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REVIEW: Splashy Fen Festival 2018



Splashy Fen Music Festival 2018… where do we begin? Well, we can tell you that tickets were sold out (all 7,000 of ’em!) We can also tell you that the rain did not put a damper on things and no, we DID NOT get any tattoos (yes, there was a tattoo parlor at Splashy!)

The MUSIC.WAS.INCREDIBLE! The festival saw an epic lineup of local and international artists throughout the weekend who performed across 5 different stages! 

Two stages, namely the Acoustic and Treehouse saw many performances, some to mention are The Kickstands, Freddy L, Shannon Connolly, Roachy and the Rock Coaches.

Never having heard Hayden Hack before, he lured us in from the Food Court with his folk/acoustic vibes and soulful voice! The Electric Boma saw Chunda Munki perform, the River Stage – Josh Wantie (who we have had the pleasure of interviewing before) and The Gus Brown band, who sadly announced that this was their last performance for a while.

Thousands of Splashy Fenners made their way down to the Corona River Stage for an afternoon of good music, river fun and typical Splashy vibes. Photo Al Nicoll

Thousands of Splashy Fenners made their way down to the Corona River Stage for an afternoon of good music, river fun and typical Splashy vibes. Photo Al Nicoll

The Budweiser Main Stage saw one of our surprise favourites, but probably not so surprising for fans… Hot Water! Do yourselves a favour and go check out their infectious music with a South African flavour like no other! It did help solidify new fandom with Durbanite contributor Theresa, (Tee) when lead singer Donovan casually stood next to her under the tent filled with 6,000-odd people.

He asked Tee, “What kind of show are you hoping for?” Not realising who he was and taken aback by the question, she simply answered “…a very good one!”.
The ‘stranger’ made a swift exit (to the main stage) strapped on a guitar and together with the band blew the crowd away with their high-energy performance!

Editor’s note: To Donovan, Tee would like to say that the performance surpassed her expectations of “very good” – it was incredible!

Splashy Fen 2018- Various photos from @splashyfenfest / Al Nicoll

Rubber Duc,  Matthew Mole, Veranda Panda and Good Luck were on fire! International drum and percussion band Napalma wowed the crowds with their catchy beats and vivacious crowd presence. Mango Groove, did what they always do and had the crowds singing along to old favourites! And of course, our own local viking, Ard Matthews performed and is always a crowd pleaser!

International act, The Pierce Brothers surprised ‘Fenners’ on the Corona River Stage on Saturday. The crowd lapped up their folky magic under the tent, along the river banks and floating down the stream on lilos & tubes. Needless to say, The Pierce Brother’s main act on Sunday night was off-the-hook! The duo really are something special and we look forward to more performances from them in SA in the future! Please. Thank you!

Bowling for Soup – Where do we start? When they came onto the stage, the emotions kicked in. Reminiscence of the good ‘ol days where music was pre-dominantly punk rock.
They joked on stage in between performances, and belted out their hits they were most famous for, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want” and “1985.” They even sang a cover of “Stacy’s Mom” which wasn’t even their own song – much to the crowd’s delight!

International Act, Bowling for Soup performed to a sold out Splashy Fen on Saturday the 31st March in Underberg. Photo The Sight Seekers

International Act, Bowling for Soup performed to a sold out Splashy Fen on Saturday the 31st March in Underberg. Photo The Sight Seekers

On the side lines, the Splashy site was filled with weird and wacky characters as fans dressed up in all different sorts of gear, ready for the official Splashion Show. Courtesy of Eden Island Bat Man and his side kick Wonder Woman won a trip to the Seychelles!

