Where there is a lack – create your own event.
This is the philosophy of Muizenberg musician Riaan Smit. The result? The launch of the first of its kind event; the Acoustic Dance Music Festival, happening on Saturday April 14 at Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville.
The event is “all about the vibe’’ Riaan says, and will provide 12 hours of non-stop acoustic dance – played live – by a slew of local bands. “I am a live musician. There’s nothing I love more than interacting with a crowd and having everyone bounce,” Riaan says.
“I realise there is a great dance culture in trance music festivals – but they traditionally use DJs – I’ve always wanted to play at an event with non-stop live music where you don’t have to break for 40 minutes between acts. There weren’t any. So I made one,” he said.
The ADM Festival is here to bridge the gap between the electronic dance music culture and live music culture.
Every truly grand event has a theme – and to live up to the “out of this world vibe” Riaan is planning – the theme can only be intergalactic time travel.
While he has curated other events such as the bohemian Carnival of Dreams, this is the first time he has put his creative spark to a festival of his own.
Riaan is receiving massive support for his idea. “It seems I wasn’t alone in wanting to do this, so I have the most amazing bands who have put their hands up.
“They are so amped to be there, to be part of this. Basically it’s going to be a jol for everyone.”.
Sharing the stage will be far south darlings The Rudimentals, Nomadic Orchestra, Trenton and Free Radical, Luca Hart, Michael Canfield, The Black and Whites, Colour Fields, Pravda, Steevies, Money for Bali, DJ Mava and Muizenberg-based, Crimson House.
Riaan says the festival bands share one thing: their energy and love of dance.
“We have some of the best names in local music sharing the stage but we didn’t choose by the number of followers each band has; this is about building and sustaining a flow all day long. We want seamless feel-good dance,” he said.
Is he terrified? A little, he laughs. All new projects are scary, but Riaan’s desire to live fully and wholly was snapped into sharp focus last year after a brush with death in Namibia.
He was attacked while filming a new music video, had his jaw broken with a brick and his eye badly damaged, and his band and film crew’s equipment stolen.
The latter was recovered and the attackers arrested.
Riaan released his previously unreleased solo EP Desert Child on a donation basis; the community rallied in support – and all his medical bills were paid for through that.
“One thing a near-death experience teaches you is gratitude. Gratitude for the people around you, gratitude for every breath you take, and gratitude for the opportunity of the challenges ahead,” he said.
“Thank you to everyone who contributed, that music only exists because you allowed it to. From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful.”
Since then Riaan has spent two months working on a full-length solo album. But his in-the-moment goal is to say thanks to his fans by creating their longest dance party ever through the ADM this Saturday.
For more information visit: www.admfest.info Tickets are R200 online or R300 at the door. Get your tickets at: http://qkt.io/3vAxhn