By Court Gibson
Court Gibson is Small Town Music’s go-to person for all things in the Graskop/Hazyview area. Not only is she a muso but also one heck of a cool girl that is not scared of anything. We asked this awesome lady to tell us more about what went down at Dirty Dayz 2019.
On September 6th 2019 we headed out to Hazyview Adventure Backpackers for an annual Mountain Boarding and Music Festival better known as Dirty Dayz.
Dirty Dayz has been running for more than 10 years and is the brainchild of Quisto van Greenman. The festival is jam-packed with mountain boarding contests, live music and stalls.
Since mountain boarding is an unknown sport and here at STM, we like to educate and interest our readers, we decided to give you a brief history. Mountain boarding, also known as Dirt Boarding, Off-road Boarding, and All-Terrain Boarding (ATB), is a well-established if little-known action sport, derived from snowboarding. This was initially pioneered by James Stanley during a visit in the 1900s to the Matterhorn where snow was not available.
Now, 136 Mountain Boarding South Africa started as an idea by some free-thinking, try everything and push the boundaries, individuals. Since that day in 2001, a small group of friends, from a small town in Mpumalanga, started a movement. A movement that’s message has passed through many a traveller’s conversation and those who could comprehend this lifestyle, are livin’ da life right now!
Somewhere on a path less travelled, you will find a dust storm streaming behind a hooded rider searching for his/her fix of pure adrenaline, risking it all for that single moment of elation. Mountain boarding, our favourite form of expression, whether flying down uncharted forestry roads. Or flying through the air, over dirt jumps, mountain boarding was meant for Africa.
Mountain boarding offers you the chance to ride slopes without the snow. 12 months out of the year – surfing the earth. Come rain, shine, snow, swell or flat oceans – mountain boarding is always riding!
Dirty Dayz is more focused on mountain boarding than the music. However, we had to be picky when it comes to music. Mountain boarding and punk music go hand in hand, hence this being the perfect place for free-thinking, alternative people to really let loose and rock out.
In true Dirty Dayz style, everything operates with no set schedule. It’s kind of a ‘go with the flow’ fest. On Friday 6 September, after all the boarding in the rain, we were cold, wet and drenched. However, this didn’t dampen the spirits of any of the festival-goers and we headed to Hazyview Backpackers and started a huge bonfire.
I was just hanging out in the early hours of the morning sipping on a beer when Skolly (The Uninvited Guests) brought out his guitar, and the music started. There were musicians from all over the country having a jam. The two that stuck out for me the most was the drummer from Pennydrop, Jared, who was banging on an acoustic guitar as if it were a djembe drum. His fingers were moving and clicking faster than a freight train! He was doing all this while Skolly was playing on the same guitar. It was rhythmically awesome.
Then the guitar got passed to this red-headed woman in the corner, Keelan Kamp. She started singing and playing these alternative grunge tunes. All the way from Heidelberg, she managed to keep the festival goer’s eyes open until the sun came up. I went to bed before sunrise, falling asleep to the sounds of radical music, it was enough to boost my energy for Saturday.
Saturday the 7th of September… the main event!
We woke up with a go-slow hangover as we made our way to the track at Hamilton Parks Country Lodge. Since it had been raining all night, there was still loads of work to be done. The 136 crew were at it again setting up, with the weather looking overcast, we asked Kurt (The owner of Hamilton Parks) if it’s going to rain, with a firm “No”, the sun crept out of the clouds and slammed light on to the stage and bar which was set up under the shade of a big beautiful old tree. Inspiration seeped back into our souls and we were ready to take on the day.
Waiting for the track to dry up, starving and broken, I made my way to the stalls… “Help me,” I asked the nearest food stall. There stood the most tantalizing chef I have ever met in my life, Lilly Visser. Her stall’s name is Lillies ‘n Thyme “In Time for a Fest”. She served me up a juicy pork belly and honey mustard panini. The hangover was cured! Her stall also served a couple of other things like Sosatie Panini Rolls, Cheesy Bacon Skewers, Chicken wings and more. If it wasn’t for Lilly (and Byron) we would have all died of hunger on the spot. Home Grown Creative, sold some band and rider merch as well as “special” VAPS and crystals. Very cool stall with some very chilled-out ladies. There was also a tattoo artist from Graskop called Conquer Tattoos and piercings, some of the rider’s won some dodgy tramp stamps.
As the sun was setting and the riding became intense, Klumbsy Oxx took the stage. He packed his whole family in his van and launched from Johannesburg to spend the weekend in Hazyview. Now, this guy is a true original, I had never seen or heard anything like it. He makes his own DIY
instruments. One looked like a stick with strings on it, vibrating these low bassy frequencies. He whacked it with a drum stick to get the sound out. He had a red type of a briefcase with some strange pedals and a sketchy setlist. He wore these crazy shades that made him look like this creepy alien as he started the show.
Dong doiiig dong! “Show me your chicken toe, let’s go go, show me your chicken toe”
The whole crowd started showing these finger signals that looked like a chicken toe and we started the chicken toe-dance!
As the sun was setting and Klumbsy Oxx was destroying it, the ramp next to the stage sets on fire and suddenly there were explosions, mountain boarders were flying over this, while it was on fire! The crowd went wild and Klumbsy Oxx just kept “klapping” that weird instrument.
He eventually called myself and Skolly to the stage. I climbed on the drums and Skolly on some lead guitar. We played a track called “Who’s a Freak” and of course, it was all improvisation but it was received well.
After Klumbsy Oxx it was time for prize giving and The Uninvited Guests. Being the drummer for The Uninvited Guests, all I can say is that we were the only band to be riding mountain boards all weekend and we made it without breaking a thing. We kept some background music going for prize giving and then we let loose – loud, raw and nasty. And that’s how you clear a room!
Punkobilly from Graskop, what can I say? It was only a few people’s cups of beer. This crowd seemed to handle it well, its Dirty Dayz after all… the dirtier the better. Next up was Pennydrop, and hot damn these guys were cooking! A raw punk band from the Westrand, Johannesburg. 4 guys who don’t give a damn what ya think. They played some killer tracks including a couple of old school punk covers which really got the crowd going.
By then the crowd was moshing and jumping all over the place. It is really rare to get a band like this these days and we were very lucky to have stumbled upon them. The vocalist has a really unique style, it’s pretty hard to explain, his stage presence is enough to get any crowd going and the drummer was even better on sticks then he was on finger tapping guitars. They kept at it, for as long as they could.
All the bands were out of this world. The show ended with a drunken improv session by all the musicians which turned out to be a lot of fun. Everybody left late in the evening, down and dirty with smiles on their faces.
I had the best time of my life and this event will stay my all-time favourite. Getting Dirty and staying thirty! Counting down the days until Dirty Dayz 2020! See you there, let’s surf the earth