Back To The Origin / GUEST BLOGGER

Hg2 Cape Town author, Keith Bain, looks ahead to a weekend of unbridled hedonistic fun at the annual Origin psytrance festival. This week’s essential party is not exactly in the city, but worth making the effort to get to.
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A three-day festival incorporating psychedelic music and a crowd of hedonistic party-animals may not be to everyone’s taste, but if relentless music and marathon dancing are in any way part of your chemistry, you should be making considerable efforts to get out of town this weekend. And if you’re still stuck in wintry Europe, there’s still plenty of time to hop on a flight and get yourself to the tip of Africa before festivities kick-off on Friday. Expect sunshine and fresh air; interminable good times; hypnotic beats; and a riveting crowd of beautiful, like-minded souls.

Ask any member of Cape Town’s staunchest party tribes, and they’ll tell you that Origin (www.originfestival.com) is this month’s most anticipated annual party. It’s arguably one of the most spectacular and lively on the annual festival circuit, drawing top-class DJs and electronic music producers to an expertly managed event; in terms of entertainment value, it’s off-the-charts. Over and above the extraordinary music-making talent, Origin is memorable for the high-quality of its visual entertainment; this year’s party showcases lighting effects by the UK’s Extradimensional Space Agency and Image Master Blink—expect tantalising eye candy.

There are two dance arenas at Origin. In the interests of preserving everyone’s sanity, the main floor only cranks up at noon on Saturday, but then it doesn’t let up until the party closes down late Sunday. Some major internationals, including FlipFlop, Avalon, Allaby and Shane Gobi (all from the UK), and Anestetic  (Portugal), will be performing alongside local heroes Headroom (Adam Metcalfe), The Commercial Hippies, Broken Toy and Protoculture. Many of the main acts are under the aegis of globally-respected psytrance label, Nano, known for its high standards of production.

While the majority of psytrance action happens on the main floor (where last year’s visual effects helped make the event one of the most talked about in years), a second ‘Groovy Beats’ floor runs non-stop throughout the weekend (kicking off Friday), offering a more eclectic and multi-fangled music offering, from the progressive techno sounds of Artelligent (Adam Metcalfe in an alternative guise) to the worldly hypnotic rhythms of Cape Town favourite Toby2Shoes. It’s a good place to chill out when things on the main floor become too insane.

Cape Town’s trance parties are known for their amazing locations, so you get to party against a luscious natural backdrop, with access to all-day sunshine (fingers crossed) and a river in which to cool off. At night, a canopy of stars becomes a sublime counterpoint to the pulsating music and psychedelic lighting. And then, of course, are the thousands of ridiculously gorgeous people who’ll be partying alongside you—many of them have been gearing up for this party since the last one ended a year ago. The general vibe is ‘anything goes’, so whether you dress up or strip down, you’ll feel right at home. This is a full-on multi-sensory immersive experience; bring good vibes and leave your ego at the gate.

This year the non-stop stomping happens in a superbly hidden location between the quaint valley towns of Villiersdorp and Greyton; it’s an easy, very scenic 125-kilometre drive from Cape Town. Trance parties are traditionally camping events, so it’s best to arrive early bringing everything you might possibly need with you. Anything you’ve forgotten (except cash) you’ll be able to pick up at the party. If you’re not the camping type, you can always spend the entire night on the dance floor (many do), or find a place to bed down in one of the nearby towns (a number of wine estates offer accommodation). Whatever your plan of action, I hope to see you there.

Read Hg2’s full review of Cape Town’s Outdoor Trance Parties here


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Hg2 | A Hedonist's Guide is a luxury city guide series coveted by travellers who value both style and substance when it comes to soaking up a city. Irreverent, inspired, and, above all, intelligent.

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