“It’s Personal Picnic” flies the Flag of a sinking Ship High.

The ship known as “Boutique Outdoor Festivals” in Johannesburg is sinking – but the mighty “It’s Personal Picnic” Festival held at Val Bonne Country Estate manages to deliver and execute top class experiences in rough waters – thus flying the Flag high above water.

On the 16th of March – long running Festival organisers of It’s Personal Picnic Festival, put the show on once again and as per usual, the experience was top notch. Three respectable producers from Germany took to the stage as the sun set and covered thousands of faces in a gold sun-kissed colour whilst their heads were bumping up and down to the sounds of the underground. All beside the beautiful Modderfontein lake.

Here’s what baffles me, though;

Take a trip to Cape Town, on any given last or first week of the month and open your Facebook or Google events feed and you’ll without a doubt find a handful of top notch outdoor music festivals to attend. We Love Summer, Kinky Disco, Future Frequency, Smalltown Beat, Eden, Kirstenbosch Gardens and many more organizers host events throughout the year. These aren’t just any fly by night events, though. Expect detailed decor, well known international artists, beautifully designed stages, gourmet and artisan food options and panoramic views of beautiful Western Cape locations.

Do the same when you’re excited to head out for an daytime experience in Johannesburg (South Africa’s largest City) and you’re left with nothing but a night out at your local pub hosting an embarrassing silent disco or nightclub with thoughtless drink promotions.

Weird to think that a couple years ago you’d be able to visit four outdoor events on a single day in Johannesburg. H2O was in its prime, Seduction Street Party took to the streets once a year, Deep in the Woods held gatherings biannually, under-18  festivals shot up left right and centre and once off events were to be seen on the regular.

Why is it then, that you have to wait month after month to experience a true boutique festival, in a city clearly more populated than Cape Town?

I can think of a few options, but unfortunately don’t have a direct answer:

  1. The rapid decrease in under 18 events.
  2. The increase of strict security not allowing under-aged patrons into events.
  3. Lack of event organizers being willing to collaborate with others on big projects.
  4. Lack of funding from sponsors in the Johannesburg event market.

There are many other factors that may or may not have contributed to the decline in quality outdoor productions in Johannesburg.

All I know is – something needs to be done about it. That starts with making it known.

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