“Jo’burg a-r-e you ready?” screeched spirited front-woman Skin to a sea of 11,000 indie rockers at Friday’s Vodacom In the City in downtown Jo’burg’s Mary Fitzgerald Square. As Cass’ bass-beat pulsed through the bodies of the sweat-streaked fans, the air was filled with thousands of cellphones held up to capture Skunk Anansie’s long-awaited return to South Africa. As the unofficial headline act of the evening, they thrilled the crowds with Skin’s crowd surfing, cementing the iconic British band’s performance as one of the best ever seen in SA.
The whole vibe of the festival was electric! As the only local act on the line up, Al Bairre played an outstanding opening set, so it’s no surprise that they’d won the Vodacom ‘Open the City’ competition that saw over 18,500 votes from the public.
Alternative UK indie rock quartet alt-J were welcomed in traditional alt-J fashion with the crowd displaying the band’s triangle ∆ symbol with their fingers. When the opening chords of their hit single ‘Tesselate’ echoed off the stage, you couldn’t even hear the band for the crowd singing along.
Charismatic Swedish rockers The Hives stole the show in their custom tailored mariachi outfits. Previously quoted as saying that they ‘hoped the crowds would go crazy’, they were not disappointed – who wouldn’t go nuts to The Hives’ highly rated live show? ‘Go right ahead’ and ‘Walk Idiot Walk’ were clear favourites and vocalist Pelle Almqvist’s showmanship and scissor kicks went down a treat.
The final act of the evening was German DJ Boys Noize, who closed the festival with his techno EDM beats and one final burst of party energy.
Presenting sponsor Vodacom’s concert-first free Wi-Fi, recharge stations, sound-proof phone-boxes and photo booths were a hit, as were Jose Cuervo’s Watering Holes that were dotted around the square. Those who tweeted a hashtag of themselves being a party animal stood the chance to win a signed guitar.
Revellers flocked to GWM’s recently launched quirky C20R hatchback for the opportunity to win a tablet with Vodacom data. Wrapped in the event’s branding, the affordable crossover added a level of fun to the night.
Seed Experiences, the award-winning company behind the event, pulled out all the stops to ensure the best consumer experience ever. Not only did they put the best production and security teams in place, but they installed a 140m bar and booked 300 bar staff to ensure minimum time queuing for drinks to give fans maximum time in front of the stage.
Recognised as one of the edgiest and most anticipated music events on the South African calendar, Vodacom In the City 2013 has taken Jo’burg festivals to the next level. Keep your eye on facebook.com/InTheCityJHB for all the 2014 line-up.