers extraordinaire Rocco and Ralf Gum. The heavy-duty DJ power includes Metro FM’s Urban Beat residents: Vinny da Vinci, Christos, Oskido, Andy X and Black Motion, as well as House Afrika label don Tim White and festival founder DJ Strat3gy.
Moses Mabhida Stadium, Friday December 16 at 12pm to Saturday December 17 at 12am. Tickets are R150 at the gate. Visit www.facebook.com/Vodacom Unlimited.
? The inaugural Drake Music Festival, modestly describing itself as “a small acoustic and blues festival” , takes place in the serene surrounds of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands this weekend. The brainchild of South African folk-nouveau chanteuse Josie Field, it is termed “a festival by artists for artists for the benefit of all South Africans”. Given the calibre of artists in the line-up, one strongly suspects that there will be many of the latter in attendance. Taking the stage during the course of the day-night event are Field, John Ellis, Guy Buttery, Nibs van der Spuy, Nate Maingard, Shannon Hope, Joshua Grierson, Naming James and Malory Torr.
Willowvale, Rosetta, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, Saturday December 17 from noon to 11pm. Tickets cost R190 and must be bought strictly in advance. Camping on the Saturday night costs an additional R20 a person. Tel: 083 577 7726. Email: [email protected] Visit www.facebook.com/thedrakemusicfestival.