Hart van Windhoek, a music festival that most Namibians have heard of, but many have never been to, has been a popular event since its inception in 2010. The main sponsor of the event is the South African magazine Huisgenoot and the festival mainly caters for people of the Afrikaans persuasion. However in recent years acts from other genres of music have been included, from kwaito to hip hop to mainstream rock, in order to gain a wider fan base.
As a first time attendee, I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had a feeling it was going to be full of Afrikaans people running around in short shorts and no shoes, but I was heavily mistaken. On the Friday, things were pretty evenly spread in terms of race. This was mainly due to the type of music played on the day, with the likes of Wamboseun, Gazza and Black Coffee (who, as it turned out, missed his flight and the entire event). The odds were definitely not the same the next day, as hordes of Afrikaaners flocked to the venue for the much awaited Boerewors Competition, as well as an amazing performance by the Springbok Nude Girls.
The scene from behind the bar was insanely busy, as one can imagine. More often than not, partying turns to violence when
Namibians have a bit too much to drink. Hart van Windhoek is the opposite. There was a great sense of camaraderie and “togetherness”. This made for a wonderful atmosphere on both sides of the bar. You would think that 14 000 people in a small space over 2 days with an unlimited amount of alcohol would turn into a rowdy affair, but almost everywhere one looked people were laughing, sharing stories, singing and dancing along with one another, and having a generally happy and peaceful time.
Hart van Windhoek is something every Namibian should attend at least once, if not for the music, then at least for the delicious food and atmosphere. There are not many events that one can classify as being an all round “Namibian” experience, but this one is definitely of that calibre.
Fumah is a student at Polytechnic and an occasional bartender.