Martin Garrix, David Guetta, DJ Snake, KSHMR – these are just a few of the names that turned their tables at the Samsung-sponsored Ultra South Africa music festival last Friday, February 24th.
I was lucky enough to have been invited as part of the media and was therefore able to be at the stadium before the arrival of the plethora of electro enthusiasts. I took a look over the 2nd-tier balcony and saw what can only be described as an awe-striking structure – modern-day megalith!
This year the event took place at Cape Town Stadium, which is a drastic change from the Ostrich Ranch, which served as the venue for last year’s festival; so, did it work? Short answer: YES!
Being an enclosed venue, there was much more of what you may call a comradery between all of the fans.
The pure talent of the DJs, combined with the sound reverberating off the stadium walls, created a uniform concentration on the main stage, essentially drawing the entire crowd into a singular partying fanatic – it was very surreal.
The anticipation was electric (pardon the pun, but it’s very apt in this case.) The clock struck 2pm and it was kick-off time! Kryoman emerged and dominated the decks for 20 minutes, followed by SA’s infamous 5fm duo – DJ Fresh and Euphonik; there was no doubt that the 4th edition of Ultra South Africa was in full spin.
As mentioned above, Samsung South Africa sponsored the epic event. This brand is widely regarded as a company that is able to bring innovative thinking to fruition and this was echoed in every aspect that makes Ultra the most anticipated electro-music festival in the country.
Samsung creates their products solely with the idea of offering the customer an experience that not only enriches their lives, but adds much-needed convenience and this was evident at the event.
There were three Samsung Galaxy Experience areas, where everyone could test out some of the company’s coolest gadgets such as the virtual reality (VR) headset and even create their own mix.
It was also designed to be a perfect chill zone: as you entered, you were greeted by a friendly Samsung ambassador who offered you a bottle of water and escorted you to couches, chairs and tables where you could relax. The experience zones were strategically placed so that you had an unobstructed view of the main stage.
Fans also had the option of beating the heat and going to party at the underground Resistance stage – a smaller area located in close proximity to food and drinks; needless to say, it was VERY popular. It was headlined by the oh-so-cool Nic Fanciulli who absolutely crushed it!
My highlight: The photo pit!
This was an exclusive area in front of the main barrier; the closest you can get to the stage without actually being on it!
Now, this was a phenomenal experience. The media was allowed to snap and record the first 15 minutes of each DJ’s set – what a privilege! The ground shook and the speakers thundered into my ears as I captured awesome footage.
It wasn’t easy though; electroheads were hanging over the barricade trying to entice me to be a main feature in the recording. So, was it worth it? Hell yeah!
Ultra South Africa 2017 was without a doubt an unrivaled success. Samsung went all out and like the S7’s tag line, “redefined what [an electro music festival]can do”. All that is left for me to say is that it’s going to be very difficult to top this year’s Ultra, but with Samsung as its dedicated sponsor, the 5th edition in 2018 will be full of pioneering surprises!