It’s that time of year again! One of South Africa’s biggest music festivals, Rocking the Daisies, is back with a whole new lineup from the 4th to the 6th of October. The hills will come alive to the sound of music, and revellers from all over South Africa and the world beyond will flock to the flower fields to welcome Spring with a bash to remember.
Whether you’re new to the scene or a seasoned festival veteran, you’re going to need to be festival savvy. We’ve compiled a camping checklist to make your Daisies experience safe and fun, from a camping gear itinerary to tips on how to camp smartly.
It’s all in the Gear – What to Bring to Daisies
First off, if you’re camping at Rocking the Daisies, you’re going to need a camping pass, and a ticket if you don’t already have one! Owning a festival ticket isn’t enough, you’re going to need a camping pass, or it’s a few long, sad drive back home for you. Sleeping in cars isn’t allowed!
You can purchase your camping pass here, with a few options for campsites that vary in price. There’s even a Ladies Only campsite exclusively for women.
For all the campsites your tent may only be 3x4m per person sharing.
Remember, you’re sharing the campgrounds with lots of other festival-goers, so respect thy neighbour! If you’re going with a group of friends be sure to book your passes together so you can be designated a camping section together.
Don’t forget to read the festival rules and T&Cs.
Your Daisies Camping Gear
Tent: This is a pretty self-explanatory must for camping. If you don’t already have a tent, there are a broad array of tents that can fit into the above size limit of 3x4m. If you’re looking for something small, affordable and easy to set up, pop-up tents are as affordable and effortless as they come.
But for something more sturdy, you’re going to want to go for tents in a higher price range. The festival grounds don’t just get hot, they can get pretty windy too. Whatever tent you get should come with strong poles and plenty of ground pegs.
Sleeping Bag: Sleep in comfort like you would in your own bed! Sleeping bags can be opened and used as a mattress cover or duvet. They’re often down padded, which provides an additional layer of warmth and a cushioning layer between you and the tent floor. Bring along extra pillows and blankets to really get cosy, and it’ll feel just like home!
Sunblock and insect repellant: The sun is unforgiving! Bring lots of sunblock, and be sure to put it on frequently throughout the festival. Sunburn not only puts a damper on the mood, but it’s painful, can cause dehydration, and if severe enough, can even make you sick. Sunburn is also the leading cause of skin cancer.
If you’re susceptible to insect bites, it doesn’t hurt to bring along some bug repellant, either as candles, nets, or lotions you can apply to your body. It’s the best way to avoid bites and an itchy situation.
Mattress: We highly recommend you bring some kind of sleeping mat or mattress with you for camping. The tent floor is hard, which will be painful to sleep on, and uncomfortable! So, cushion the blow with a thick mattress of some kind. Air mattresses are popular; some require an air pump, while others are self-inflating. However a foam mat is a comfortable, affordable option, and it can’t be punctured.
If you want to go all out, however, camping beds elevate you off the ground, which can sometimes be uneven. They’re extra comfortable and ergonomic, especially when combined with an additional foam/inflatable mattress.
Lock: We can’t stress security enough at a festival. There are hundreds of people sharing a campsite, and someone may accidentally enter your tent in the dark, or worse, look to rummage through your things. Purchase a sturdy padlock to keep your tent door locked. A combination lock is more practical, so you don’t run the risk of losing the key.
[Image Source: Rocking the Daisies]
Torches and Lanterns: No one wants to stumble around looking for their tent in the dark, or trip over tent cords on their way to the toilets in the middle of the night. Bring a head torch with you to help you find your way around the campsite, and LED Laterns to help you light up your tent and camping area.
Toilet Seat covers/wipes (Optional): If you aren’t a fan of public bathrooms, or you’re concerned about festival hygiene, bring along some disposable toilet seat covers or wipes. That way you can cover or wipe down the toilet seat before use, and flush it away right after.
