Bazique and the collaborators
Bazique and the collaborators – it sounds like a Western.
You need to read it in your best ‘Billy the Kid’ voice as done in the movie, Young Guns.
‘Collaborators are you ready???’
Corny, I know, but if you knew the visionary behind Bazique Festival, Nick Ladd, you’d know that corny is cool.
And a Western cowboy theme would not be far-fetched considering the crazy dress-up shenanigans that are witnessed each year at Cape Town’s most unique music festival.
They really do live up to their tagline
MUSIC, ART and ABSURDISM”
There’s really no need to be serious when it comes to Bazique.
Except the people throwing this shindig.
They are serious.
Serious about hosting a proper throwdown and are extremely talented at what they do.
Which is to create a weirdly wonderful space that makes you leave your inhibitions at the gate when you arrive.
How do they do this?
Bazique has the best eye candy in town – and I don’t just mean the gorgeous humans that attend.
Art installations, art cars and art boats, crazily themed areas like La Fee Verte, and the new floating dancefloor on the dam, are just some of the mad shit you’ll find yourself laughing out aloud to with your cohorts.
Nick had this to say the last time we chatted…
We like a bit of absurdism ‘cos it shakes things up in a good way … it’s good for us humans to get loose and play with our inner child!”
So, what of these collaborators?
Who are they and why should we care???
Nick explains the idea of pulling in some of Cape Town’s finest party promoters to curate music at Bazique,
“I think it was an idea waiting to happen really … there are so many amazing promoters out there, it was inevitable that at some point they would look at collaborating with one another to do something on a larger scale together as one.”
“The coalition was really built from the ground up, one at a time – we pulled together the core founding team and then started adding the different creative partners… it kinda took on a life of its own really … we just went with the flow.”
Cape Town’s ‘not-so-secret’ best-kept secret is a boutique event that has grown in stature mainly by word of mouth and is known for its articulate music curation, amazing venue and unique vibe.
Richard Marshall explains, “We have a refined approach to marketing and execution that keeps us floating just below the radar.
“We don’t rely on sponsorships to float our festivals and we do not abide VIP culture, there’s not even a backstage on our main stage. This works for some, but a lot of people really don’t like it which suits us just fine.
“And our smaller, sister festival Cooked Sister, that takes place in Matjiesfontein in June, makes us different! That one makes us very different, it’s unlike anything you’ll ever go to.”
The people behind Bazique are what make it an unusual and appealing entity. Not only are some of the most creative forces in the South African music scene thrust together to co-create the ultimate party space, but the wizard with the wand at the top is one of the most unusual and eccentric good time makers I’ve ever met. The sprinkling of Secret Garden Party is really the icing on the cake!”
Sexy Groovy Love
A simple gander through past lineups over their formidable five, going on six-year reign as a premium event will inform anybody who knows a thing about music that they take their lineups very seriously without pandering to the lowest common denominator.
Says Chris De Vos, “Each season our goal is to provide a better, more refined product than the season before.
“We push ourselves to achieve international standards, we do research, we implement and test new ideas, and we aim to provide local and global dance music a memorable experience for South Africans in a way that is completely unique…”
There are very few events out there that allow and encourage you to completely express yourself and let go. You find yourself in costumes you wouldn’t usually wear, you have conversations with people you wouldn’t usually meet, and you behave and explore with a true carefree sense of freedom. It’s as if you have been given permission by simply being there… Bazique has that power!”
Cape Town Electronic Music Festival (CTEMF)
If CTEMF were a heavyweight boxer they’d be known as the ‘ultimate survivors.’ Evolving through myriad of changing musical climates in the mother city, the original purveyors of the underground continue to unearth exemplary artists not often on other promoters’ radars yet.
David Ireton, “We want to represent the best current electronic music in South Africa and show the South African electronic music community some of the most relevant international artists in the world.
“In order to stay true to our vision, we have decided to move to a winter festival, where there is a bit more breathing space to allow us to execute our vision”
The mindset of the people at the [Bazique] festival changes when they arrive. It’s amazing to watch the people lose their egos and express themselves with their outfits, on the dance floor and their general behaviour. It takes people into a different world for the weekend.”
