Underberg – The iconic Splashy Fen music festival is poised for a rebirth, 26 years after it was started on a farm in the foothills of the Southern Drakensberg, following the appointment of new event management company committed to energizing and nurturing the Easter long weekend music festival.
Impi Concept Events will take over the reins of the 2016 festival and beyond, committed to staying true to the core values of the country’s longest running music festival, while adding significant value to experiences of the thousands of festival visitors who make trip to Underberg every year.
Originally started by the late Peter Ferraz and Bart Fokkens in 1990, the festival grew from a small gathering of 200 people, to a peak attendance of some 10 000 music lovers during the mid 2000’s.
Ferraz ran the festival in the early years, and more recently handed over operations to Pedro Carlo who successfully steered the festival into the new millennium. With the development of other top festival’s in South Africa over the past few years, like Oppi-Koppi and Rocking The Daisies, Splashy Fen went through a transition period of truly finding its own identity again.
“Splashy has always been a massive player in the South African music scene, and the festival has attracted over one hundred thousand unique attendees over its 26 year history.
“In the more recent years, I think as a festival we have probably rested on our reputation a bit instead of moving with the ever-evolving scene of music festivals not only in SA, but worldwide” explained Bronwen Ferraz, spokesperson for the Ferraz family.
“In recognizing that, we have been through a lengthy process of review and have dissected the event in every possible manner to see where the potential for improvement lies, with three key aspects of delivery driving our decision making going forward, namely the music, value for money, and contributing to the community”, explained Ferraz.
Ferraz further explains that in doing so, some hard decisions needed to be made around a festival that the family has a significant emotional and historical connection to.
“We felt that Splashy now requires new investment and ideas, and hence have appointed a new service provider to take the festival forward into the future.”
“We would dearly love to see Splashy enjoyed by the thousands that my father always envisaged, and to be able to stay relevant to our present society,” Ferraz added.
Impi Concept Events has been appointed by the Ferraz family after a lengthy review process to operate Splashy Fen from 2016 onwards. The company is a large player in the music industry locally and abroad, having been instrumental in turning around the now very popular Music at the Lake Series at the Durban Botanic Gardens, as well as having staged the likes of UB40 for clients in the Seychelles.
Speaking of the most recent appointment, business director Stu Berry was extremely excited about the prospect of working with and operating Splashy Fen.
“It is a really exciting time for us as a company. Our music division has expanded significantly, having staged some 13 music concerts last year, and the only missing item from our portfolio was a true festival setup.
“Splashy provided us with a great opportunity to contribute our ideas, enthusiasm and market knowledge to a festival that is iconic in South Africa and internationally” explained Berry.
“Having attended several Splashy Fen’s, I was blown away with the amazing atmosphere, extremely relaxed vibe, and more specifically the massive family appeal and attendance at the festival”.
When asked about the changes old and new Splashy Fen fans could expect in the coming months and years, Berry was clear that the core ethos of Splashy Fen would be maintained with several changes around the experience for ticket holders.
“We’re going to go through a rebranding exercise and an extensive marketing campaign to target new and old customers. We want those who attended Splashy in the 1990’s to re-ignite the Splashy flame and come back, as well as share the special experience with many other new attendees.
“We’re confident that the new additions, the artists, the services on site and the overall experience of Splashy Fen 2016 is going to instil full confidence in the event and those who attend will hopefully become return customers”.
Splashy Fen 2016 will take place over the traditional weekend of Easter, from 24th to 27th March 2016. A new website and brand look will be launched in early December.