The throbbing bass from the speakers, smoke machines, animated lasers, strong lights and vivid banners are the kind of sensory surplus revellers often experience when they get the ultimate festival experience.
From experiencing ranging from a vibrant atmosphere during a Franco music festival at Trekkers nightclub in Mogoditshane to attending the festival with an incredible stage at The World Festival of students youth and students in Russia I have realized that being a reveller is all the same.
But firstly what is a reveller? As an entertainment reporter this is a word I constantly use every other Sunday deadline after covering a music festival the previous night.
‘ATI mesmerises revellers’, ‘Charma Gal got revellers eating out of the palm of her hands,’ are some of the headlines and phrases entertainment reporters use constantly in their stories. That is not out of the love for the word but revellers are the reason the entertainment industry is crying at the moment because we haven’t seen the thrill of them for the better part of the year now.
A reveller is basically a festival-goer, a merry-maker and party-goer who enthusiastically go to such events solely for the purpose of having fun. Being a reveller is a spirit, a culture and for some a devotion.
Once someone steps into a music festival venue whether it is a gospel event or a kwasa kwasa concert he or she automatically becomes a reveller. Revellers make and break festival brands because when you fail to control them they tarnish your name and if they don’t come to your event we have that headline with the word ‘flop’ already engraved before the final whistle.
As a music promoter if you manage to attract and manage large crowds of revellers you become a king and not just with praises from the media and the public but also you laugh all the way to the bank. With many events cancelled or postponed to next year we are surely going to miss the atmosphere created by these crowds of revellers.
The COVID-19 situation is not getting any better, the year has reached its demise and we have surely missed a lot especially now that it is September and most festivals begin around this period.
I never understood how it must have felt to be a dedicated reveller until I started attending these events as a reporter. I am no devoted reveller but I reveal that most of the time in order to get a certain perspective I mingle amongst revellers, I become a reveller.
I have risked getting my camera knocked down by a reveller with some wild dance moves. I had to endure the daunting task of every reveller asking me to take a picture of them.
I have put up with overjoyed revellers showering me with alcohol. I have come close to getting my eye carved out by a beer bottle. But it all comes with the job as they say.
Like I have said, revellers are all the same whether it’s some lady sitting nicely on a couch at the VIP or a young man climbing the barrier at the front of the stage.
All have some level of euphoria, especially when their favorite act comes on stage or when a killer song is played.
It is fun being a reveller and 2020 will surely miss revellers who will dance to every song the DJ
And off course we will miss that passionate group of men with peculiar outfits, the ones who will never leave the place until dawn.
Then there are those who will guard the cooler boxes with their life, they never leave unless they go to the toilet and it’s always a one-way route, no detours.
I cannot leave out the screamers and musicians love them most because they audibly show their interaction. 2020 will miss the vibes of true party animals, the kind of crowd who are always guaranteed to leave with countless new friends.
But being a reveller can be disheartening at times especially when you get mugged and your valuables get stolen while trying to get a closer look at your favourite artist on stage.
Additionally there is an instance where you find your camp chair and cooler box missing when you return from the rest rooms. It’s even worse when you find yourself involved in a physical fight with a friend as a result of a mini misunderstanding that could have been avoided.
And it’s more shameful when the security drag you out of the event for misbehaving. Even if you behave yourself, you could find your car blocked by the car of a stranger who is somewhere in the middle of the crowd. You could come late to a festival only to take two hours in traffic trying to get in.
Sometimes poor sound would ruin the event you had put high hopes on. You buy a ticket to see a specific artist and they don’t show up and the worse of it all is the MC who keeps raising your hopes high by shouting, ‘Are you ready for Vee Mampeezy?’
Or your fun could be ruined by the weather and you can’t return home to grab a jacket because the people you came to the festival with are still waiting for their favorite act. And perhaps the worst of it all, you end up drinking too much alcohol and eventually owning a blackout.
Above all the fun of being a reveller, revellers play a big role in the showbiz because they make big checks for artists, music promoters and venue owners. They also frustrate all of the latter if they don’t show up.
They create lot of buzz on social media. Revellers make a lot of work for security and the police because wherever they are there is always a likelihood of crime.
They generate money for the alcohol industry because the amount of alcohol consumed in that one event is profitable for the latter’s businesses. Furthermore there are food stalls because before and after all that drinking one has to eat.
Just as football is not the same without spectators, the buzz created by the revellers is gone. Sports stadiums, nightclubs and other places where music festival are normally held are lonely this year and hopefully it won’t be the case again next year.
Overall, revellers are the true connoisseurs because of their desire to explore the musical and artistic cutting edge of big-name acts alongside emerging talent live on stage.