Camp Chairs (optional): Make your campsite feel like a home with some camping chairs. They’re more comfortable than sitting on the ground, and they can be easily folded up and packed away in a carrier bag as opposed to lugging around a chair. You even get camping couches!
Gazebo (optional): It can get pretty hot in the daisy fields. If you can afford it, we highly recommend bringing along a gazebo to provide shade and a comfortable seating area to enjoy outside your tent with friends. If your gazebo has a sidewall as well it will provide a more private area, and protect from potential wind.
Groundsheet (optional): We’re not surprised if you don’t know what a groundsheet is. It’s a tarp that’s placed under your tent, adding an extra layer between your feet and the ground.
One can’t argue with additional comfort, but most importantly, a groundsheet protects your tent floor from getting damp, or from sharp rocks that could poke holes in your tent. When you fold up your tent, you also don’t want it to be damp underneath, which will make your tent deteriorate and make it harder to pack up.
Powerbank (optional): A dead or dying phone battery is the worst nightmare to many. And at a festival, there’s plenty of reasons to want to keep your phone charged. You’ll want to be able to contact your friends on the massive festival grounds, use your phone as a torch, take pictures, make phone calls in emergencies, and keep up with the event schedule on the Rocking the Daisies App. With a powerbank, you can keep your phone charged at all times.
Cooler Box (optional): RTD has plenty of vendors to supply you with meals and snacks, but if you want to bring your own food, you’re going to want to keep it fresh and cool. That’s where a cooler box comes in handy. You can’t bring any liquids to the festival, or glass, but you can bring your own food.
N.B: Remember though, no gas stoves, skottels, or braais at the event, so don’t bring anything you have to cook.
Do’s and Don’ts for Daisies:
- Always lock your tent: Love thy neighbour, but stay safe. Put a lock on your tent when you leave, and if you have the key, keep it secure on your person so you can get back in your tent.
- NB! Put on sunblock every day, all day: We can’t stress this enough. You’re going to be in the sun a lot, so apply high SPF sunblock frequently throughout the day. If you swim, reapply, and opt to wear a hat and shades.
- Don’t get sunburnt at the festival, it really kills the good vibes.
- Don’t swim under the influence: It can get hot at RTD, but if you’ve had a few too many drinks, don’t go for a dip in the dam. There is a risk of drowning even in shallow water.
- Peg your tent down: As mentioned above, it can get windy. Make sure to secure your tent with plenty of pegs hammered into the ground. Or else your tent could become a kite! (trust us, we’ve seen it happen)
- Bring a torch with you: Don’t get lost in the dark. Bring a torch with you, even if it’s a small one on a keychain.
- Don’t lose your armband: You won’t be able to get a new one, and you need the armband to confirm you’ve paid for your ticket.
- Familiarise yourself with the layout: Take time to learn where everything is, from the food stalls to the bathrooms, the showers to the stages. And most importantly, know where the medic tents are in case of emergencies.
- Implement a buddy system: It’s best to enjoy music festivals with friends! Have a designated meetup spot if you and your friends get separated or lost, and try to travel in groups. If you see that your friend is worse for wear, take them to a safe spot or straight to the medics tent.
Get clued up on the schedule: Don’t miss out on your favourite acts. Check out the lineup and the schedule on the Rocking the Daisies app so you know which artists are playing when and where they’re playing.
- Bring clothes for any weather: The weather in Darling can vary. Bring a swimming costume and summer clothes for the hot afternoons, and then bring some warmer attire for the evening, especially if it gets windy. Be prepared!
- Dress to impress: Festivals are the perfect opportunity to dress up in costumes, or get creative with henna, glow in the dark paints, and other cool stuff! Stock up on those glow sticks and paints, make some funky props, and take to the dance floor!
And most importantly. Have a good time! Daisies only happens once a year after all. Check out the Rocking the Daisies facebook page for updates, and if you have any questions about camping gear or what to buy, always feel free to contact us.