RAMFEST 2011: An objective review

15 Mar

The title said I have to be objective, so I guess I will have to try . . .

Being objective is actually more difficult than it sounds, seeing as I -to put it plainly- had a really good time.

Mind you, are opinions regarding entertainment not supposed to be completely biassed? I mean, if YOU are being entertained, it tends to make any other opinion rather relative…

So, that being said, here’s MY review of MY experience at Ramfest 2011.

Ramfest 2010 was awesome, but had enough irritations to make it less memorable. The parking was nightmarish, the bars useless and the toilet facilities were bad for the girls (I’m a guy. I need a tree)
One thing that can be said of the Ramfest organisers, is that they learn from their mistakes. EVERY SINGLE BAD THING from 2010 was addressed, and improved to near perfection for Ramfest 2011. Hi 5 Hilltop Live!
Parking was a breeze. Even getting out of the fest afterwards took us less than 10 minutes (in comparison to the 30 minutes I spent just walking to my car last year) .
Ordering drinks was made EASY. The combined size of the 3 bars present were -to my estimation- at least 2,5 times the size of last year’s. Only once did I wait longer than 2 minutes to be served, and even then it was maybe 4 minutes.. Compare that to the 2 hours I spent in line last year, and you can imagine my elation!
A rare sight at a fest like this, was NOT seeing any knee-bending, crotch-pinching people with yellow tears standing in waiting for the door to relief to open.

So far so good. Hi 5 Ramfest.

Now, being in the entertainment industry myself, I am EXTREMELY critical when it comes to the artists, sound, stage, lighting etc. So even if YOU saw nothing wrong with anything, I probably did. And so did you, you might just not have known what you didn’t see…
As for the bands, I am going to write individual reviews for each. For now I just want to focus a bit on the general setup.

Overall, the impression was VERY good.
The main stage was one of the most impressive ones you will probably ever see at a South African rockfest. Personally I would’ve went with a slightly different lighting setup on stage, but what they had worked, so let’s not dwell on this (just  a general observation to the lighting engineers would be that they need to realise that after 12 hours at a rockfest, too much strobe can be a bad thing)

The sound at the main stage was a bit of dump if you were in the front and centre. Only when you backed up about 25-30 meters could you get the effect of the side stacks, and then it was great. But let’s face it, who wants to stand 25-30 meters away from the stage? An easy solution would have been to have just 2 line-arrays front & centre, playing down on the crowd.

The awesomeness which is the main stage, unfortunately set the bar so high, that it was really easy for the 2nd stage to appear inadequate. The sound at the small stage was great (except for some feedback issues here and there). The stage itself just seemed a bit like the poor cousin with the ugly teeth that you try to hide away from your friends. so yah, it could’ve been better.

Stalls and more
I loved it. There were more than enough food stalls, without turning a rockfest into a vlooimark. It was expensive to eat, but not ridiculously over the top, so you could still munch a bit AND drink a lot 🙂

All in all, well done Ramfest, you made me feel alive (and deaf) and reminded me why I love South African rock so much!

(All photos courtesy of Henno Kruger and Simone Fourie)

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2 Responses to “RAMFEST 2011: An objective review”


  1. Photo Album: RAMFest 2011 Johannesburg - 15 March 2011

    […] Links: RAMFest 2011: An Objective Review – Baas De Beer RAMFest 2011 Exclusive First Photos (Afrikaans) – […]

  2. RAMFEST BAND REVIEW: BLK JKS and Desmond & the Tutus « BaasDeBeer's Blog - 16 March 2011

    […] I promised in my general review of Ramfest 2011… Here are the band […]

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