Castle Lite After Party – KOF 2015 @ Quay Four Knysna
Historically, the biggest Knysna Oyster Festival After Party was held at Crabs Creek. In the 7 years I played and MC'd at Crabs Creek, the crowd size varied somewhere between 4000-8000 people partying in the main tent. Sadly the venue went under and the buildings were demolished. Since, the vibe moved to Quay Four on Thesen Island.
Things changed around slightly this year compared to last year. Last year, the bands played until about 9pm, then Nick and I shared the last 2 hours. This year, Dj Nick kicked off the dj set at 7pm with some seriously awesome deep, garagy, vocal tunes, which the crowd loved! The bar was extended and bar staff were doubled compared to last year's setup. Understandably, the ques at the bar were packed with people ordering drinks to celebrate the last night of the “Best 10 Days of Winter” in Knysna.
CCPP (Clint Caywood Professional Productions) stepped up the production spoiling us with 8 x dual 18inch bass bins and 4 tops – approximately double the amount of power we had last year. You know it when you walk from the parking lot and you feel the bass in your chest 🙂 Walking onto the stage to get my flash drives and headphones ready for my set, THAT feeling kicked in – the closest I can get to describe THAT feeling is to let you imagine that moment when you are on your way to the car dealership to take delivery of your first car.
The excitement and nerves at that moment is always overwhelming, and it's a feeling I absolutely LOVE! I have been preparing for this set for a couple of weeks already so I came well prepared to absolutely rock the crowd. I went in with confidence and constantly telling myself that I OWN the stage, I OWN the night. The usual happened, after the first song dropped, the nerves disappeared, I got into the groove and in sync with the crowd. People love hearing songs they can connect with / relate to, so my set consisted of old and new. Good old classics like we will rock you by Queen, but the the deorro remix & that was my approach for the first hour or so to get the crowd going. More importantly, you can play great music, but if you don't talk to the crowd or show your passion for what you do, you will just be another average dj playing an average set.
Talking to the crowd in a way that is relative to the event, is extremely important, this is how you build rapport with them. Once that foundation is set, you can play nkosi sikilel' and they will go bos to it. These are things I've learned over the years and it works EVERY TIME. Besides the fact that I love jamming to big crowds like that, which was roughly about 3000 strong, I also go absolutely crazy on stage – this is how the reciprocating energy flows between crowd and dj. I absolutely live myself into every mix & every track that I play, and the crowd loves that. You know when the crowd starts cheering, singing along, screaming and throwing their hands in the air, that you are on the right track (no pun intended lol)
The venue is well situated, the bars were positioned in a practical way with enough staff to serve without having to fall over one another trying to get orders out. Security was ample and there were no issues that I am aware of. In closing, this was such a hype for me and the crowd delivered! I had an absolutely amazing time and trust I will be booked again for next year.
A BEEEEG shout out to the staff & management of Quay Four, SAB, CCPP crew, Springbok Security, the people that attended and my beautiful fiancé, Mariska for supporting and the part each and every person played in making this event a success! I wish you all a safe journey home and look forward to rocking you again in 2016! God bless! Ps: apologies for the dark pics and clip, it's was very dark in the venue and it's kinda hard to snap away while jumping and going crazy in stage 😛
Pics of a SPECTACULAR evening:
Clip of a ROCKING crowd 🙂
Right about now…..