THE FEST OF RAM

Right, so I’ve been very quiet and not been posting much re LCHF / Banting, and I’m afraid it shall stay that way but for this mention right now – essentially a 5 day weekend of rocking out in a mud pit with far too much in the way of non LCHF friendly *ahem* liquids *cough* and “foodstuffs” means that I refuse to get on the scale until Friday. I’m hoping by then that it will merely be a stream of tears that results from me getting on the scale as opposed to a spontaneous self flagellation as a knee jerk reaction to the results of said mechanical beastie.

I finally started eating LCHF again today (caulimash and left over braai vleis were consumed for lunch) and will continue to do so going forward, but by all things deity am I feeling very bloated and not slim in the slightest today. So instead we’ll focus on happier things – I give you – RAMFEST 2014!

We arrived Thursday just before 12 and joined the queue of cars waiting to get in. Gates were officially meant to open at 12, it seemed very slow going at first but we got in without any hassle eventually, and had a wide open space to pick from for camping sites. As it all looked just as muddy and wet as any other specific spot, we randomly settled on one that seemed in a less habited area.

How cool are those armbands?

The line up for the event:

Ramfest Johannesburg 2014 Lineup
Red Heart Rum Stage
Friday:
17h00 – VuvuVultures (UK)
18h00 – Gangs of Ballet
19h00 – Iso
21h00 – FOALS (UK)
23h00 – BIFFY CLYRO (Scotland)

Saturday:
15h00 – Them Bandits
16h00 – Man As Machine
17h00 – Martin Rocka & the Sick Shop
18h00 – Newtown Knife Gang
19h00 – Pestroy
21h00 – TRIVIUM (USA)
23h00 – KILLSWITCH ENGAGE (USA)

Monster Stage
Friday:
17h00 – Climate Control
18h00 – Agro
19h00 – Facing the Gallows
20h00 – Taxi Violence
22h00 – Haggis & Bong

Saturday:
15h00 – Poverty of Ideals
16h00 – Theatre Runs Red
17h00 – Urban Vitamin
18h00 – Loveglove Pyrotechnics
19h00 – ShortStraw
20h00 – Black Cat Bones
22h00 – Fuzigish

Olmeca Stage
Friday:
18h00 – Ambush ft Emcee Heavy G
19h00 – Phizicist
20h00 – Mr Mon
21h00 – Benson
22h00 – Blindfolders
23h00 – Twelv Live
00h00 – Prototype
01h00 – Haezer
02h30 – Grimehouse

Saturday:
16h00 – Hugs on Drugs
17h00 – Not Sean vs RNDM CTZN
18h00 – Half n Half
19h00 – Muzi
20h00 – Liver
21h00 – Mr Green
22h00 – Protoculture
23h30 – Niskerone
01h00 – CAMO & KROOKED ft DYNAMITE MC (AUS+UK)
02h30 – RudeOne

Stellenbrau Carnival Stage
Thursday:
19h00 – The Martin Brothers
20h00 – Carri Wolfe
21h00 – Justin Swart
22h00 – Jet Black Camaro
23h00 – Black Market Riots

Friday:
10h00 – Comedy
11h00 – Sutherland
12h00 – Comedy
12h30 – Elevated Motion
13h15 – Comedy
13h45 – Mr Cat & the Jackal

Saturday:
10h00 – Comedy
11h00 – Yo Grapes
12h00 – Comedy
12h30 – Aidan Martin
13h15 – Comedy
13h45 – The Frown

//////////////

Right, so there was something for everyone pretty much, and no ways I was going to catch every last act, but those we did manage to watch I enjoyed. Highlight’s of the show for me for the most part were local bands – my favs being ISO, Fuzigish, Martin Rocka & The Sick Shop and Carri Wolfe. Trivium were bloody amazing from a technical stand point and stage presence overall, but a bit heavy for my liking as standard listening, but it was quite something to see them live. So much so that Killswitch almost paled in comparison for me when they came up afterwards… Of course Biffy Clyro I enjoyed immensely as well, and honourable mention to the sheer fun of Haggis & Bong 😛

The festival overall was well executed I thought; some plusses for me which a lot of these types of events get wrong:
Well enough stocked bars. It didn’t seem to matter what time or which night you went to their beer tent, they still had ciders, beers, and shots a plenty for those too lazy to mission all the way back to their own booze stash at camp during performances
Enough portable toilets. These are going to come up again in my non plus side, but the quantity of them was not an issue for me or most others judging by the lack of neverending almost static queue’s one gets used to seeing at events
A decent variety (and caliber) of eats to be had. From waffles on a stick to corn dogs to jalapeno cheese burgers to the glorious Anat; your drunken tummy could have almost any type of festival food your heart desired. Yes, I said waffles on a shteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek – just look at these bad boys:

Foresight from the organisers re inroad route. It was raining in Gauteng over the previous full week. A LOT. The organisers had building rubble trucked in for the inroads that would have been impassable mud had they not done so.
Bands, and filler entertainment (poi dancers / comedians / etc) were on time and on schedule. Nobody likes missioning to a stage, only to have to stand around like lost sheep for an hour wondering where the f the artist / person is that they came to see. As you can tell from the line up above across 4 stages and 3 days, that’s quite a feat.
The “ATM”. The actual ATM machines advertised never actually appeared that I saw, but they made a plan and had a dear sweet lady(ies) sit at a till by a beer tent with a card machine merrily handing over cash in exchange for your Jon Doe and 5% / R100 drawn. A pretty sweet makeshift deal I thought.
Those entry bands. Just pure win, really 🙂

The not so plus points / suggestions on improvement:
Unisex portaloos. Really, RAMfest, REALLY!?! Who thought it was a good idea to have unisex toilets at an event that pretty much expects to have non sober attendees trying to use bathrooms with some possessing equipment that has trouble aiming straight in well lit sober conditions in the DARK, is beyond me. Keep it separated next time please, k guys? I saw things I shall never unsee…
Lack of bins in the camping grounds. The stage and food “court” areas were good enough for this; but a rather massive field of who knows how many camping sites was barren of said receptacles. On Sunday we hunted down one of the cleaning crew members and begged a black bag from them so we could attempt a clean up of our little mud haven for the past 4 days. If another 5% of people did this it would be a lot, and that field looked like a beer factory, hula hoop manufacturer and chip company had a face off and all lost. They’d save themselves (and the clean up crew) a rather large portion of their clean up mission post fest if bins were more readily available me thinks.

So, overall, well done to the organisers, and thanks for a rocking weekend – I’m already looking forward to 2015!

Carri Wolf doing her (their) thing – great voice and great vibe 🙂

Why I now think gumboots are the best invention, EVER!

And, of course, the bands!

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