Tuesday, 9 April 2013

I am folded and unfolded and unfolding/ I am colorblind

On Saturday we went to the Holi One festival in Johannesburg, re-named the We Are One festival in order to avoid any religious associations. After the photos from the Cape Town version were released, the Joburg concert sold out in hours and the 3000 supplementary tickets that were released a week or two later also sold out within a few hours. The whole thing was very hyped up. I was expecting cool music and everyone dancing in clouds of colour whilst have the best time of their lives. because that is what the pictures made it look like. 

I was even worried what we would do afterwards, as the festival started at noon and ended at 8PM. I really shouldn't have worried. We were somewhere else before the sun even set because the whole festival was just so damn boring. Yay, yes, on the hour everyone would gather and throw their powder into the air, but the hour spent in between was such a damn waste. 

Either you spent it hiding in the shade somewhere, or queueing to get something to drink, or queueing for food, or queueing at the toilets. I realise it is the first time this concert was held in SA and things is bound to go wrong. However, it makes sense only to sell cans and not decant every glass bottle into plastic glasses because as soon as someone throws powder, you can either choose to drink chalk or throw it away. I mean, most drinks are available in cans, so the organisers should just have ordered everything in cans and saved on the plastic cups. 

Also, the DJs were bad. I'll admit to being no electronic music expert, but have attended more than my share of EDM events, so if in five hours you're there you cannot find one tune to dance to something must be wrong. And it wasn't just me. After the three minutes of throwing powder and grooving to half a minute of Indian music, everyone would wander off again and leave only those drunk enough/high enough not to care on the dance-grass-floor. 

I told a friend that the photographs only capture a moment in time, that they only show that second where you were actually having fun and posing for a new profile picture. It feels as though We Are One was more a case of We Want To Make Those Absent Jealous as everyone spent their time tweeting and posting images to FB instead of dancing and celebrating a really pretty day. 

Afterwards, we went to a friend's new apartment, which was the highlight rather than throwing colour and waiting. 

Anyways, here are some images. They really are fun to take, but as a whole the festival was not worth the hype. If you decide to go, choose to go as a photographer and protect your gear, or get wasted and hope that next time, they'll hire better DJs behind the decks. 

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