Lentedag 2017: the authentic Springday

CARINA KLOPPERS AND CLAUDINE NOPPE

On 13 September students from the University of Pretoria were given the day off and hordes of students climbed on busses making their way to the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens for the annual celebration of Lentedag. This year’s annual springday celebration saw students come from far and wide to enjoy their day off by listening to great music, meeting up with friends and having some good food and drinks.

This year’s Lentedag boasted a diverse line-up that either supplied background melodies for those lazing under gazebos with friends or had the fists pumping of those that fully embracing the biggest day long festival in Pretoria. The day consisted of fourteen musical acts spread over three stages, a beer pong Olympics area, multiple cash bars and a games area.

All the deep house lovers thoroughly enjoyed Master Simz, Disco Izrael, Chunda Munki and Kyle Cassim at the Forest Dance Floor, after UP’s own Romario Afonso opened.

At the Main Stage things got off to a pleasant start with performances from Bad Peter and Grassy Spark, who entertained the mass of students with their rendition of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” mashed up with “Shape of you” by Ed Sheeran. Majozi preceded Grassy Spark and especially impressed with his finesse. He closed with “Darling” and left the audience in a blissful state.

During Desmond and the Tutus’ performance the crowd was closely gathered in the little shade provided. The severe heat, however, failed to detract from lead singer, Shane Durrant’s magnetic onstage personality. He interacted with the crowd and fully embraced the atmosphere of the lively students. The highlight of the indie rock-group’s performance was their hit “Pretoria Girls” mashed up with “Hotline Bling”.

The Jägermeister Brass Cartel properly set the mood for the closing performance by Mango Groove, as their vibrant instrumental renditions of popular songs from all genres included “Special Star”. Mango Groove managed to dazzle. The impressive vocals of Claire Johnston and her backup singers were smoothly integrated with a colourful assortment of instruments. Their electric onstage presence kept the tired throngs of people captivated. Mango Groove performed their latest single “From The Get Go”, but it was old favourites like “Special Star” and “Dance Some More” that had everyone’s hips moving.

Hungry students could visit the food court, which had stalls from popular restaurants in Pretoria like Capital Craft and Smaak. With a whole pig roasting over a fire, Smaak certainly grabbed the visitors’ attention. The intoxicating smells wafted across the botanical gardens attracting hungry and slightly inebriated people. The Boxcar served up loaded fries. Patrons could choose between nacho fries, cheese fries and supercharged fries (fries with bacon, mayonnaise, cheese and spring onion). For people with a sweet tooth, a Belgian waffle truck served up crispy waffles with various toppings. There truly was something for every taste.

Even though the event promised to be spectacular with an amazing line up, concerns about the diversity of the event arose once the promotional video for Lentedag 2017 aired on 24 August. In the video six white males can be seen interacting with only white females on campus. This video has been said to be the cause of many black students not attending the event. The attendance at the event really was not very diverse. According to Amogelang Pooe, a third year Psychology student at UP, the event can be made more diverse by including more black artists in the lineup.

 

Photo: Lana Matthews

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