By Pablo / Word on the Street / 29th November 2016
If you weren’t at Future Frequency Festival this Saturday, I’m sorry to say this, but you most definitely missed out. The boys at Vacation Club gave us a taster of what we could expect at the new avant-garde electronic musical festival from the future at the much loved We Love Summer two weeks before, but nothing could really prepare us for what they had in store for us this past weekend.
I am no techno bunny-truthfully, I never really understood what Techno music was. However, it goes without saying that this festival changed my whole perspective of the sub-genre and what it has to offer the mind, body and soul.
Let’s start at the beginning:
Firstly, the fact that one could hop into an Uber and in 10 minutes arrive at the venue was already a major plus; a huge change from the usual 45-minute drive to the luscious venues situated around Cape Town, saving yourself at least R100 and gaining a few hours of extra playtime. Win.
Upon arrival, we were ushered smoothly into a shuttle which took us to the security check, which I liken to the standards of a German airport. Every orifice of every bag was searched, including wallets being opened and jean pockets turned out. A girl was evidently turned away because she had eyedrops in her bag , which the security thought might be LSD and wouldn’t take the chance. Another had prescription sleeping pills in her wallet which they confiscated. I know some people who will argue that “drugs are a huge part of these parties”, but the fact is that this is the first outdoor event that I’ve been to where the security has actually done their job, and very well. Congratulations. Also, if you can’t have fun at a jol without rushing, then you need to take a closer look at yourself, my friend. The music should be more than sufficient to get you high.
However, many girls complained that the female security guards were too forceful with them when conducting the body search, squeezing their boobs roughly while seemingly enjoying it. I experienced this myself, and I was shocked when my crotch was cupped and kneaded. As I said before, German airport. I understand the necessity of thoroughness when it comes to security, but when the guards are making comments like “I love touching these bodies”, it is hard not to feel slightly violated and subjected to some form of disrespect and indecency. Although, those negative thoughts were quickly diminished when we stepped inside the container yard and guided by the beats from the base.
FFF used the Howler cashless system for the day. If you were at Rocking the Daisies, you would be familiar with the efficiency of this process; the waiting time at the bar is astronomically decreased and your propensity to buy things is colossally increased… one cannot fault this strategy. But, if you were like me and stupidly forgot to unload your money when you left, you probably are wondering about how you can get it back: I posted my query on the event wall and Howler responded in minutes with assistance on my refund. Great service is always appreciated, thank you. I can say that if you left less than R50 on your band, don’t bother; rather let it be a sneaky tip for the boys, they deserve it.
Onto the venue itself : just WOW. Honestly, at first I was a bit underwhelmed; the Greenhouse stage at We Love Summer made me think that there would be a little more décor and I was hoping for those sprays which kept us cool in the heat, but I soon realised that anything else would actually detract from the monstrous raw steel walls that surrounded us. Simplicity was key. The space was unreal. I also appreciated the fact that they were taking our stringent water restrictions in Cape Town seriously – good on you boys.
The stage and dance floor setup was unlike anything anyone had experienced before; the parallel containers boxed you in and which made you feel like you were standing inside a speaker with the sound quite literally pulsating through your body. The beats bounced back and forth off the armoured walls and created acoustics which can only be described as an instrumental infusion of a perpetual cosmic orgasm. When night fell, we were treated to incredible visuals video mapped on the containers, with lasers shooting from every angle, creating a futuristic optical dream.
With regard to the music, I cannot comment on the individual acts as I am not seasoned in this genre of music. However, I can say that every set was magically magnetic, almost tribal and organic in nature. The rhythmic build-ups tantalised the senses and moved my spirit to sounds within sounds while my body beat to the base. Nothing short of celestial. Techno till I die.
If you got bored of the dance floor, which is an implicitly stupid statement, you could make your way down an alley of wandering delights; pool tables set up under a zigzag of fairy lights, ping pong tables hidden inside containers and vintage Barnet Fair barber shop set up for those wanting to freshen up their do mid jol. The only two things I could fault the set up on was that there wasn’t enough comfortable seating for groups of people to have a timeout; usually one has the grass, but the heat cancelled out the concrete floor as an option to chill the eff out on. The second was that there weren’t enough toilets, the lines were always very long and you couldn’t just go do your thing behind a container because the security was so on point. Minor details which I’m sure will be improved on at the next FFF.
As far as festival attendees go, I’ve never seen so many beautiful people dressed in avant-garde apparel ; their style was something too behold. I’m a deep house festival frequenter, but these innovative individuals put the usual crochet tops and bare belly buttons to shame. The Techno Crowd had arrived. Vehement Youth, an up and coming fashion based organisation, was there capturing the eccentric style on camera and exploring the inspiration behind the looks, expressing the freedom of fashion. Keep your eye on their website, Instagram and Facebook page, it will fast become your style bible.
A fresh move in terms of Cape Town event strategy was FFF’s decision to make the event wholly meat free – I think everyone appreciated the effort to make a dent in the demand for the foodstuff and save water in the process. However, if you are going to make an event following green principles, then drinking straws should not have been available at the bar. Despite the fact that they are generally only used once and thrown away, the plastic used to make them is not recyclable and has disastrous consequences for our environment and aquatic life. Just something to think about.
At around 10pm, the power cut out. People were confused, was it over?! Please God NOOO! For a good twenty minutes, there were no lights, no sound and no drinks available as all systems were down…shit! What a true testament to how good the event was, was that nobody left, instead, people stayed on the dance floor and started making their own music by thumping the walls of the containers and dancing to the sound of their own beats. It was actually a rather pleasant time period between the silence and darkness. When the power came back on, the crowd erupted and everyone carried on doing their thing as if nothing had happened. Moral of the story is that nobody really wanted it to end, I would have been there until 4am if they had let me.
All in all, this festival was out of this world. It was such a refreshing change in the almost saturated Cape Town event market: an exciting concept in an incredible venue with world-class production has given birth to a new outdoor music movement. I take my hat off to the creative geniuses at Vacation Club, these men have created something special which I have full confidence that everyone will enjoy for aeons to come – Thank you.
Until the next.
Yours in Peace, Love and Hiphop
Pablo & the Halfway Crooks
If you didn’t get the chance to go, have a listen below to these eargasms & make sure you are at the next one :