Grab your tents, get your colourful kit ready and shake the dust off those dancing shoes, because festival season is finally here!
Taking place over the first weekend of October, Rocking the Daisies (RTD) is among the most sought-after events on the summer party calendar, drawing thousands of revellers from all over the country to the little Western Cape town of Darling every year.
Now, even though everyone loves a good weekend-long music festival, there’s one very real downside that tends to come with this territory: the environmental damage. We’ve all seen the shocking aftermath images of the likes of Coachella and Glastonbury.
What we’ve always loved about RTD, is the fact that they actively try to minimise their footprint as much as possible by encouraging recycling, carpooling and even walking to the event.
Walking the Daisies (WTD) has been an official part of RTD since 2009 and offers festival-goers the opportunity to undertake a two-day, 48-hour journey on foot, packed with amazing experiences and meaningful community contributions.
We chatted to Damien Hewitt from Plant the Seed Education, one of the main organisers of WTD, to find out more about this special initiative.
When was Walking the Daisies (WTD) first established as part of RTD? What inspired the idea? How many people are walking to daisies this year?
The first WTD happened in 2009. The idea was conceived by Nathan Daniel and aimed to bring awareness to the social and ecological systems and our interaction with them.
It began challenging the idea of driving to this growing festival by bringing in a slower and more appreciative experience.
Plant the Seed Education have pioneered the walk since 2011 and have watched it grow in stature from 20 participants to 200 in 2013. This year the walk will compose of 162 walkers and a crew of 15 individuals behind the scenes.
What fun, recreational activities can walkers look forward to this year?
The walk aims to spark social and environmental action. But this can’t happen without our social interaction.
The walkers can look forward to a plethora of social and engaging activities such as:
- A beach clean-up;
- Educational talks;
- Beach yoga;
- Overnight party at Silverstroom campsite;
- Sponsored goody bags full of amazing treats;
- Engaging workshops in the community of Mamre;
- The chance to meet some future best friends!
Apart from recreational activities, the walk is also all about taking positive action. Can you tell me a bit more about the community work (and beach clean-up) you’ll be doing along the way?
As mentioned, the walk aims to create environmental and social change through our actions.
The first day takes more of an environmental narrative through the beach clean-up from Kreefte Baai through to Melkbostrand in collaboration with Beach Co-op.
One would be amazed, and horrified by the amount of plastic, non-recyclable waste that litters our beautiful shorelines and ecosystems. Each year, walkers are gob-smacked at the amount of waste collected.
This year, Plant the Seed Education are launching a plastic reduction campaign, Plastic Detox (sign up) which will create more active engagement and citizenry around this pertinent issue that currently and alarmingly faces us.
The second day emphasises the importance of social sustainability in this country. As South Africans, we need to engage more across income, race and cultural levels.
We aim to create these simple connections through a variety of workshops run in the wonderful community of Mamre. These workshops include a:
- Garden session
- Upcycling workshop
- Gang talk
- Sports day
- And engaging mealtime conversations (Dine with Mamre).
The purpose of these workshops is to not overly educate or change the actual community, but rather to create a platform where walkers and community members can engage and interact, something they may not have done if not given the chance.
What is your personal favourite part about WTD?
The opportunity to meet and connect with so many new and interesting people from different spectrums of life. The first step in creating any form of change is to gather as a collective in doing so. Creating social connections and relationships is the outstanding highlight of this great experience for me.
Can people follow the journey on social media?
Yes – follow Plant the Seed Education at @PlantTheSeedEdu on Instagram
How can those who missed out this year get their hands on a WTD ticket for RTD 2019?
Ticket sales for an experience like WTD are limited for logistical and experiential reasons. Ticket sales commence a few weeks after the release of RTD tickets, but sell out relatively soon after their release, so be sure to keep an eye out for ticket release dates for next year on the Rocking the Daisies or Plant the Seed Education Instagram pages.