Splashy Fen 2018

Angela and Justin Walter won the 2018 Splashion Show at Splashy Fen. Their handmade outfits win them a trip to the Seychelles courtesy of Eden Island. Photo Al Nicoll

Angela and Justin Walter won the 2018 Splashion Show at Splashy Fen. Their handmade outfits win them a trip to the Seychelles courtesy of Eden Island. Photo Al Nicoll

Trail runs were on the go daily as well as yoga sessions down by the river – neither of which we managed to enjoy as we preferred a good ‘ol sleep-in! And let’s not forget the market selling all sorts of ‘bits and bobs’ to improve your Splashy experience. Forgot to bring gumboots or looking for some funky socks – just pop into the market and voila, you are kitted out!

Drumming and belly dancing workshops provided entertainment between sets, children created hanging artworks to take home and the food court was a hub of activity from as early as 7am with coffee stations super full.

The Drumshack Experience takes place every morning at the Acoustic Stage and fans of all ages get involved. Photo Dane Foreman

The Drumshack Experience takes place every morning at the Acoustic Stage and fans of all ages get involved. Photo Dane Foreman


An open letter from a Splashy regular:

To: The “Old School” Fenners

I know some of you probably haven’t attended in years because of things called, ‘life’, ‘growing up’… and ‘putting food on the table’ (adulting is hard work!)

Like me, you may be a little hesitant to attend Splashy (for whatever reason) BUT I must tell you, I was WOWED by Splashy 2018!

Yes it rained, there was some mud (wood chips FTW!)

Yes, we had to use the dreaded porter loos – but this is no surprise to anyone attending. Let’s not go into too much detail on this topic other than I commend the cleaners for doing the best job they could and I hope that 2019 sees further improvements in this area.

On a positive note, there are now options for all types of campers with a bigger family camping area, as well as the Harambee Hotel (a.k.a “Glamping.”)

The music was awesome and general camping was pretty cool (’cause who doesn’t like roasting marshmallows over a wood fire, right?)

The decor and attention to detail across the board made the festival so much more enjoyable than ANY Splashy I have attended in the past! My favourite this year has to be the Corona River stage.

I must admit the overall improvements to the festival since my attending back in the mid 2000’s (am I giving away my age here?) are notable. This is because the festival is now under new management, so well done guys on transforming the festival as you have!


Myself (left) and Shell (right) enjoying the view of the Corona River Stage

The only thing that would have made my Splashy Fen 2018 better was seeing YOU there… you know who you are!

So… start saving, put in your leave!
Prep your tents, gather your mates and find a sitter for the kids… or if you are avid campers, bring the gremlins along!

Let’s get amped for Splashy Fen 2019!

From: Tee / Durbanite



An open letter from  a Splashy first-timer:

To: The Splashy Newbies 

“What! You haven’t been to Splashy Fen!?” – I heard this all the time when people asked why I had never been to one of the biggest festivals in South Africa.
Truth be told, I was scared to camp and I just really didn’t know what to expect.

Splashy Fen 2018

This year, I decided to attend Splashy, and boy am I glad I did! Despite camping in the bush and not having the luxury benefit of your own toilet/shower, there’s just something about getting away from it all.

We drove up in the early hours of Friday which gave us that whole day to enjoy, before driving back on Sunday. I’d rate that 2 nights is perfect, especially for a non-camper like me!

I really enjoyed the live entertainment, drumming experience, the market, food – it was just a crazy, incredible experience, and I loved having my friends & family with me.

I know one of the biggest put off’s about Splashy is the price of the tickets, but honestly, it’s SO worth it. You get entertainment all day long, and if you think about it, you’re supporting all of the artists who perform.

Splashy Fen 2018

Myself getting my face painted, and photos with my friends / family.

So, I challenge you to try out Splashy next year. Bring your friends and family – you will have a blast!
I’m already just too excited to attend next year’s!

Until next time.

From: Shelley / Durbanite


And that’s what Splashy Fen Festival is all about, folks! It’s a happy, friendly festival where people come as they are to enjoy some of the best South African music! It’s set in an idyllic location of Underberg, surrounded by beautiful mountains. Filled with old friends and new, lots of dancing and singing along – plus karaoke if you dare!