Bridges for Music
Bridges for Music literally arrived in Cape Town the same year that CTEMF launched. They have persevered as a non-profit entity to uplift artists in townships and continue to elevate these artists in more traditional spaces. They have now opened the Bridges Academy in Langa.
Trenton Birch explains, “Sadly we still live in a very divided city where people are not exposed to each other’s music and culture.
“Bazique have been amazing with their efforts to break these barriers by providing slots for the township artists we work with.
“This is a much-needed step in trying to address the issue and it is a really big deal for our team and the artists we work with to be afforded these opportunities. I wish more promotors would embrace this ethos as music can be such a powerful tool to break down barriers and connect us.”
Bazique is an incredible fusion of music, art and creative expression. This is a very difficult balance to get right and takes years of experience and clever curation. Even though the festival has only been going a few years, you can feel then depth of the experience in the delivery and I think that is the biggest standout for me.”
Like it says on the tin, Disktotekah is all about the disco. And being as fabulous as you can be! Their aim is to cultivate an alternative queer creative scene in South Africa and they have done so with effortless class and tongue firmly in cheek since 2014.
Gavin Collins: “Diskotekah is set in a post-apocalyptic paradise where all there is left to do in the world is dance. Stylistically that translates into a disco dance floor at the end of the world- a perfect fit for Bazique’s shenanigans.”
Bazique is our ideal collaborator. We’re both into big ideas and following through thoughtfully and with care. We love creating a spectacle and Bazique has been a great opportunity for us to share our sparkly approach to creating a sense of community, creating a platform for emerging and established artists to shine and to have a whole lot of fun while doing so.”
Into The Wild
Two DJs, and fans of progressive trance and techno, saw the opportunity to take their love for these genres and mould them into a carefully curated day party experience that Cape Town did not yet know they were waiting for. The rest, as they say, is history as Into the Wild continues to flourish with ever-increasing popularity and growing reputation.
Maximilian Kibble elaborates, “Our motto ‘quality over quantity’ is something we strongly stand by, and I think this shows if you’ve ever attended our events. The crowd and the music come first. My goal was to one day book Yuli Fershstat (Perfect Stranger) which we did in less than two years. Something I’m still really proud of.”
Bazique is special in many ways. First off, to experience a festival so close to town where you get to see some of the world’s best artists on multiple stages is something epic. Second, it’s the only festival so far that has gotten close to that “Burn“ feeling. I call it a ‘plug and play’ Burn. It’s easy to get to and you can still enjoy a full weekend out in nature, that doesn’t require weeks of planning. Lastly, it is one of the only three-day electronic music festivals in South Africa. That says a lot!”
The last bastion of hope for the Joburg underground techno scene, Toy Toy! Jokes, but in a city that is predominantly driven by radio music, the Toy Toy crew are indeed the flagship carriers for quality underground techno and house.
Ryan Vermaak explains, “There are many secrets to this, the main one is consistency with music. We also provide a space that is best suited for experiencing this music in its ideal setting. We pay a lot of attention to the experience, and ultimately the sound system is pivotal in this delivery. It is a rave, and it really does not present itself as anything else. We deliver music, that you can lose yourself to, close your eyes, and forget about life, and transcend. The no photos policy plays a role, this allows the attendee to forget about the outside world and be present in the moment, which is scarce in today’s world. It’s a place that allows you to lose yourself, find yourself, make love, lose love, but in the end… you really just had a good time.”
Bazique is very unique for festivals in South Africa. Seems fitting the name rhymes with unique. For me it’s their approach of having many ‘crews’ who are pushing boundaries in their own scenes, being able to share a space together for one weekend, where they can all be witness to what each other are doing. It is difficult for us to get each other’s parties, because we are all busy with our own, so this is great.”
I have spoken.
The collaborators have spoken.
Now, all that is left is for you,
the party freak,
the music lover,
the dresser upper,
the dresser downer,
the casual curious onlooker…
or anybody looking for a time…
so good in fact,
they never knew they needed it –
to speak with your feet and get ye’r sexy asses to Bazique this March.
INFO YOU NEED TO KNOW