4 Years of Growing Highlining in SA
We are proud to share the upcoming event with you. All you need to know about attending the Mayhem Mountain Festival in 2023 is answered below. You’ll find out what is taking place and how best to prepare for the long weekend. Read on for tips and links to the tickets.
All About the Mayhem Mountain Festival 2023
You’ve seen the jaw-dropping lines and you’re curious how this festival came about. It was a small crew of friends with a shared interest in slacklining coming together to explore the most extreme expression of the sport, highlining.
The Mayhem Mountain Festival takes place on the 6th of April until the 10th of April at the Mayhem Mountain Adventures campsite located near Tranquilitas outside the town of Waterval Boven. It stands proudly as South Africa’s largest highlining festival. Your ticket includes camping, access to Mayhem’s climbing, and all the activities going down at the festival.
Our previous year saw us rig one of the longest highlines in South Africa at 400 meters. The contribution of riggers’ time and gear from the slackline community exemplifies the community ethos to make an event we can all get psyched on! This monster line remained untamed with no sends and 6 stoked people managing to cross it.
How did the event come about?
Rueben, the farm owner, hosts the Mayhem Mountain Adventure campsite and has welcomed the community to the festival. We appreciate all those who help to support the growth of highlining in South Africa. The beauty of the event is that it is intended as a psyche-inducing community-run event. You’ll find it easy to be inspired by experienced highliners and can ask for assistance along the way.
An annual meeting of friends gained traction to form a festival and the original ethos of ‘each contributing one’s energy to the whole’ still permeates through the event. Here you’ll interact with volunteers who contribute time and expertise to benefit everyone’s experience. You’ll have a chance to meet Mgwenya climbing club members who we invite to rig and learn alongside us.
As a group of friends who orchestrate a festival with the support of a community, this is an event you’ll appreciate being a part of. Our collective energy makes it possible to send these magical lines across the valley. Below we cover how you can best prepare and in turn contribute to the whole experience of Mayhem Mountain Festival.
Reasons to Attend Boven’s Highline Festival
With highlines, slacklines, rock climbing routes, a dam, and a variety of activities, the Mayhem Mountain Festival can be your retreat. Take time to be in a beautiful environment and grab the opportunity to experience a natural adrenaline rush with a welcoming community.
Mayhem is the main event on the Northern South African highlining communities calendar. It is a private event over Easter weekend providing the perfect spot to pitch a tent and unwind. Weekend passes are also available should you live nearby or wish to stay outside of the venue.
Activities to Experience at MMF 2023.
The festival offers a line up of great entertainment, workshops, and activities. In the evening you can unwind in front of the fire or move your feet to the music.
Join the highline workshop to get comfortable with your technique before experiencing the void on the highlines. Tim and Swart will share the basics of highlining at the campsite on a slackline to show you how to climb a leash and mount a line, as well as tips on standing up. You’ll want to attend this if you are trying highlining for the first time or if you consider yourself a beginner.
This is the reason the festival is taking place and gives you the opportunity to experience and walk a highline. The lines will be rigged from the first day of the festival and will be up all through the festival, so you’ll have plenty of time to get comfortable. The slacklines at the campsite offer a challenge and a space to master new skills.
If you are comfortable highlining, you can get on a line at any time. We encourage everyone to get a buddy check before going out. Those new to highlining can expect assistance each morning and evening during the festival. As experienced highliners we can offer beta to those just beginning and share in the joy of setting out into the void.
The venue offers plenty of easy to hard routes on incredible rock. On the day you’ll likely find a friendly face and willing hands to help you experience climbing for the first time. If you do not have climbing gear, consider reaching out to borrow gear or to find an experienced climbing partner ahead of the event. Join Jess B and Aidan for a climb at ‘the library’ on Saturday.
Yoga at the ‘Grow and Flow’ Space
Yoga is a perfect way to connect to your body and ease the mind for flow activities. The festival’s ‘Grow and Flow’ space will host outdoor classes in a natural setting (so bring your mat, or two, if you want comfort). Join Jess, Karien, and Wes for morning yoga classes that will limber you up for the day ahead.
We look forward to sharing a run that warms your body up and allows you to take in the beauty of the surrounding hills. Expect a fair distance with some incline, meaning if you are comfortable running 10km’s you’ll find it to be a breeze.
