Discover your inner bombshell
Dusty Rebels and the lifestyle festival will take you back to when rockabilly ruled airwaves
THE third Dusty Rebels And The Bombshells lifestyle festival takes place next weekend, and reading its tagline you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a little bit hippy: “a platform that inspires uniqueness, self-expression and creativity”.
It’s not untrue, but in this case it refers to the rockabilly, pin-ups and petrol heads culture with a throwback to everything that made the 1950s great. You can expect a day of bands and DJs playing mainly rockabilly – and probably a bit of dirty country thrown in, gorgeous gals with teased hair and bright red lips, quiffs and sideburns, rolled up sleeves showing tattoos, roller derby, hot rods on and off the dirt track, food stalls and bars, burlesque, fashion show, pin-up pageant (see alongside), a fun fair, swing dancing, games, and general all-round fun.
Bands performing on the main stage include The Dixie Pricks, Mr Cat And The Jackal, The Ratrod Cats, Them Tornados, Martin Rocka And The Sick Shop from Joburg, and The Damned Crows, among others. The main stage will be emceed by Anton Marshall, who has previously played at Dusty Rebels with his band Long Time Citizen.
“Lifestyle festivals are a dime a dozen these days, but few really still create a sense of community like Dusty Rebels and the Bombshells,” he said. “It’s partly because all the people, stalls, items and entertainment reflect unique personalities and styles, all of course connected by a root stylism of the 1950s and 1960s. Fashion, music, street culture of the time – these all collide with a modern-day outlook for 12 exciting hours on a day like this.
“But first and foremost, it’s an exceptionally colourful festival. Here, you’ll see the fashion enthusiasts of rock ’n’ roll culture out in full force, sporting their coifs, chains, cowlicks, pinup hair, makeup and dresses. And the best part about it is most of these people won’t be ‘dressed up’. This is who they are, and this is what they do.
“Same for the petrol heads who break out their vintage cars for display and even for a turn around the Dickies Dirt Track, which is hugely popular with the punters, and track host Paul Snodgrass, who literally burst his pants when he volunteered to get in one of the hotrods.
“I’m personally really pleased this festival is largely the brainchild and execution of two women – Maria Vasco and Zigi Strydom – who over the past few years have worked tirelessly to develop the event from small beginnings to what it is today. Their vision focuses very much on the aesthetic of the day.”
KC Royal, lead singer and guitarist for The Ratrod Cats, who are playing their third Dusty Rebels, said: “The crowd and people attending have increased, as well as the diversity of the crowd. This year’s inclusion of South Africa’s first pin-up contest is a big highlight. We are looking forward to playing with Them Tornados and Martin Rocka again.”
Cats drummer Rick-a-Billy said: “Dusty Rebels has a huge place on the SA music calendar as it’s a one of a kind festival that showcases so well the style, music and essence of the rockabilly culture.”
● Dusty Rebels takes place at the West Coast Ostrich Ranch, Van Schoorsdrif Road, Philadelphia (off N7, about 25km from Cape Town) from noon till midnight next Saturday. The dirt track will be open from noon till 5pm. Tickets are R200 (over-18s) online at www.dustyrebelsandthebombshells. co.za/tickets or R250 at the gate. Overnight camping is available.
GO GET ‘EM: The Cape Town Roller Girls show what roller derby is all about.
ROAD WARRIOR: The dirt track will put the ‘dusty’ into Dusty Rebels.