Welcome back to the #CeeAtSCBF18 Series. If you haven’t yet read Part 1 and Part 2 of our adventure, quickly go do so and then come back! Right now, that you know all about, brewing, tequila and one of our favorite train stations, let’s carry on with the journey!
You have reached your destination. There is a huge arch over the entrance of the South Coast Bike Fest, in big and bold letters it says WELCOME. As you drive under that banner, you are officially in bike fest territory. And it is wonderful.
I found myself subconsciously asking Mark if I could turn down the radio and open my window. All I wanted to do was hear the bikes. The visual stimulation was enough to get high on and I wanted to jump out of the car, with my wings flapping like a new baby bird, screaming: I am free, I am free.
For, from that moment on, any last traces of corporate hold, was gone. We were in our element now. Creatives on the loose. If you could have mixed the smell of the sea, the vibrations of the engines, the electricity in the air and bottled it, I would have drunk it down, like cool aid!
We slowly moved along the stretch of road to our hotel, as we looked for the designated entrance. To give you an idea, the entire street is blocked off for this event, in fact, the entire town of Margate becomes bikers paradise. Bikes have right of way and thereafter the pedestrians. Your 4 wheeled vehicle, is only to get you to the event and home again, so bring your walking shoes.
Finally and without any fuss, we were let into our hotel parking at The Margate Sands Resort. I am quite familiar with all the First Group Hotels and so, this was almost like coming home. Or at least visiting a friend I knew, would take good care of me. Check in was a breeze and we were escorted to our room with the assistance of a very friendly porter. Which considering all our combined luggage and equipment, was a much appreciated helping hand. By the way, shout out to Bright at the front desk, who made our stay, all that more comical.
Our balcony looked directly over the festival grounds at the Budweiser SA Main Stage. We couldn’t have asked for a better room if we tried. We managed to sneak a peak of Karen Zoid on stage, during her set, as we unpacked, set up the house and of course poured ourselves an ice cold Dubliner!
After we had all showered and had a bit of a refresher, we headed down to the dedicated media zone, to collect our accreditation and meet with our South Coast Tourism team. Who looked after us so well, the entire weekend and didn’t laugh at us, when we decided not to walk down to a waterfall on the media day! We love you guys for that.
The atmosphere was electric on the festival grounds. One thing about the South Coast Bike Festival that I really appreciate, is that it takes the general stereotype and throws it out the window. Seriously I’ll be honest, I had one or two people asking me about “The Scary Bikers” and the “Afrikaans town of Margate” and and and blah! Just bleh! I often find that the problems we have with each other in this world, are actually within ourselves.
I feel free, loved, and as though I am with my family when I am on the South Coast. The locals in Margate as SO friendly, if not friendlier than my own neighbors at home. No kidding! Oh and the scary bikers, yeah, they did things like apologize if they drove to close to us, or stopped if they got in the way of one of our photos.
Oh, and there was this one group, crazy bunch, who all got together and helped this one guy push start his bike! So yeah, if you are looking for reasons, not to love this amazing event, you are not going to find them here.
Love the commitment to pushing, but also, not letting go of your beer, guy on the right! Lol.
Now let me make one thing clear about Arno Carstens and The Springbok Nude Girls. They are flipping, National Treasures in the South African Music History Books! Don’t argue with me, don’t try and change my mind, just grab a pair of comfortable shoes, a loose shirt (its gonna get sweaty) and go watch them perform live. Then. And only then. Will we talk?
National. Dam. Treasures.
Last I checked award-winning, platinum-selling artist, Arno Carstens, had won 5 South African Music Awards and has a collective 12 Studio Albums under his belt, 5 of those as lead vocalist for The Springbok Nude Girls. With 20 Top 10 Singles, and having toured with the likes of U2, The Rolling Stones, and R.E.M. this is not a band or a man you want to miss, in this lifetime. There is a reason, Arno is known as The Godfather of South African Rock!
So what makes this band so amazing to watch on stage, why am I such an avid fan of seeing them live and in concert? Why have they played on the stages of The Isle of Wight Festival, Glastonbury, Hard Rock Calling and Virgins V Festival?
This is going to sound odd, but they are the real-life vision of old rock gods. Bare with me here. If are familiar with watching the likes of Steven Tyler on stage, you will understand what I mean. Arno much like Steven takes ownership of the stage. The stage becomes a platform, a home for him and the band. For the entire play of their set, that space is utterly consumed by their energy, their talent, and their balance.
As musicians, they are in love, with their craft, its as if they dance and intertwine with the sex and passion they’re releasing! Its a trance, its a freedom, its a birth, and a reminder all at the same time. That is what it is like watching Arno Carstens and The Springbok Nude Girls live on stage. And if you haven’t yet had the pleasure, my advice is that you make it a priority.
I don’t think there was a better way to start off our South Coast Bike Fest stay, we danced, we laughed, we danced some more, we had a good time. That is the entire point of any creatives end objective, to make people feel things. To make you face emotions you didn’t know you had, or too let you set free the ones you do.
If you would like to know where you can catch Arno next, click this link, to see all his local and international tour dates! London be ready as Arno is heading your way very soon!
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see these local legends on a stage near me, again.
Thank you so much to Arno, & The Springbok Nude Girls, for kicking off our weekend, with such a bang! You had us all jumping, the youngsters, the old ballies, the in-betweeners and everyone who loves a good set! I look forward to hopefully sitting down with you after you UK Tour!