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Monday, December 14, 2015


(The beautiful surroundings of the festival)

Smoking Dragon will celebrate its Fifth New Year’s Eve Festival this year with a three day event (December 29 to January 1) hosted by Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge, set in the beautiful Northern Drakensberg.

The Smoking Dragon New Year’s Eve Festival 2015 is unique in that it offers families the opportunity to celebrate the parting of the old year and the arrival of the new one in a safe, beautiful environment whilst listening to top South African artists. From the success of the last four years patrons can expect a dynamic festival for family revellers of conscious festival goers and many international tourists.

“The line-up is always very carefully selected where we try and take the audience on an auditory journey, seamlessly crossing through the different music categories from folk all the way to electronic, in this way no genre dominates so everyone is catered for,” comments organiser, Ilsa Roberts.

“Smoking Dragon is all about community and partners with RAISE an NGO to run three days of workshops before the event in an attempt to capitalize on the influx of trained and dynamic individuals in the industry. The idea also being to increase exposure and revenue for local musicians and crafters over the period. The festival tries to support local more established businesses in the Northern Berg by encouraging people to support the wide range of accommodation and activities on offer. As the first and second of January are in fact a Friday and a Saturday we are hoping that families will chill with us for a while longer than normal,” Roberts adds

What sets this festival apart from others, is that there is so much to do in the area. From lounging in the pool, mountain biking through the Northern Berg, hot air ballooning from the festival grounds or listening to the top SA talent, the Smoking Dragon New Year’s Eve Festival 2015 is not only off the beaten path, it’s on a whole groove of its own.

The incredible entertainment line-up includes: The Kiffness; Haezer; Das Kapital; Majozi; Albert Frost; Damage Inc; Phizisist; Household Funk; Ruby Gill; We Are Charlie; The Accidentals; The Meditators; Tidal Waves; Existing Consciousness; BCUC; The Brother Moves On; Devin Harmer; Tim Parr; Gugz&The Bam Bam; Acoustic Groove Machine; The Hezron Chetty Band; Sutherland; BOO!; Yorke; Heroine; Diamond Thug; Jack Rolling Dandy's; Zebra & Giraffe; Napalma; Diamond Thug.

Also on the programme are Michael Lesar; Icurus and Rain; 2lani The Warrior; The General; Nomad; Headroom; Hippie Mafia; Chee; Damage inc; T-Stack amd VinGroovin

Camping with a festival ticket is free with access to two dams, a river, clean ablutions, a kid's zone and food and craft stalls as well as the fabulous view of the Amphitheatre all the way to Cathkin Peak. For those who prefer a bit of extra comfort there is also the option to stay in the Amphitheatre Backpacker's Lodge campground at R135 per night. Here you can enjoy their restaurant, bar, free sauna, jacuzzi, bouldering cave, internet cafe and rock pool.

Smoking Dragon New Year’s Eve Festival 2015 takes place from December 29 at 10h00 to January 1 at 13h00 at the Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge - Amphitheatre Lodge, R74, 3354 Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal.

Tickets R700 pre-sale and R800 at the gate. (children under 12 years old: R25). Day tickets are also available at R300 per day which includes one night free camping. Arrive at any time on the date of arrival, but depart by 10h00 on the next day.

Tickets and more information on

SHUTTLE SERVICE: The Bazbus is a hop on hop off personalised door to door bus service that links all the backpacking venues throughout the country together. Although used primarily by foreign tourists without their own vehicles, why not jump on and enjoy being driven? It drops you right at the festival. There is also a shuttle service for those travelling by mainline coach from Cape Town, Jhb or Durban (Harrismith being the pick up town) bookings can be made through the smoking Dragon Travel store.