Sunflower Festival Encounter 2015

Location: Westcoast Ostrich Ranch, Van Schoorsdrif Road Philadelphia | Thank you to: SKA ClothingGregor Simon

Dana Lawless led us to believe that it was time we broke into the trance festival scene – to spread our feet, and wings, as it were. SKA Clothing is one of the largest distributors of tickets for most of the music festivals around the Western Cape, so we asked them to join us…with SKA clothing of course.
The relationship with SKA Clothing had grown strong and so it was entrusted to us to make Sunflower another photo opportunity for SKA’s clothing in action; we happily obliged.
As a festival itself, and having experienced a few more as the months rolled on, it was really messy and, well, ‘common’; if we may say. A good party, we suppose, simply not the Nomadic way in many ways; too much alcohol and young souls floating about aimlessly.

We give no ill feelings toward any event or entity – we observe a lot and simply assess. As a neutral assessment, the crowds that explored this event were unruly. Through several conversations, clarifying our experiences with memory recall – we evaluate ourselves and the experience overall. We were not use to this and as a result decided to make camp at the SKA vehicle, right on the boundary fence near the parking area facing the party down the hill – safe and far from the crowds…

Greg and Hunter stretched the tent over and we had a little hub, our base.
It was most inconvenient trekking from vehicle to party – but we felt at least detached a little from the chaos that ensued in the valley below. The music is unbelievably intrusive, Hunter felt like an elderly man in a child’s loud world; uncomfortable, irritable and noticeably misplaced. As parents, we do not find happiness in seeing the younger generation in that manner – we enjoy a party – but this was just plain silly business.
We found so many places to shoot some SKA gear, a nice venue – and most of our time was dedicated to this – which probably also didn’t allow us to get into what seemed like the full trance swing of things…one certainly does need to be on a certain level to freely enjoy such events.

We type this story 5 months later in the frame of mind that has experienced 4 different styles of trance/dance festivals. And all in all, Sunflower was an average 22hrs of experience – we could have stayed longer – but felt that it was just not our scene.
Since this was a formally sponsored encounter, we were not in a space to get all unruly…as we would happily do in normal circumstances.
When the sun had set and evening blanketed us as lasers sliced the smoke on the dance floor – we opted to join the crowds, dance a bit and then hit the sleeping bags…for a sunrise shoot.
By morning however, with the thump of the music still drowning, the mood around camp was to pack up, dress-up and take some rising sun shots by the water.
We crashed the tents and packed the SKA car as the dawn broke; chose our outfits and strolled through the dulled murmuring and random laughter of those who lasted through the night and are now winding down as light intrudes on their own little nocturnal adventure.

All in all it was a fair experience, the team gelled well and we got a lot done in a short while.
For the first festival encounter, we rejoiced on the way home…looking back, we made the best of an uncomfortable situation.
Also to mention – the organisers of most these events make sure they are bigger and better each year – so have faith that even though Hunter is an old fart…Sunflower Festival may still be a rocking festival for you…

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