You’ll have spotted the poi, juggling, and flow artists of the JHB flow community at the Slacking The City meets in Delta park. The two communities have always shared in each other’s craft and this tradition will continue at the festival with all sorts of toys for you to try out. Wes and Anj will host a skills session to help you with the movement and finding your flow.
How to Get to MMF 2023:
If you are driving from Gauteng get onto the N4 Highway until you reach an off-ramp to a town called Machadodorp/eNtokozweni, take the off-ramp into the town, this off-ramp is about 500m after the Millies garage. This route is to avoid the R100 Tollgate just before you hit Waterval Boven, as well as the terrible roads from the town to the camp. You need a high-clearance vehicle to get to the camp from Boven Town.
Once in Machadodorp/eNtokozweni take the 4th left onto the R541. Follow the R541 for about 13 km until you come to the first opportunity to make a left turn, there is a sign that says ‘Slaaihoek’. Follow this road for 3km, drive slowly or you might miss the ‘Waterval Boven’ sign, turn left into the dirt road. This dirt road is usually maintained by Sappi, but they have stopped maintenance for a bit, we’ve tested it for city cars and they are fine.
Take it easy though, be careful of stones and stay around 20 km/h to keep your car safe. Follow the dirt road for about 6.5km. You will come to a fork in the road with the Mayhem Mountain Festival venue in front of you. Turn right at the fork and then left to enter the farm. Follow the signs to the campsite.
For those making use of navigational equipment here is the Google Maps Link:
Where to Stay During the Mayhem Mountain Festival 2023
Accommodation options start with camping at the festival campsite. This is by far the best way to experience the event, staying alongside your friends in the picturesque setting. There are however other alternatives should you be willing to drive to the festival each day.
Note: Despite dirt roads, you don’t need a 4×4 to access Mayhem Mountain Festival via the Machadodorp route described above.
Roc ‘n Rope
This is Waterval Boven’s gem of climbing backpackers offering rooms and dorms in the small town. While google maps shows the 9,3km route passing Tegwaan and Tranquilitas to reach Mayhem Mountain Adventures, know that this is a 4×4 or high clearance route. The festival is best reached via Machadodorp (a 42km route). Consider extending your stay after the festival with Gustav at Roc ‘n Rope.
‘Tranq’ is the neighbouring farm and is a popular campsite offering affordable chalets. As a day pass climber or when camping you’ll have access to all the amenities. Note, if you choose to stay at Tranquilitas you’ll have to drive the 3km to access Mayhem (no access via the crags).
Tegwaan is halfway between Emgwenya and Mayhem Mountain Adventures, meaning you’ll likely need 4×4 or a high clearance vehicle to reach the campsite and cottages (7 km away). Tegwaan is close to ‘the restaurant (at the end of the universe)’ climbing area and has owners who like to implement permaculture practices.
What to Pack for Mayhem Mountain Festival 2023:
First time festival-goers can follow these tips for a successful long weekend. You don’t need experience to participate, but you can prepare before attending the Mayhem Mountain Festival.
Essential Gear to Pack
- Warm clothes
- Sleeping bag
- Tent and mattress
- Rain jacket
- Food and eating utensils
- Cooking gear and camping stove
Preparing your food and drink for the long weekend
Local Boven vendors are providing food during different times, take note of the vendors and plan your meals accordingly. Friday late morning Silverdae Ons Tuiste old age home is selling pancakes. On Saturday morning Tegwaan will sell food at our venue. Saturday evening Aloes Country Inn Pub and Grill is doing Lasagne and salad with a vegetarian option as well.
Mayhem Mountain Adventure Campsite caters to basic electricity needs with a solar powered battery inside the shed. The majority of the energy will be used to power the fridges which are limited to essential food. It is best to bring a lekker big cooler box for drinks. We do periodic ice runs which will be available to refill your containers.
Safety Tips before you send it at a Highline Festival
The safety meeting will take place on Friday morning at 09:00 at The Stoep. Here all the important information will be shared on how to react to various situations. There will be medical first response at the festival, but the best thing is to know what is going on and keep each other safe!
Longer highlines introduce more challenges. The lines between 20 and 60 meters are ideal for beginners, and are a perfect chance to test your mettle. For those highliners who are proficient at walking, the longer lines provide a worthy challenge. The increasing length of lines at the festival provides the perfect opportunity to build your confidence on longer and longer lines.
