What do hot rods, roller derby, winged eyeliner and Elvis Presley have in common? Well, you’re likely to see plenty of all of them at this weekend’s Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells Rockabilly Lifestyle Festival.
Okay fine, maybe not The King. But we live in hope.
What you can look forward to is 12 hours of pure entertainment, all with a rockabilly edge. Food trucks, bands, DJs, plenty of rockabilly-themed stalls and a fun fair ought to be enough to keep you busy, but that’s not all folks…
Drawing the most spectators will probably be the Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells Dirt Track, where fearless rebels and their ‘Bettys’ will be careering around a gravel track in classic cars and on custom bikes. Not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure. Of course, if you’re in the mood for a little pulse-quickening action, you can pay to ride shotgun. You can also drool over the pre-63 hot rods and custom choppers parked for your viewing pleasure at the classic car and bike show.
When the dust settles, make your way to the stage for the Miss Bombshells Betty 2015 pin-up pageant, in collaboration with The Blue Haired Betty. Ten gorgeous rockabillies from around the country will be competing for the title, and by the looks of things, it’s going to be a hotly-contested competition.
Speaking of hotly-contested, the Cape Town Rollergirls will be strapping on their skates to give you a taste of what roller derby is all about. This fast, fierce sport is gaining popularity in Cape Town, and you’ll soon see why.
And if you suddenly feel the urge to run away and join the rockabilly circus, stylists from MAC Cosmetics, Scar hair salon for the girls, and Barnet Fair Barber Shop and Widow Maker for the guys are on hand to edge up your look.
This certainly isn’t your average, advertising-driven festival. We chatted to Maria and Zigi, the two beautiful brains behind the operation, to find out a little more…
What inspired you to start this annual event?
We wanted to host a festival that our friends would enjoy, so we created a platform to inspire self expression and creativity. Rockabilly is a lifestyle very few people in SA truly live – a lot are weekend rockabillies, or just like certain aspects such as the fashion, cars or music. Our aim is to educate and grow the culture.
How would you describe the rockabilly life in a sentence?
It’s a 1950s-styled subculture – think Elvis Presley or the movie Grease.
Why would you say the rockabilly lifestyle is enjoying a resurgence in popularity?
There’s a global movement towards anything custom-made or artisanal – from craft beer to personalising your car or clothes. This is exactly what the ‘rebels’ of the 50s stood for, hence the resurgence.
What’s new at this year’s festival?
Two additions this year are the fun fair and the Miss Bombshells Betty 2015 pin-up pageant in collaboration with The Blue Haired Betty, which is a first in South Africa.
There are also a lot more vendors and stalls, so aside from clothes this time you can find jewellery, surfboards, helmets, air-brush tattoos and more. Then there’s a vendors’ fashion show, a kiddies’ play area, the usual Dusty Rebels Dirt Track, the Cape Town Rollergirls, the classic car show…
Sounds like a pretty long list, and a lot of bang for your buck at only 200 smackeroos for the day. See you at the track T-birds.
Check out some of the coverage from last year’s festival here. (Not 100% safe for work – you’ve been warned).
When Saturday 14 November noon to midnight
Where West Coast Ostrich Ranch, Van Schoorsdrif Road, off the N7
Cost Tickets are R200 for the day from Webtickets or R250 at the gate
Good to know Overnight camping is available, to discourage drinking and driving. These tickets are R300 from Webtickets and R350 at the gate.