RAMFEST: partnership with metal4africa is back!

Cape Town, South Africa: we’re thrilled to be back in business with RAM. As announced earlier today, Ramfest will tour USA’s death metal quintet The Black Dahlia Murder to Cape Town and Pretoria alongside co-headliners, South Africa’s own rock legend, Van Coke Kartel.

Apart from the two big announcements; first being the return to a two-city format, and the other being line-up reveals; there is a third announcement which means a lot to us at metal4africa in particular, and we hope to our readers too. M4A will be on board for the Cape Town show, just like old times!

Ramfest Cape Town: a RAM Stage and a M4A Stage

After some wheeling and dealing and what both parties unequivocally agree to as a mutually beneficial move, we’re rekindling the old partnership between RAM and M4A during the years of the festival spanning 2010-2014. This will apply to the Cape Town leg of the festival. There will be a second stage hosted by yours truly. On here, we will explore some more of the metal-infused sounds of diverse inspiration, ranging from extreme to fringe. Where there is something heavier on the RAM Stage, we’ll bring something lighter to the M4A Stage and vice-versa.

If you were not yet enjoying nightlife five or more years ago, we’ll offer a recap on the partnership:

Ramfest: evolution and rebirth

The “Real Alternative Music Festival” – or Ramfest, as it is better known – emerged in 2007 (same as metal4africa) in the Western Cape. It was always inspired to feature a broad range of alternative music genres; including our beloved Metal and derivatives thereof. However, the festival featured indie rock, pop rock, punk, hardcore, electronic and other niche genres equally; often with international headliners favouring one or the other, and local talent filling in representation for the rest.

The original event poster from 2007

The earliest format of the festival was a full weekend out in a remote location. It maintained that for several years. As Ramfest expanded to include additional cities, the format underwent a few shifts; including one-day festival events in some cities, and testing market feasibility in some unusual locations for festivals.

As early as 2009, festival management started to feel the pressure of expansion. In order to smooth out some difficult areas, they sought out a partnership and metal4africa (with our own SummerFest and WinterFest mini-festivals also enjoying an established status on the local circuit) seemed a natural fit. From 2010 Ramfest introduced a M4A Stage at each Cape Town festival thereafter until the series ceased after 2014.

Moreover, the company also began dabbling with non-festival events; such as touring individual international bands to South Africa (Lamb of God in 2014 being a prime example). After 2014, featuring Killswitch Engage and Trivium, Ramfest fell silent, citing a turbulent economy as a reason for caution at that time.

Stirring in the ashes: 2017-2018

In 2017, Ramfest started to stir at its facebook page. In August of 2018 it announced “Ram is back” with a slight page re-brand and a strategic reboot. The first event hosted by the newly announced RAM was a monstrous Halloween party at the legendary Loftus Versveld sports facility in Pretoria. The show was a day of live music with three stages. It boasted a diverse line-up (including USA’s I See Stars, and for the harder Metal crowd SA’s Vulvodynia, Boargazm, Deadline and more) worthy of the brand’s former guise. RAM followed up its success in 2019 with Attila as international headliner at its first actual Ramfest branded event since 2014; which followed a similar format to the Halloween event.

In 2020, Ramfest is claiming back its traditional calendar real estate with a dual-city festival in March. Cape Town is back in the mix!

Seeking to reward the traditional markets

RAM began its original journey with a mission to gather the alternative tribes. With a back-to-basics approach, it follows the original blueprint; in which Metal remains one of the cornerstone genres, alongside Rock and others. Ramfest 2020 co-headlines The Black Dahlia Murder alongside Van Coke Cartel to celebrate this union of the two overarching genres, with a host of local talent to delight further diverse tastes.

What does this mean for local Metal? Well, we trust only good things for fans and the bands of Metal. Diversified musical gatherings have always been good for us, and for placing metal in front of fresh ears. For us at metal4africa, we can once again increase the number of slots we are able to facilitate for local acts per year (in addition to the 16 slots at our own annual events). Additionally, it also means that we’ll be reopening a brief “submissions season” for 2020 (from which we’ll draw decisions about both Ramfest 2020 in March and our WinterFest’20 in July). For the community as a whole, we can enjoy more social adventures in each others’ company with exciting music and people.

Bands, the submissions “season” is open! Click here to access the form. Closing 31 December, 2019.

Fans, in the meantime, get tickets for Cape Town via Howler.

True Believer members (Western Cape and Gauteng), we’ve got something special for you. Get in touch via the True Believers facebook page.

Visit the main Ramfest 2020 article here.