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When I woke up this morning, the first thing that caught my attention was my calendar blowing up with “Two weeks until Ultra 2020.” No, it’s not that I’m that girl counting down every second to a music festival, but if you are attending your first ever Ultra South Africa 2020, you kind of can’t help counting down the long days until the big party. 

So what do you need to know as a first time Ultra attendee? I don’t like not knowing how things work, and as a rock & roll girl, I automatically think that this festival will go down just like Oppikoppi. But this is not Oppikoppi. This is not Northam. This is not “In Dust We Trust”. 

What better way to learn the tricks of the trade than to approach some experts in the field? I asked three of my closest friends, (okaaaaay, actually only one friend, the other two are ex-lovers. You see to what extent I will go to for all you newbies out there?) and here is what they had to say: 

Safety first

One thing that stood out in all three conversations I had with these experts is that you should be careful with your valuables. The key thing to remember here is that less is more. Only take the necessities, like your cell phone. Unfortunately the world is full of pickpockets, and you don’t want them to ruin your party. 

I’m not a big fan of the fanny pack trend, but when it comes to keeping your valuables safe, it’s waaaay better than a backpack. Another recommendation is to not take your whole wallet, only the cash you need to upload on your cashless card. 

Keep your phone in a safe place, and not in your back pocket. Make sure you wear clothes that have a pocket or something that you can pop your phone in, and if push comes to shove, there is a reason you have a “boerebeursie” (I’m talking about your bra here).

Three is a crowd

It’s always a good idea to go as a group of friends and not just as a couple or two besties. Not only is a crowd always a vibe, but the chances of you being stranded alone or losing your homie is much less when you are part of a crowd. The benefits of a crowd are endless. There is always someone to go to the bathroom with you, you won’t be alone in a crowd of strangers, dancing in a crowd is much more fun and you can split up and experience the festival as you like, instead of being a sheep and following the one person where they want to go. 

Another benefit of a crowd is that you can split the Uber fare, so there is more cash for a beer or two!

Be an all-rounder

I know that you can get caught up at one stage, especially when that one stage is packed with all the headliners you adore. But you want to experience as much as you possibly can. This is the time to explore new music that you didn’t even know existed, even if it’s just for one set. You might find your next big music obsession if you just go out on the limb for a moment. 

Get the most out of the R750 (that’s the ticket cost at the moment) and experience as much of the headliners as you can. And remember, local is lekker! So let’s dance to some of the best in the South African music scene. 

Another tip that I got is that the best place to stand at the stages is about 15 to 20m from the stage. That’s the spot where you will experience the sound and lights at their best! 

It’s always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the music of the entire line-up. Because let’s face it, the moment a song you know and love starts, you instantly start to party! 

To help you with your Ultra 2020 prep, here is my Ultra 2020 playlist on Apple Music:

Ultra South Africa 2020 dates:

Friday, 28 February 2020

The Ostrich Farm, Cape Town

Saturday, 29 February 2020

Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg

Get your tickets here.

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The VaaIie girl with a laugh better than the joke itself. If you’ve lost me in the crowd, look for the red hat. Or the shoulder pads. Or the floral-patterned blazer. I’ve got a winner of a party trick, just give me a shot of tequila and a raw egg, and if you’re not sure how to start the conversation, don’t worry. I’ve got you covered.

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