Over the years, many big-name global festival brands have tried expanding into Cape Town’s dance music scene. Some have succeeded, turning into long-term financial successes. Though others have failed immediately, unable to cope with the unstable economic environment in South Africa.
Despite the difficulties, Croatian party Lighthouse Festival is coming to Cape Town for three days of fun and music this weekend at Slangkop lighthouse, bringing DJs like andhim, HVOB, Patrick Kunkel as well as Vinni Da Vinci, Thibo Tazz and Stone-age Citizens.
Along with a slew of national and international talent, the Lighthouse crew are bringing the same attention to detail that's made their festival one of Croatia’s most unique parties. Attracting fun-loving people from all over the world, it combines lush wilderness near the sea with a quality electronic music lineup consisting of top-notch house and techno acts on a world-class sound system.
The Croatian beach-side party attracts a mature crowd with frivolous tendencies, creating a playground-like environment for these big kids. The discerning dancers come with an experienced ear and an open mind, affording DJs the opportunity to push the envelope and experiment with the music.
Previous festivals have seen leftfield artists like Dorian Concept share the stage with the likes of Black Coffee and German live techno act FJAAK, amongst many other artists from all ends of the electronic music spectrum. Under-the-radar South African artists like Ivan Turanjanin, Globalise Yourself’s DJ Xee and Army of Two have already made the trip to Lanterna Poreč in Croatia, becoming part of the movement, building a rapport with the Croatian festival.
It was through friendships like these that the idea of launching the first Lighthouse event outside of Croatia here in Cape Town began to make sense. This will be an exciting feat for the city and its burgeoning scene, hopefully creating an expanding network of artists and promoters from both regions.
European interest in South Africa is nothing new. But collaboration with passionate, like-minded individuals from scenes around the globe creates an exciting melting pot of ideas to work from, adding a much wider perspective for those involved.
The Cape Town boom is imminent as internationals continue to fall in love with this beautiful city, opening up the possibilities for further collaboration—not just in event promotion, but in the studio as well. Watergate DJ Marco Resmann recently invited local artists Deep Aztec and Thor Rixon to join him in the Red Bull Studio to see what could come of the Cape Town/Berlin connection. Equipped with an arsenal of outboard gear, the session could be the beginning of a really interesting love affair between the two cities.
In fact, it’s already taking shape, with Berlin/Cape Town parties like KLVBNACHT at ERA and Wide Awake Berlin at Mødular popping up recently. The cross-pollination of music, people and ideas should hopefully spur a new wave of creative ventures incorporating artists from both cities, with Lighthouse Festival acting as another catalyst for bringing people from different nationalities together under the banner of music.
By offering an alternative to the better known festivals in Cape Town and catering to a market that is invested in pushing boundaries and borders—both sonically and socially—Lighthouse Festival is an exciting project that has the potential to be the incubator for one of the most exciting new international scenes on the planet.
Images by Richard Luerzer