Saturday 14 January was the Love & Light festival at Mountain Shadows, Paarl. Overcoming uncertainties and judgements I was off – off to have a blast. An unused field became a single stage, the heart of the event—the music’s epicentre. 10am to 10pm: this party was a one day beat-crazy rendezvous under the sky.



It was hot outside and the beautiful 20-something’s that made up most of the crowd were not ashamed to show off their skin. The bottle store does not have as many six packs as were exposed on shirtless guys this weekend. The woman all rocked flat stomachs and sun-kissed skin. It was a spectacle: slightly intimidating for the lesser-confident wanderers. A man asked a couple that walked by him, ‘can I just kiss one, or both, of you?’ His friends chuckled and the couple smiled. There were many gorgeous individuals at Love & Light.

The event was only a 40 minute drive from Cape Town city center and, being only one day, would leave plenty of time for indoor Sunday-recovery time. After parking it was a mere stones’ throw, maybe an arrow’s launch walk to the music. The bass thumped in our insides as we approached. It was noon and we had considered ourselves the early birds throughout the drive. This was not the case. The music, the grooves and the positive vibrations were all in full swing when we arrived. The name of the game was mellowness and self expression, the metaphorical game. Like most trance parties, this party was void of any fist fights; that would have been totally out of place. Instead we encountered men and women alike grooving out as if no one was watching. The people, the artists were living in the moment. Dance moves carried on the waves of the beats, infecting most of the crowd, creating a distinct, shared harmony. Some swam and others grooved in the shade.



A partially enclosed tent and nearby trees protected the audience from the sun. The sweat of the crowd did not infect us; well placed misters calmed our nerves and cooled our foreheads. There was nothing to do at the Love and Light festival besides soak up beats, the rays an all the feel-good energy. The first DJ we saw performing, The Fog Show, rocked out with a live violinist. After that, Lox chilled it with his dreadlocks and attuned reading of the crowd. Each successive performer built up the energy by a gigabyte; each read our emotions.

Felguk – Do You Like Bass (Neelix Rmx) by neelix

After time on our feet and the knowledge that this 10-hour event, not including the afterparty that was hosted at Trinity, was a marathon and not a sprint we headed to the reservoir, separated from the stage by brambles. There we encountered floating dolphins, blow-up beach balls and warm but refreshing water. Speakers pumped next to the water, making the swimming game part of the festival action. If one needed a moment of silence all you needed to do was hold your breath and take a dunk. A lifeguard was on duty, or at least someone sporting a ‘Lifegaurd’ tee.

Symphonix DJ Set by Symphonix

Frequent trips to the car to ‘stay hydrated’ kept my buzz going. In addition, Red Bull had a tent and there were two full service bars, one on the water’s edge, the other under the tent near the stage, at our disposal. All the vibes were good. A pretty blonde waved to the swimmers from the window of a cop car that drove up into my periphery. They had kindly given her a ride, sparing her the thirty second stroll. She jumped off the police truck and joined the party. The cops had no one to bust that I could see. Who needs fear or confrontation when there is love and light? Pardon the cliché.

Neelix played a thumping set that I don’t think the crowd responded perfectly well to. But Connecto got everyone going again and shade begun to arch onto the scene. Overall the festival was a success, liberating and filled to the brim with eye candy. Symphonix tore it up and unfortunately I didn’t last to see Killer Robot. It had been a long day.

Photos: Paul Ward
Words: Jason Shark