I don’t think it is possible to describe the Cape Town Electronic Music festival (CTEMF) in one word. Not even a sentence filled with the praising adjectives would do it justice, all I can say to even remotely describe the experience is that it was out of this world!! (Yes, double exclamation points are needed.)
If CTEMF was just one big party, it would be awesome, but there is so much more to this festival. It is dedicated to the celebration and promotion of electronic music in its entirety. It started off with the Open End workshops, which were completely free. Those who were interested attended a variety of workshops at the Red Bull Studios throughout last week.
There were discussions by the some of the acts that provided rare insights to the world of an electronic artist. This was particularly incredible as the hugely successful acts like Petite Noir, Nightmares On Wax and Goldie were on the roster. There were also workshops that focussed on helping people get into the industry, whether they are up and coming DJs, producers, music journalists or people who were simply interested in the industry.
While this was cool, the real fun really went down at the massive parties at City Hall. CTEMF have used this venue before, but it is still the weirdest, most insane experience jamming in City Hall. This beautiful, historic building usually used for politics, got transformed into the sickest party venue in the city. It always amazes me that CTEMF is allowed to take place there.
It is a strange sight seeing hundreds of people roaming the staircases with drinks or dancing in rooms where meetings and forums usually take place. People even used the gallery above the main auditorium as a viewing/napping area. It was incredibly hot inside the venue, but that did not seem to slow people down; the dance floors raged on. Every now and then I would duck out for some air, but the music kept calling me back inside.
When it’s all said and done, the music is what CTEMF is all about, and man was it incredible. I could go on and on about how amazing the sets were. All the acts, local and international, brought their A-game. It would be impossible to talk about all 39 acts so I shall sum the experience as a whole. No matter what type of electronic music you are into, there was something there for you.
All three stages had the most insane lighting. Even if you weren’t feeling a particular song or performance, one thing you would feel were the lights. There were magical. If you did feel the music you were transported to a whole other level. The music didn’t vibrate throughout the building, it passed through your body and connected with your soul.
CTEMF is like a local mecca for all electronic lovers. It is without a doubt the coolest festival to ever happen in the city and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for next year!
Photography courtesy Annzra Denita and Red Bull Studios CT