Live The Lush Side Of Life

Words: Crush

Are you looking for an epic Easter getaway? Something that’ll take you away from the hustle and bustle of city life and bring you closer to Mother Nature and the great outdoors? Are you looking for awesome music, delicious food, and loads of heart pounding thrills? The Lush Festival ticks all these boxes and best of all it’s just a stone throw away – set in one of the most charming and picturesque towns in the Eastern Free State.

Between 25 to 27 March the tree-filled town of Clarens at the foothill of the Rooiberg Mountains (an easy three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Bloemfontein and Pretoria) will come alive with the first annual lifestyle and live music festival of its kind in South Africa. Unlike any other festival you’ve experienced before, Lush is not focussed on a single theme but rather encompasses a wide range of lifestyle activities. Celebrating all the senses with an array of exciting tastes, activities, sensational sounds and intoxicating sights, Lush is bound to attract locals and tourists alike who are looking to have fun in a safe environment, discover new places, try new things and meet new people.  

With so many adventures and so many attractions planned over just one weekend, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Get your tastebuds dancing with an assortment of creative artisan food guaranteed to satisfy the culinary desires of even the most ardent food lover. A music lover’s paradise, Lush offers a variety of different music to suit fans of all genres with three stages. The Festival layout will include a main stage called the Willows nestled neatly between two massive willow trees, which will feature popular international artists Xavier Rudd and Civil Twilight, as well as a variety of popular local acts, including Monark, Parlotones, Goodluck, Jeremy Loops and Francois Van Coke. There will also be a smaller acoustic stage known as the BARn Owl stage featuring acts like Josie Field, Michael Lowman and Laurie Levine, and last but not least The Woods stage nestled in a cosy poplar forest where festival goers can party the night away under a plush tree canopy, with beats from the likes of Pop Art Live, Mr Green, Chunda Munki, Vimo, Cinimin and many more. 

Aside from the music, those seeking adventure can get their pulse racing with nature trails, abseiling, river rafting, hiking, hot air ballooning, trail runs and a fun run. Clarens is also home to some of the best trout fishing spots in the country offering many options for fishing enthusiasts. Event organisers have also planned something extra special for cycling enthusiasts with a three-day MTB Stage race/ride. The ride will be done in a clover leaf format and stretch between 40 to 60 kilometres for the medium to enthusiastic MTB cyclist. Trails are managed by local communities and the Walking on fire team. The route starts at Linwood farm meanders through some of the most breath-taking landscapes along the Lesotho boarder road and back to Linwood Farm.

“Lush caters for a wide demographic, ranging from the young professional looking for a weekend getaway to students looking for a great place to party and even to families wanting to spend some quality time together,” says Festival director, Damon Forbes. “Being a three-day festival, we’ve ensured there’s ample accommodation for our guests, who can make use of the self catering hotels, B&Bs, backpackers and lodges to guest houses, guest farms and country inns available in and around the town. There will also be a ‘tented hotel’, erected by Harambe, who are famous for their camps at Oppi Koppi. Each tent will have beds, power points for charging phones and will also include creature comforts like private showers and a restaurant catering for breakfast (included). By having these different facilities festival goer can choose where to stay depending on their specific needs.”

“Clarens is the perfect setting for Lush. Just like the Festival’s namesake, Clarens forms part of the scenic Highlands Route and is surrounded by both lush vegetation and mountainous splendour. The area is the perfect playground for families, friends, couples, artists, photographers, nature lovers and just about anyone inspired by beauty, making Lush the perfect Festival for everyone too,” concludes Damon.

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