THIS is what makes us want to keep coming back!


Splashy Fen 2018

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With nobody travelling internationally at the moment The Oyster Box’s Executive Chef, Kevin Joseph and his culinary Team, decided to take guests to exotic places through their food instead. So the Flavour-cation concept was born. Through a variety of food experiences ‘flavour vacations’ are put together to showcase exciting new tastes… literally on our doorstep.

With the Tapas menu (Spanish word for small savoury dishes), each item, has a main ingredient and everything else on the plate contributes to the overall taste sensation. “We looked at what is popular with diners,” says Chef Joseph, “such as oysters, prawns, sharing platters etc. and then added our own taste profile and flair to each dish, to give it an Oyster Box twist. The babotie spring rolls are an example; our steamed buns are baked in-house; the Oysters harvested from our own beds and the pear chutney and hummus cooked from scratch.” The menu also offers ample choice for Vegetarians.

Tapas will be on offer in The Lighthouse and Oyster Bars until the end of November, with new and exciting dishes being added to the menu on an ongoing basis, so that our guests always have something new to look forward to.

Alongside the menu, a wide selection of wine, beer, Champagne and sparkling wine is on offer. A special mention should be made of the House Wine Selection, from our internationally-acclaimed sister winery, Bouchard Finlayson in the Hemel en Aarde Valley in Hermanus. Known for producing exceptional Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and renowned Pinot Noirs.

The TAPAS Menu is served in The Lighthouse and Oyster Bars from 12:00-19:30 daily.

Booking is essential on 031 514 5000 or by e-mail

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Plan ahead for the winter holidays in South Africa’s warmest province and celebrate the festive season early at The Oyster Box.
There’s something for everyone this July.

July 2021

– There’s no doubt that Christmas 2020 was a fairly low-key event compared to the usual festivities The Oyster Box is known for. To make up for it, their food and beverage team is promising more fun and festivity during the month of July, than we’ve seen for a while…AND it includes a Christmas celebration…Yes, in July!
They are also going ‘glam’ in true Oyster Box style, for one of the country’s most prestigious horse-racing events, The Vodacom Durban July.
So, get your hat on and don’t miss the chance to join us in this ‘sport of kings’ event on Saturday 3 July.


Treat yourself to our legendary Crayfish and Prawn Cocktail and a complimentary glass of Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel from Monday to Sunday, 12h00-19h00 in The Oyster Bar at R390.00 per person.

Celebrate the Vodacom Durban July at The Oyster Box – 3 July 2021

Let Executive Chef Kevin Joseph bring the Vodacom Durban July to you this year, with all the elegance and style you’d expect on the big day! Dress to the theme, get to know more about the jockeys and their mounts and stand a chance to win a variety of prizes during the course of the day. 

Pick the most Winners and stand a chance to win a night’s stay at The Oyster Box.  Drinks and luxury canapes on arrival in the Durban July Room from 11h00, followed by a traditional braai and accompaniments on the Lighthouse Bar Terrace from 13h00.  A bottomless gin bar will be available with a DJ keeping the punters’ spirit’s up. 

From Monday to Sunday 5-31 July, The Oyster Box Christmas in July Ski Lodge is back in the Lighthouse Bar, from 12h00-19h00 daily. With Live music on a Saturday and Sunday at lunchtime with Rob Warren performing Christmas and contemporary rock , the nostalgic atmosphere of a mountain ski-lodge is brought to you Durban-style. Choose between one of our three gourmet Christmas Subs (Gammon, Turkey or Roast Beef), served with a Ciroc Christmas cocktail at R250 per person. 

On Wednesday 7 July, the Rebels of Black Elephant Vintners & Co, pair 13 of their wines with a musical soundtrack of their lives. Strong supporting line-up provided by Executive Chef Kevin Joseph and his Kitchen Team, from 18h00-21h00 in the Oyster Bar.  Cost is R590.00 per person.

