Coke fest – Coke mess

26 Mar

Went to Coke fest on Friday and it was pretty interesting.

Gone are my 15-year old days when I could withstand 8 hours of dancing around, getting trashed, standing in long queues for bathrooms then beers then bathrooms then beers etc … It’s a little sad that I am now no longer enthusiastic about the thought of that experience!


Line for the Chip n’ Dip – the queue for the bathroom was about three times as long. The chip and dip was so worth it though!

After years of going to festivals and concerts overseas, I think I have the festival experience down. I know what to bring (tissues, money, cigarettes, hand sanitiser, a lighter -the last two courtesy of Gabs – snuck in camera in strategic position, sachets of vodka and brandy – well, that’s more my boyfriend than me!), and I know who to avoid (crazy guys screaming at their girlfriends, fired up nu-metal 16 year old punks, hungover-by-3pm indivudals sprawled out on the grass and talkative, lsd-laced women in toilet queues).

The one thing I can’t seem to get around in South Africa is the immense size of the Golden Circle. It actually upsets and offends me how big Golden Circle has become.

My friend Gaby and I first noticed it back in the day when Roger Waters came to play at the Dome. It seemed bizarre to us that money – and not passion for music – could separate people by distance from the stage. How horrible unfair. Seems it is the corporate way though.

I was shocked at the size of Golden Circle at the Coke Fest. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been at a concert in a while, or I’m spoilt by overseas concerts who choose not to make the extra buck by putting up a ridiculously large Golden Circle – but it seems that every concert I get to, the ‘circle’ gets bigger. Why not just cut out everyone who can’t afford a high-priced ticket? Ah – not to sacrifice the profit margin of course!


About 40 000 people attended the Coke Fest – a great corporate success!

It’s bullshit. I hate that I had to watch Muse crushed behind a metal fence, while a few metres of empty ground separates me from the beginnings of the Golden Circle crowd. (Not a problem for Korn though, I’m not a huge fan).

Even the bands had something to say about it. Jared Leto from 30 Seconds to Mars showed a little bit of concern for people “all the way in the back” saying, “It’s not our rules, it’s their rules, I’m sorry we have to follow their rules.” (So talkative – so beautiful!) Joel Madden from Good Charlotte was pretty funny saying: “Well the people in the front are closer to the music, so that’s cool. But the people in the back are closer to the beer. I’m not sure what’s better!”

There’s some idiosyncratic about a rock concert that is ruled by the corporate capitalism. Despite the great line-up, Coke has probably failed to gain any street cred amongst rock fans for the event, except amongst those young rock bunnies who don’t know any better.

I’d much rather spend 40 pounds on a concert without Golden Circle – even if it was just for one or two bands – than spend R400 on a good lineup, but relegated to about 500 metres from the stage because I can’t afford the extra buck.


That said, Muse were fantastic, Good Charlotte impressed and 30 Seconds to Mars fun to watch. Chris Cornell was awesome – rock god of course – and we didn’t stay for Korn!


5 Responses to “Coke fest – Coke mess”

  1. James Gorman Esq. March 26, 2008 at 10:22 am #

    your experience is one of the reasons that i try to stick to club dates rather than festivals. at least with a club, the law of the jungle applies and everybody knows the rules – get in early, get up close, guard your position with your life (and sorry, no toilet breaks. bladder infection? bad luck!).

    my best live music experiences have uniformly been in clubs.

  2. jax March 26, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    I wish there were more clubs in Jo’burg that arranged private gigs for international bands… I’m sure there’s a market for it. *wishful thinking!*

  3. Peter Kelemen March 31, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    yes i agree fully the golden circle was ridiculously huge , unbelievably muddy and way over priced,so anyone who payed extra for that golden circle experience got a shoe full of mud, although muse were spectacular as ever, and to experience it golden circle was just to amazing for words, I had to sneak in cause I couldn’t afford a golden circle ticket either. (REBEL) lol

    Although it was fun to see all the sunburned drunken people rocking out it was pretty crappy waiting inline for an hour to buy some food and beer (thank goodness for tot packs!!!!!!!) and as the day progressed seemingly decent minded people becoming ridiculous nana’s that lessened some innocent peoples enjoyment of the festival. It’s only to be expected with that many people that a select few will become idiotic and moronic, but all in all i give cokefest a 6/10 -1 for the queues -1 for the golden circle and -2 for the asshole that thought me asking his girlfriend for a lighter had an ulterior agenda hidden underneath.

  4. Tameron Gmeiner July 31, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    Hey Jax!

    First things first… hope you’re doing well (from the looks of things you certainly are!), its been a very long time. Secondly – love the blog! Don’t ask me how I happened upon it, but somehow I found you while doing research for an online campaign I’m working on.

    My two cents on Coke Fest (a good four months late) – I paid the golden circle ticket price, got there early, grabbed a spot as close to the front as I could (im little – so seeing over huge ‘okes’ is impossible!) and realised how ripped off we were due to the obscene size of golden circle. Needless to say,we were stuck, I think I had one drink the whole day and went to the loo only once – it was painful. I couldn’t stop thinking ‘I’m too old for this’!

    But if anything made it worthwhile, it was seeing Muse live – and doing so with the love of my life – simply amazing. I also cought Chris Cornell’s plectrum – woo hoo 🙂

    Will keep checking in to see what you’ve been up too!

    All the best and many loves…

  5. Tameron Gmeiner July 31, 2008 at 2:00 pm #

    Oh, and on the whole international acts in clubs thing – Underoath will be touring SA in September performing in clubs around our beautiful country.

    Go to to find out more

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