Everything you need to know about the 2022 Mayhem Mountain Festival
The goal of the festival
No one really set out with the idea of creating the Mayhem Mountain Festival, it was just a bunch of maats who were into the then obscure sport of highlining. We would arrange a meetup of the crew once a year or so, and eventually the crew became big enough with enough expertise that what we were doing started to gain attention.
As the years went by, each meetup became bigger and as more people got into the sport of slacklining more people were becoming interested in the crazy idea of walking a one inch line over an expansive void. Very soon the idea of establishing a campsite at the Mayhem valley popped up and having formed a relationship with Rueben, the owner, over the years, the Mayhem Mountain Adventure campsite started to form. This campsite was built entirely by a community of friends to support the growth of highlining in South Africa.
Now we are at a point where we can call it a festival, with people actually planning months in advance to join us for a weekend of unforgettable psych and adventure. The main thing that separates this fest from so many other fests that you might have gone to is that it is not at all driven by commercial ends. Instead it is just a group of people who want to share the beauty of their flow in the mountains with whoever is willing to share.
The Mayhem Mountain Festival is built on community and highlining. Two things that have come to form the basis of the North of South Africa’s highline scene, because let’s be real, what we do is crazy to the casual onlooker. It’s only through the community providing the psych and support that this sport becomes a habit and eventually a lifestyle.
In today’s world where we have become untethered from community it is refreshing to know that a group of people have been able to create something that puts maats at the center of what we do. That’s why we go out there and envision these crazy projects in the mountains. So that as many people have the opportunity to experience what is possible when a group of friends come together, put their energy into a project that they can all share in and see what happens when they all collectively send that project.
That is the essence of the Mayhem Mountain Festival and we hope that you can feel that as you enter the Mayhem for yourself and find yourself completely at peace with the people around you. Even though you don’t know them yet, you know that you already share something with them through contributing to the Mayhem project simply by sharing your experiences with everyone there.
Important things to be aware of:
The Mayhem Mountain Festival is a private event, even though everyone is welcome! This does mean that access will be controlled if you live anywhere but the Mayhem Mountain Adventure Campsite. If you are staying anywhere else your weekend pass will cost you R300, which can be paid at the entrance of the Mayhem Mountain Campsite. Also know that the access between Tranquilitas and Mayhem Mountain adventures will be closed and you will have to drive around to the entrance to share in the beauty of the fest.
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 at the festival with this link.
The blue tent pic – the scenic Mayhem campsite is a perfect spot to pitch a tent and get away from it all by getting to all that’s happening over the Easter weekend
Know that the Mayhem Mountain Adventure Campsite has got electricity in the form of solar. Most of this energy will be used to power the refrigeration but you will be able to power some electronics throughout the festival. Refrigeration space is limited so keep it to essentials being cooled. No drinks will be allowed in the fridges so it is best to bring a lekker big cooler box. We will be doing periodic ice runs so ice will be available to refill your containers.
Highlining is a dangerous sport so it is up to all of us to keep each other safe on the mountain. If there is one meeting that you should attend it will be the safety meeting 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 cure to any eventuality is to know what is going on and keep each other safe!
How to get there:
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 13km 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 20km/h to keep your car safe. Follow the dirt road for about 6.5km. You will come to a fork in the road. The Mayhem Mountain Festival is just up that road and to the left, simply follow the signs to the campsite.
For those making use of navigational equipment here is the Google Maps Link.
What to bring along:
- All your essential camping gear: tent, sleeping bag, mattress, extra blanket, gas stove, headlamp, etc.
- Warm clothes and cool clothes. It may not feel like it but we will be staying at the top of a mountain, and mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable, be prepared. It gets hot during the day and you might want to swim, but it also gets hella cold at night so be prepared to layer appropriately.
- Food and drink to keep you going throughout the long weekend. It is a long adventure so make sure you are properly fed and hydrated to enjoy everything. The Mayhem Mountain Adventures campsite does have refrigeration. The nearest reliable shop for groceries is a Spar in Belfast, about an hour’s drive from Waterval Boven. So plan accordingly.
