The South African electronic music scene hit an all-time high this year, with not only its DJs, like Black Coffee and Culoe De Song, making big waves overseas, but also its burgeoning stars rising to gain global recognition.
With so much talent in the country it’s hard to ignore that the SA scene is a melting pot for fresh and innovative sounds and artists to be birthed. So one would assume the nightlife culture is of the same calibre as the artists.
This is true in many cases. Brands like We House Sundays, TOY TOY, Kool Out, Kinky Disco and Wolfkop Weekender are constantly innovating and creating exciting spaces for SA punters to revel in, without compromising the high standard of music in the country.
South Africa also has many amazing festivals that cater to a wide variety of genres and audiences. But one thing that large scale festivals lack is intimacy. And the broad appeal of festivals has in turn affected the club culture in SA.
One comment that has been heard quite often this festive season is that clubs in the country have been feeling the pinch, and clubbers seem to have lost some of their interest in going to clubs.
This could be due to the small number of quality clubs, as well as the big influx of bars and dives that have popped up in the last two years—attracting thousands of revellers every weekend.
But many promoters have taken heed to this and have begun creating secret parties at secret venues, as well as secret dancefloors, like the one at Future Frequency this year.
While this might just seem like a marketing tactic, it has actually helped to bring more excitement and intrigue to parties. And with smaller numbers needed to fill these venues, a more intimate crowd are able to congregate, creating a comfortable environment for punters to “jol” in.
Promoting events has largely become a business, which is necessary to sustain these costly events. But it seems punters miss house parties. And maybe by holding secret parties, and pre-parties, promoters can build a community amongst its fans and in turn create a more inclusive scene, with revellers who actually care about each other.
PLUR (Peace, Love, Unity and Respect) isn’t dead, it just hasn’t had the chance to develop on a larger scale. And by bringing the love back to smaller parties, SA punters can start engaging in each other more comfortably and create that unity we all yearn for.