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Splashy Fen 2023: Your ultimate guide to South Africa's premier music festival

If you haven’t been to Splashy Fen, you should. Embracing the beauty of the Drakensberg, the nation’s longest-running and oldest music festival World Heritage Site draws people from across South Africa (and the globe). It’s so much more than just a music festival - Splashy is a celebration of life, love, music, art and people. The festival, which has been likened to South Africa’s very own Glastonbury, was founded by Peter Ferraz and Bart Fokkens in 1990 and is the namesake of the farm on which it is held. Located in the dramatic Underberg region of South Africa, what started as a small gathering of about 400 musicians and festival-goers has grown into a renowned festival that has welcomed more than 150,000 people through its gates over the years.

Splashy hasn’t been dubbed "SA's Friendliest Music Festival" for nothing. What makes this music fest loved by all who attend is the way it embraces the spirit of community.  From the first chord strummed to the last dance move busted, you'll be surrounded by folks who are genuinely happy to have you there. It's no wonder people return year after year.

Whether you’re Splashy stalwart or a festival-noob, we cover everything you need to know to get the most out of this year’s festival. 

The line-up

This year’s Splashy lineup is a sonic smorgasbord showcasing incredible local and international talent, as usual. To whet your appetite we’ve collated just a taste of what’s in store at the festival this year:

Spoegwolf: The Afrikaans indie-rock band has been making waves with their powerful vocals, driving rhythms, and socially conscious lyrics. With their dynamic stage presence and infectious energy, they're sure to get the crowd jumping and singing along.

Ziggy Alberts: With his heartfelt lyrics, soaring vocals and sunny melodies, this Australian singer-songwriter has been winning over audiences all over the world . Whether you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to his music, you won't want to miss his performance at Splashy Fen.

Ndlovu Youth Choir: This acclaimed South African choir has been wowing audiences all over the world with their stunning harmonies, dynamic choreography, and infectious spirit. With their joyful energy and powerful message of unity, they're sure to be one of the highlights of the festival.

Majozi: Hailing from Durban, Majozi is a rising star in the South African indie-folk scene. With his heartfelt lyrics, soulful voice, and catchy melodies, he's been winning over audiences all over the country.

Neon Dreams: This Canadian alt-pop duo has been making waves with their catchy hooks, lush harmonies, and electrifying live shows. With their high-energy performances and infectious spirit, they're sure to be a crowd-pleaser at Splashy Fen.

Here’s the full Splashy Fen 2023 line up.

Where to sleep

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to where to crash after a long day of revelling. Whether  you’re on a tight budget or looking to glamp, there are several accommodation options at Splashy Fen. Each festival ticket includes access to the general camping areas where you can pitch your tent and make yourself at home. It's first come, first serve, so get in early to snag your spot! 

For those who prefer a bit more luxury, try Harambee Glamping Village, where you can enjoy:

  • Private hot showers; 
  • VIP toilets;
  • All bedding and linen provided. 

If you're travelling with family, there are family camping areas available. Access to the family camping area costs R200 per adult (16 years and over) and operates on a cash at the door basis. There are also 55 powered campsites available at R3000 for the duration of the festival. 

And if you’re wanting to make the most of natural surroundings, there are 40 reserved campsites available for booking online, at R1600 per site for the duration of the festival. 

What you’ll eat

Splash Fen truly is a feast of the senses, and you can rest assured that it won’t just be your body moving to the groove. Attendees can look forward to a food and drink experience that will make their taste buds dance with delight!

Festival-goers can satisfy their hunger and quench their thirst with an impressive selection of food and drink options. With multiple food vendors on site, visitors can indulge in a variety of fresh, healthy, fast, and delicious foods.

For those in search of hearty libations, Splashy Fen offers not one, not two, but five different bar areas to choose from. The Splashy Oasis bar is a must-visit spot for those who fancy themselves connoisseurs, as it serves up a selection of bespoke gin, wine, whisky, and craft beers.

What to do

The festival is not just about music. Splashy Fen features a range of activities that make it an experience like no other. The festival boasts several stages, a food and craft market, a beer garden, a wellness area and even a dedicated children's area. It's not uncommon to see festival-goers taking a dip in the nearby river, going for a hike in the surrounding hills or simply lounging in a hammock, taking in the scenery.

Get grounded and ready for revelry at the daily morning Yoga sessions, held at 08h30 at the River Stage. With the serene sounds of the river in the background and professional instructors guiding you through each pose, it's the ideal way to find your zen before the festivities begin. 

More of an adventurer at heart? Then try out the 4km trail run route. Running alongside the rolling hills and open grasslands of Underberg. The trail run takes you down to the river and back up to the festival site, offering breathtaking views of the beautiful Southern Drakensberg. 

If it’s an immersive cultural experience you’re after, Splashy also offers Didgeridoo and Belly Dancing lessons on the Treehouse Stage. Check out the line-ups to find out when you can take part in these unique experiences.

And, of course, there’s the infamous Splashy Craft Market, which has been an integral part of the festival since 1990 and continues to be a favourite among festival-goers. With over 28 years of trading experience, some of the vendors have become a part of the festival's furniture. This year, the craft market promises to be just as exciting as ever. With a variety of stalls on site, the market offers a wonderful array of gifting, craft and individual products made by talented South Africans. From handmade jewellery and clothing to unique artwork and home décor, there is something for everyone at the Splashy Craft Market.

Is Splashy Fen kid-friendly?

If you're wondering if Splashy Fen is kid-friendly, the answer is a resounding yes! The festival has been actively welcoming families back for the past six years. With a fully supervised kid's zone operating during daylight hours on each festival day, parents can rest assured that their little ones are in good hands. The family camping area is also a safe and like-minded space for fellow families to camp in. So bring the kids along and make Splashy a family tradition.

Getting there

In the heart of the Drakensberg Mountains, surrounded by breathtaking views of the natural landscape, one of the most magical aspects of Splashy is the stunning location. The festival site is located on Splashy Fen farm outside Underberg on the D600, the first Bushman’s Nek Road as you exit Underberg. 

Need a place to store your camping gear when you’re not revelling? Stor-Age can help with that! We have all the space you need, with facilities conveniently located all over South Africa. Give us call 086 118 1818 or have a look at our caravan and personal self storage solutions, perfect for campers!

Posted by Stor-Age Self Storage - 04 April 2023 | Adventure