- A harness for the highlining, as well as all your other climbing or adventure gear you deem necessary for the weekend’s activities.
- If you are a flow artist, please bring the tools of your craft along, any juggling, poi or uni-cycling is greatly encouraged.
- Any sort of instrument that can contribute to the ambiance of the festival be it a guitar, didgeridoo, hang drum, or traditional drum.
- Please bring any and all slacklines, the plan is to have as large a variety of slacklines up at the Mayhem campsite as possible.
- Plenty of psych! It is not every day you get to fly in the sky!
What to expect from the activities:
Have a look at the schedule to see a detailed breakdown of the activities over the weekend. We’ve also made a lekker map of the festival to ensure that you don’t get lost and always know where you need to be for the next session or workshop.
One of the main purposes of this festival is to impart knowledge to people who have seen the different sports and thought that it would be sick to try them out.
We have highline workshops dedicated to getting you comfortably enough to go out and experience the void on the highlines.
Tim and Swart will start in the campsite and help you understand the basics of highlining, showing you how to climb a leash and mount a line as well as giving some beta on how to enter the flow state to stand up on the line.
Leighton will be giving a trickline workshop. This is an awesome chance to learn from our friends down South who have been learning from the international scene and are ready to show us country bumpkins what the sport of highline tricklining is all about. Definitely check it out if you are into flippy shit over the void.
Allister will take people out to the Library, a perfect place to get lost in the twists and turns or do a little learning. Plenty of routes from easy to hard await the psyched climbers who join this session on Saturday morning. Top roping and leading are great ways to experience some of the best rock climbing in the world, another reason the Mayhem is such a cool spot for a Mountain Fest.
The North’s Queen of Trail, Karine Bezuidenhoudt will be hosting a trail run on Friday where she will take you on a run through the hills of Boven. This run is not to break you, but rather to warm up the body through the beauty of experiencing Boven. There will be some incline running as we are in a mountainous area, but it is something not to be missed if you can hold your own on a 10km run. Karine will impart invaluable running theory and guide you into becoming a better runner.
Flow is an integral part of our movement sport and through the years the JHB Flow community and the Slacking The City slackline groups have always found ways to share in each other’s crafts. To continue this tradition we will be having a dedicated flow session with all the toys that put your body into a state of movement flow. Wes and Shaun will host this session and are great at helping new people get to grips with the skills needed to get into the flow state for movement.
During the fest you will get the opportunity to do 3 classes of Yoga with 3 amazing teachers to ensure that you are limbered up and ready for the day ahead. Jes, Karien and Jen will each be hosting a morning yoga class and it is the perfect opportunity to get your mind and body in unity for the day’s events. So make sure that you make the mission to the Grow and Flow space to get everything in alignment, you’ll need it.
The reason the festival is happening! Lines will be rigged from the first day and left up throughout the fest. Giving you plenty of time to get your highline fix in! If you feel comfortable with highlining you can get on a line at any time, but we have also set aside some time to get everyone involved and on the lines, mainly at sunset and sunrise. The secret to highlining at any time is simply to ask someone who is competent to share some beta with you and make sure that you are tied in correctly, allowing you to feel the pull of the void!
We are also going to be doing another first for SA, Aerial Acrobatics off of a highline! Nicole will be bringing her silks along and will provide a show for people to enjoy as she spins and twirls in the void. So if you are keen to see something that no one else has seen before make sure that you are at the highline in the afternoon on Friday. Anyone who has experience with aerial acrobatics and silks is also welcome to join in on this session!
The Mayhem Mountain Festival is something that a group of people have been building with a lot of psych for a while now and we are beyond excited to share it with you. If you need to know anything else about the wildest festival of the year don’t hesitate to hit us up and ask. We’ve spent a lot of time making this festival, and the activities it showcases, as accessible as possible to the largest number of people. Weeks of working, days of organizing and hours of planning have come together to give you an unforgettable experience that we hope you will cherish for as long as you are psyched to be out in the mountains with friends.
Just like that we are a week away. So until we all meetup in the Mayhem void, keep it real out there!