Press "Enter" to skip to content

Battle of the b(r)ands

First we had My Coke Fest, now we have the Virgin Festival.

Yes, the V Festival that is such a huge deal overseas — just the South African version. So how do the two big days compare? Let’s see.

Both are being held only in Jo’burg and Cape Town. Both have a mix of international and local bands. Both are pretty pricey for the ordinary South African (yes, that’s an understatement).

The line-up? Well, My Coke Fest brought us 30 Seconds to Mars, Kaiser Chiefs, Chris Cornell, Muse and Korn (on the international front) and Wonderboom, Shy Guevarras and Prime Circle on the local. So there’s more of an emphasis on international bands.

The Virgin Festival has Snoop Dogg, Maroon 5, One Republic, Eddy Grant and Sugababes heading up the international side, and in Jozi, the Parlotones, the Dirty Skirts and Goldfish locally. Perhaps a better local line-up?

The location? My Coke Fest was held at the Newmarket Race Course in Jo’burg, and the Kenilworth Race Course in Cape Town. I know the Cape Town one was crazy dusty, I heard the Jo’burg one was too.

The Virgin Festival is being held at the Cape Town Ostrich Ranch up the West Coast (half an hour out of town), and the Botanical Gardens in Emmarentia in Jo’burg. Sounds like potentially prettier venues.

And the price? Almost the same. My Coke Fest and Virgin Festival both charge R600 for golden circle seats. But My Coke Fest has general admission tickets at R400, whereas Virgin Festival has them at R495. The V Fest is going to be in mid-December, so perhaps they’re hoping the tickets will be early Christmas presents?

There are a number of issues surrounding these festivals of course — they exclude all but a small minority of people and the line-ups are always quite a mystery. But it’s quite exciting that SA is getting to meet some international musicians there’s a far wider audience for local bands.

Lastly, mention has to be made of the names. Take out the capital letters of the brands and what do you get?
my coke fest — a festival of coke and the virgin festival — a festival of virgins.