Review: Vortex Open Source

Editor’s note: This review covers Saturday – Monday.

We waited all year and finally it was time to enter the Circle of Dreams. Those who have attended any of the Vortex Open Souce parties know that it’s not “just another festival.”

magic by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Every year, Vortex draws people from all over the world to unite in a five-day celebration of music, spirit and culture. And if you ever dreamed of getting lost in an enchanted forest, that’s covered too.

daytime jam by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Riversonderend was, once again, the venue of choice. And when we arrived (after a long, squished but TOTALLY WORTH IT drive) to set foot in the woods, I was reminded why. What beauty!

It was as if the forest carried on forever. Not the easiest place to find your tent in the dark, though. Many a stray stomper wandered the forest in seek of refuge after a long day’s stomp. Often making friends along the way.

open source by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When we headed to the dancefloor, I took a second to appreciate the décor – HOLY SHIT. Pardon my French but it must be said. The Vortex crew really outdid themselves this year.

I love how organic lines and elements were used to create an other-wordly experience. The circular stage, for example, that encapsulated the DJ box made me feel as if I was staring into a majestic porthole. And boy, things came alive at night!

decor by gary

Photo: Gareth L-Olivier.

The evening started off with a booming bang! as Connecto took the stage, followed by Dave Mac. Oh, Mr Mac how the crowd loves you! Everyone went insane when Dave played his Side Form- Depeche mode remix.

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The vibe experienced on that dancefloor can only be described as electric. And when Kieron Grieve (AKA: Rubix Qube) got behind the decks, things got downright messy. If there’s one thing we know about Rubix it’s that he never disappoints.

night dancers by gary

Photo: Gareth L-Olivier. 

Another highlight of the event had to be the awesome projection of Nelson Mandela’s face that appeared behind the DJ box. What a great tribute to one of South African’s most heroic leaders.

nelson mandela vortex by wayne

Photo: Wayne’s Picz.

It was very difficult to leave the dancefloor, but I needed some rest for Sunday-funday.  Eventually, I dragged myself to my tent and managed to get a good night’s sleep.

I awoke bright and early for a delicious breakfast made up entirely of psychadelic goodness. Tim Duster brought the morning in, followed by Koxbox and the all-mighty Skragg.

dancefloor ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

I could barely contain myself when Earthling finally got onto the stage. His exuberant beats kept the party raging for three hours straight. And what an insane three hours it was! Time flies when you’re having fun, and judging from the grins that surrounded me time was racing for everybody.

stomper by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

We were all feeling a little sun-kissed when the small overhead sprinklers turned on, creating a beautiful layer of mist to cool down the crowd.

shower by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Then Adam Metcalfe, the one and only Headroom, took over and sent everyone into overdrive.
This was all followed by a quick but much-needed swim in the river. Along its banks, people lazed happily, talking intimately with one another, laughing and embracing the magic.

headroom vortex by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

At 6pm we returned to the dancefloor where Dean Fuel was winding the party up again with his Feedback set (really quite groovy).

After the sun went down, it was time for a little girl power. Rosa Ventura fired things up before the Russian Yana Kramich AKA: Z-Cat took over and kept the beats banging until the early hours of the morning.

z cat by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When the sun rised on Monday, it was clear that everyone was more withered than the days before. But the psychedelic/prog beats that were in store was a better kick than any cup of coffee. Not that I didn’t have one.

pretty girl wayne

Photo: Wayne’s Picz.

When I returned to the dancefloor, the energy was as upbeat as ever. I headed to the front just as local, psytrance virtuoso, Bruce, got behind the decks.

Waio and Creator were the last DJs on the line up. And though the “end” was nearing, it didn’t feel that way at all. The crowd went on stomping right until the final track finished.

hands by ty

Photo: Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Everyone had such a hard time wrapping things up that some of the crew got onto stage, joining in on the fun. Needless to say, things ended off on a high note. And nobody will forget hearing the most insane remix of Elanor Rigby by the Beatles.

“Ah, look at all the lonely people!”

vortex family by wayne

Photo: Wayne’s Picz.

This event reminded me of what Cape Town’s trance family is all about: love, acceptance and unity.

Big thank you’s go to Grant and his Vortex crew, the DJs and everyone else who made this event so spectacular. And let’s not forget, my amazing group of friends!

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Check out more photo’s of Vortex:

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*Special thanks to Nicci Esterhuizen, who recently joined the Psyked in the City team.

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