One of Durban’s most respected Cocktail Mixologists, Haroon Haffajee brings his innovative magic to the Wonderful World of Whisky at The Oyster Box on Wednesday 14 July 2021.  Drinks in the Oyster Bar on arrival at 18h00, with dinner in The Grill Room from 18h30.  The four-course sensory experience will feature whiskies from the Diageo World Class portfolio, paired with Haroon’s inimitable style, at R690.00 per person.

Finally…a chance to celebrate the Festive Season that wasn’t!! Join us for a traditional Christmas in July lunch on Sunday 25 July 2021 on the Ocean Terrace from 12h00-15h00.  With live music by Leon, a visit from Santa and entertainment for kiddies, you’re in for a fun time. Adults are R690.00 per person and R350.00 for Kids under 12 years.

The monthly Wine Wednesday food and wine evenings are back, with different South African wine estates hosting the monthly dinner, in conjunction with Executive Chef, Kevin Joseph and his Kitchen Brigade. The evening kicks-off at 18h00 in The Oyster Bar with canapes (first course) and a welcome drink at individual tables.  Guests move to The Grill Room at 18h30 for dinner, with an explanation from the Chef about the Menu and comments from the Farm representative on the various pairings, throughout the evening. Wines from the featured estate will be available to order on the evening.

July’s event on Wednesday 28 July features French-style wines from Morgenster Estate and a French-inspired menu courtesy of The Oyster Box. Family-owned and family-run, Morgenster has a long history dating back 300 years. Situated near the foothills of the Helderberg Mountain in Somerset West, the property produces award-winning Bordeaux-styled wines, Italian cultivars and extra virgin olive oil.



* High Tea in The Palm Court – Inspired by the hotel’s original architecture and with chandeliers purchased from the Savoy Hotel in London, High Tea at The Oyster Box is a lengthy, leisurely affair.  Live piano music provides the perfect backdrop to tea. High Tea is served daily at the following times: Mondays – Fridays from 14h30 – 17h00. Saturdays and Sundays, 12h00-14h00 & 15h00-17h00. Cost is R390.00 per person. 

* Legendary Breakfast in the Ocean Terrace – With al fresco tables offering panoramic Indian Ocean sea views and regular sightings of passing whales and dolphins, the generous breakfast buffet which includes fresh Oysters and Sparkling Wine, is the perfect way to start your day. Breakfast is served from 07h00-10h30 daily at R450.00 per person.

*The Curry Buffet in the Ocean Terrace – Continues to attract fans from far and wide.  Set in the Mediterranean-inspired Ocean Terrace, with gorgeous views across the Indian Ocean, the impressive curry selection, of at least 11 curries daily, includes meat, fish and vegetarian options. Using delicate blends of spices and fresh herbs…each curry is a masterpiece in itself.  The Curry Buffet is open for lunch and dinner from 12h00-20h30 at R390.00 per person.

Versatile muso Leon, provides Live Music from Thursday to Saturday evening and on a Sunday at lunchtime. 

Due to current covid protocols, reservations are essential.  Dinner bookings are available from 17h00-19h30 and Lunch bookings from 12h00-15h00.


For enquiries and to book for one of the events, contact Restaurants on (031) 514 5000 or by e-mail on


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Cake & Prosecco Class at Old Town Italy




Join Old Town Italy on the first Saturday of every month for a fun Cake-Decorating class, hosted by renowned bakers at our adored Old Town Italy stores 🎂

Start your morning at 10am, where you will learn a series of cake decorating techniques while sipping on refreshing Prosecco 🥂
This class includes your own cake to decorate and take home, Prosecco and a selection of Old Town High Tea treats.

See upcoming dates below:

5 June – Marble Buttercream
3 July
7 August
4 September
2 October
6 November
4 December

Price: R650 per person
Limited tickets available at each store

Enquire in store or contact us directly to book & find out more info: | 031 566 5008
Book here

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