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SA Partridge

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Loeries Experience

This weekend was dominated by the 31st annual Loerie Awards, making it a working weekend but also mad fun.

It was my first Loeries and I had been well forewarned. I was told that putting all of South Africa’s creatives together under one roof can only spell doom, that’s why the awards weren’t held in Margate this year. It no longer exists. I was told that seasoned comedians cringe at the thought of hosting the Loeries because underwear gets thrown at the stage, or worse, the audience doesn’t laugh at all. I was told many such stories, but in truth I wasn’t expecting it to be that bad. I was so wrong.

I arrived on Friday afternoon to find the Good Hope Centre transformed into a giant house party. You could hear the bass pumping from the parking lot. I was concerned that I may have been underdressed in my AC/DC t-shirt and leather jacket but my worries were unfounded; it was definitely a case of come as you are. A few made the effort to dress up, and I even spotted one man in a kilt, but for the most part it was blue jeans wherever you looked. As I walked through the doors I was handed a Heineken and just followed the music, no signage necessary. The walls were decked out in huge graffiti-esque figures and flat screen TV’s. This was definitely a new look for the building. The hall was dominated by a massive wall of screens flashing hip hop videos and on the stage, scantily clad women danced and shook their well, you know? A continuous bar lined the walls, manned by more bar staff than I had ever seen in my life, all smiling, all eager. I admit that I was teetering by the time the awards started.

As for the main stage: imagine massive screens and larger-than-life neon pillars like someone had taken a crate of multi-coloured glow sticks and detonated them. The hosts for the evening were Mark Lottering and Natalie Becker. He was funny, but I don’t think she earned one laugh all evening, at least not an honest one. DJ Fletcher from African Dope provided the background music which made it very hard for me to sit still. Our designer certainly didn’t, choosing to dance in the aisle most of the night. The performance by Jax Panic blew my mind. I don’t think a music act exemplifies the creative South African mindset as much as they do. Overall the atmosphere was buzzing, and surprisingly, the creatives behaved. One of the many afterparties was a tent in Long Street where my friend drunkenly asked a police woman out for dinner. I must have danced all night, ending up in the Purple Turtle where an impromptu break dance circle had formed and I danced to hip hop, badly.

Obviously it wouldn’t be a party weekend if you didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn to attend a media conference. As I arrived I was handed a vitamin water. They were obviously expecting me. Later I jumped on a shuttle bus to Camps Bay and gate crashed an eTV party, accompanying them as far as Nando’s before setting off for yet another media conference. Despite their money troubles, the SABC treated me to an amazing seafood lunch at Blues and I’m not lying when I say it was the best salmon I’ve ever tasted. After a quick heart attack at the sight of the ticket waiting for me back in Long Street and a quick change it was back to the Good Hope Centre for round two. This time I stuck to Red Bull. The second day is particularly interesting because of the TV Commercials category and this is what everyone makes the trip for. Mark Lottering and the unfortunate Miss Becker were replaced by John Vlismas who actually was funny, and Goldfish replaced African Dope. Helen Zille was given a thunderous welcome, which is odd since a vast chunk of the audience was from Joburg. Thankfully, the ceremony was quick and ended on time, saving me from relying on Red Bull to stay alive. All my favourite ads won including Chicken Licken, Player 23 and Nando’s, but I was a bit disappointed that the Audi Flipbook ad didn’t get Gold. Strangely enough, I ran into Derick Muller at the ceremony. He was nominated for the song he wrote for Checkers that he performed at the KKNK. That night I decided to give the official parties a miss and headed to Assembly for the Cape Rocks 2 party. The evening culminated in my police woman-loving friend winning a guitar signed by Fokofpoliesiekar.

I slept in Sunday.


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    September 28th, 2009 @23:43 #

    Wait a minute -- how on earth did you squeeze in my genteel poetry with tea reading in Cavendish on Sat morning? Did you clone yourself? :) This sounds amazing. Is there maybe a video clip of Deryk doing the Checkers song?

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Sally</a>
    September 29th, 2009 @08:59 #

    Your tea was on Thursday :)

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    September 29th, 2009 @09:30 #

    If ever I needed proof I am not yet fit to be working... will you write me a sick note? :)


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