Health and fitness requirements
The event is family friendly and takes place surrounding a crag, which makes keeping an eye on one another more important. Note, the short route from the campsite to the lines is a cleared path, but it does cover uneven ground. We encourage anyone who is concerned about access to contact us.
Recommended gear and equipment
Again, you do not need anything to participate, however, a harness, a helmet, climbing shoes, and warm clothing are essentials we wouldn’t leave home without. You are welcome to bring your toys and we encourage you to share your talents.
Training and practice tips
Take on a few of the tips below and you’ll feel confident over the weekend. To train for highlining a safe slackline session is your best warm up. Learn to sit, sit start, stand, and walk forward and backwards on a park line. The primary skills you need are leash climbing and tying a figure of eight into the bottom and top loops of your harness.
The best part of highlining, is you need not stand up to learn the basic skills. A session practising to mount the line and reorient oneself is valuable. We’ll have workshops to show you the basics, teach you to feel the bounce, timing to stand up, and more.
Must-Do Activities during the MMF 2023
Acroyoga, braaing, climbing, highlining, yoga, flow toys, slacklining and swimming. The dam is beautiful, big, and you are welcome to bring a float. You can view the map below to orient yourself with the areas. A must-do for all is to share your joy or talent in the festival spirit.
How to Book for the Mayhem Mountain Festival 2023!
Buy your tickets today to avoid disappointment. Official Mayhem Mountain Festival 2023 tickets are sold on Quicket. Tickets, both for camping and day passes will be available at the entrance, the only issue is that this will be strictly cash only. If you haven’t already please buy your tickets before arriving over the Easter weekend.
Check out these FAQ’s to learn what you need to know for the long weekend.
It’s unlikely we covered all of your curiosities in this post. So below we answer the easy questions you may have about attending the festival. If you have more questions make contact with us via email.
What is the Mayhem Mountain Festival?
A highlining and rock climbing festival hosted at Mayhem Mountain Adventures outside of Waterval Boven, Mpumalanga. It takes place over 5 days, with highlines rigged for the duration of the event. Tickets to the festival include all the activities and camping.
Is it a Highline Festival?
Yes, Mayhem Mountain Festival is the largest highline festival in South Africa. Offering attendees the opportunity to learn and walk on a variety of highlines. This year looks to be the largest and most successful, while still remaining small and intimate.
When and where is the Mayhem Mountain Festival held?
The event starts on Thursday April 6 at 07:00 and finishes on Monday April 10 at 18:00. It is located on Mayhem Mountain Adventures property in Mpumalanga, a 3 hour drive from Johannesburg.
What are the different types of highlines?
Highlines can vary in length, webbing, and many other factors that affect how the line feels underfoot. To ensure reliability and long term safety nylon webbing is preferred for short lines and freestyle highlining while static polyester lines are our preference for longer lines perfect for walking comfortably.
Who can participate in the Highline Festival?
All ticket holders are eligible to participate in all of the events hosted at the highline festival. It is a great opportunity to visit the Mayhem crag with knowledgeable friends and allies. If you have accessibility questions please feel welcome to contact us.
What are the health and fitness requirements for highlining?
When highlining you can be expected to climb your 1-meter-long leash and work your way back to the anchor. While we don’t have health and fitness requirements for highlining at the festival, you can ensure your own safety by declaring any allergens or medical conditions you feel comfortable sharing with the event organiser.
What gear and equipment are required for highlining?
You do not need any gear to take part in the festival. However, If you have a climbing harness (check its in good condition), a locking aluminium carabiner, and a hat with a leash it will help you to keep safe while highlining.
What are the safety precautions for highlining?
We want to see you enjoy yourself, and ask you to have a buddy check before going out on the lines. Do you have the leash attached with a figure of eight knot through the bottom and top loops of your secure harness? Check you have a line slide device and empty pockets before setting off.
What are the accommodation options at the festival?
Your camping is included in the festival ticket price. We offer showers with hot water fed by the steel ‘donkey’ (we love it!). The alternative is a neighbouring farm hosting tents and small cottages, but you will need to drive the short 3km distance to the event location each day.
We'll See You at Mayhem Mountain Festival!
The Mayhem Mountain Festival is the right place to get psyched about highlining and climbing. It is the Highline Festival to attend if you are in the North of South Africa. We’ll see you for a weekend of adrenaline and aerial antics. In the meantime, show your love and share our event with your friends.
Still not convinced? Check out this review on last year’s festival by Riding The Highline here or watch the video below!