You can rent a tent at Rocking the Daisies for R12,000 – and that doesn’t include a ticket for the music
- Rocking the Daisies has exclusive camping options this year that can set you back up to R12,000.
- The organisers says splitting camping sites helps with security.
- Not everyone is enamoured of the idea of a music festival costing the price of a home-loan instalment.
Popular South African music festival Rocking the Daises recently changed the way festival-goers purchase tickets, separating camping and the music element – and you can now pay R12,000 to stay in a tent for a weekend.
Then you still have to pay for the music.
Entrance to the festival is at a flat rate of R995 for the full weekend; there are no day passes available for those not wishing to pay for the full weekend. (Cheaper early bird tickets priced at R645 and R795 have already sold out.)
In order to get into the campsite, you must have a festival ticket. Then you can choose from tent options that range from R225 per person, right up to the top end of R12,000 per tent.
Festival-goers who feel that is roughing it too much will presumably stay elsewhere in the town of Darling, or return to Cape Town, just over an hour away, every night.
As in 2018, the campsite is split into several access-controlled areas, with choices on luxury and how close you want to be to the main stage.
According to festival organiser George Avakian, the primary reason behind the split is safety. “Almost every festival outside of Daisies has had a crime issue,” he said. “The split allows us to control smaller groups of people, instead of one massive camp ground.”
This split also means you can only enter your specific camping area, unless escorted by someone staying in that camp. Those staying in general camping will not be allowed to enter the more exclusive options.
General camping, billed as “one for the seasoned festival goers” costs between R225 and R325 per person. Attendees must bring their own tents and bedding, and pitch their own tents, but will have access to a campsite bar, showers ,and toilets.
There are also priority and “Ladies” camping option that offers “exclusive toilets and showers”, washbasins, changing areas, and plug points, for R545 per person. Users who choose this option must still bring their own tent and bedding.
The camping option that’s got the most attention online, however, is an exclusive facility called Daisyland. According to the organisers, “Daisyland is a luxury tented accommodation which caters for two people per tent, in a separate, tranquil and exclusive environment.”
The area has private access to the festival, a food court with bar and lounge, reception area, private parking, and “high security”.
Although Daisyland comes with additional security, the organisers claim theft has never been an issue in any of their campsites.
Avakian says they spend “millions of rands” and a great deal of time on the safety and security.
However, in spite of the added extras, the cost of the luxury Daisyland tents has sparked some strong reactions online.
The tents are priced between R2,195 and R11,995 for the two nights, depending on the added extras.
The budget “1 Star” option is going for R2,195. It includes is a small teepee-style tent that comes with blowup double mattress and sleeping bags. It also comes with access to “VIP showers and toilets”.
At the top end of the scale is the “5 Star Plus” option.
At a shade under R12,000, that comes with breakfast included. It offers en-suite tented accommodation with two single beds, along with sheets, pillows ,and an electric blanket. There’s also a carpet, dustbin, table and chairs, and a plug point.
According to Avakian, festival goers will be emailed a breakfast menu with “a few options” ahead of the festival.
The more expensive accommodation options have come under fire in comments on social media.
Among them are remarks like, “Do the artists come perform privately for you?”, “The tent must come home with me for 11k”, “It's literally an instalment payment for a house,” and “Look at this capitalism. 11k for a house that can blow away in the wind.”
Other social media users were more critical of the direction the festival is going. “Proof that Daisies is not about music anymore,” said one. “It's time to shut this festival down, there is no value in paying this exorbitant cost to go outdoors and be social.”
In spite of the price, Rocking the Daisies says more than 50% of the exclusive R12,000 tents have sold out online.
According to the Rocking the Daisies ticketing site, there were 40 “5 star plus” options available.
A tent comparable to the 5 star plus option is currently on sale at Outdoor Warehouse for R11,399.
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