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My Coke Fest 2008

2008-03-26 10:24
The Cape Town show:
The biggest brand in the world brings you the biggest bands in the world. But Coca Cola isn't a universal brand for nothing. Like the Mitchum Man says, "You get what you pay for."

The start
It’s only 11h30, we’ve just stepped off of the bus that shuttled us from the R50 parking lot and the first band is playing already. No hassle getting in, no long queues, and there’s space to walk through without getting tangled in a blanket or some Korn fan’s massive chain accessories.

The drinks
The beer is cold and immediate. R15 for a draught. Hmm, not bad but I’m going to be here for the next 12 hours so that’s going to dent my wallet. R8 for a can of Coke. C’mon, they are the sponsors - this stuff should be freely flowing from the taps! R10 for a bottle of Bonaqua. Sies! Clean water is a human right!

The food
Let’s not even go there because I’ll just end up sounding like a stingy miser. But after paying R400 for a ticket, R15 for a hotdog is a rip off.

The loo’s
Not bad as far as porta-potties go. And “Coke Angels” were on hand with waterless hand cleanser, tissues and little airplane sized ‘refresher towels’ to take your mind off the germs.

The kit
Wow. Big screens meant that even at only 1.57m tall, I could see everything. And hear everything really well. The audiovisuals were top notch.

The music
SA’s biggest rock festival put live music on a higher pedestal. Shy Guevaras, Van Coke Kartel and Prime Circle showed that there’s no more of this SA vs International music quality crap. They can rock with the best of them. Nudie Theo Crous proved it when he played lead guitar for Chris Cornell on one of Audioslave’s tracks. Woohoo! We were a proud crowd.

30 Seconds to Mars owned the stage, crowd and venue. The show was engaging, and you felt like Jared Leto was singing just for you. He climbed up the scaffolding to the top of the stage, not wanting to miss a single face in the crowd. Then he let a pack of hungry girls manhandle him in the golden circle. What a trooper.
Listen to the podcast interview with Tomo from 30 Second to Mars

Kaiser Chiefs turned drunken jocks into hopping, screaming drunken jocks. Good Charlotte had the fanny belters going wild. Chris Cornell was lacking Tom Morello and the rest of Audioslave.

And then there was Muse. What an apt name as their electrifying show was an inspiration and an aspiration for all other rock bands. Matthew Bellamy bragged with his prolific musical talent. I don’t know what else to say. Wow. Just when I was about to pack it in because of the cold, Muse breathed new life into My Coke Fest experience. Korn ended the bill. I’m not a fan. Actually I had to ask who Jonathan Davis was. But it was an experience to see them and their 6 stringed bass guitar and 7 stringed lead guitar. Yes, the visuals were that good.

Freezing, hungry and sore we huddled towards the buses that speedily took us to our parking lot, and ended our Coke Fest without a hitch. Perfectly organised and preposterously priced, it was a rock festival for the rich and famous. No wonder Paris Hilton was there.
-Sam Brighton, CT

The Johannesburg show

The golden circle was way too big and it was said that golden circle tickets were sold out but we stood right next to it and judging from the open space I would say that it would have been possible for another 1000 people to fit in there.

The girl standing next to me had a friend who had golden circle tickets, so her friend had arranged with the security guards for them to go in, it cost each of them R200 but at least they got in.

All the bands were great and gave great performances. The sound and lighting was good. The people who walked around with the play energy drinks were greatly appreciated.

The Venue - Not my idea of fun
The venue wasn't too nice as it was very muddy. The place looked run down and old. Not what I had in mind when I thought about international rock stars playing locally. Perhaps you someone should consider a different place like the Coca-cola dome or something.

The Best Band

Definitely 30 Seconds to Mars then Muse then Kaiser Chiefs. Good Charlotte was a disappointment as Joel looked and sounded drugged up.

The Crowd
There were lots of people, but overall everyone was great. We had lots of fun. I've never seen so many people in one place at one time.
- Maxeen v. Schalkwyk, JHB

My girlfriend and I really enjoyed the bands. 30 seconds to Mars were the best. In true South African style the toilets were terrible. With the large number of people that were at the concert, it didn’t take long before the men's urinals were over flowing so there was quite the sludge patch. Eventually people were peeing in front of the porter potties. (I don’t have any comment on the ladies because I didn’t use them)

As there isn’t much that can do about the rain, there might have been something that the organisers could have done about the mud patch in front of the bar, perhaps use those industrial rubber mats or something. After a 45minutes wait to get drinks your calves feel like they are going to fall off due to trying to balance in the mud and stop your feet from getting stuck.

The bar also had a huge hiccup resulting in the long wait for drinks. There were 2 lines of servers -the people asking to take your order who then related it to another line to fetch the beverages from the fridges and pore. This was the cause of the huge delay. If the second line had just carried on poring any drinks regardless of an order, those drinks would still have been cold and sold very quickly.

The ATM stopped working which apparently was the same as last year.

A huge disappointment for me was that we were not able to take cameras in and as I am a photo freak, who likes to take pics of everything, I was a bit bumbed.

Never the less despite these few things the concert was awesome, the crowd was great and on a fantastic vibe. Parking was easy for us (with a 4X4). The beers were cold when you got them. There was plenty of room to accommodate the crowd and you weren’t squashed at all.

All-in-all an awesome day!
- Lee Quigley, JHB

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