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Vdub Campfest 2017

Words by Sebastian Cenizo | Photography by CJ Levendal

Fest, One word, hundreds of ideas, emotions, rivalries, and friendships. The biggest gathering of modified Volkswagens on the continent. Our equivalent to the trendsetting Worthersee Treffen. This year, the organisers arranged what was arguably the best venue to date: Forever Resorts Badplaas.


Of course, we had to hook up and check it out. Friday saw us link up with a few of SA’s own trendsetters to convoy down to the venue while snapping a few pics. We were joined by a few hot cars, but arguably the newest on the scene and probably the simplest also got more attention than almost anything else: Jarred’s bagged 2-door Mk5 GTI. Hot AF. A mostly uneventful drive out of Jozi was spiced up by a Samaritan in the shape of Jamie Orr, who still has not experienced enough of South Africa to avoid picking up hitchhikers…


Arriving at our accommodation after a chilled cruise complete with gorgeous roads and stunning scenery, we freshened up and then toured the grounds. Inadvertently, we stumbled across a chalet filled with members of The Sunday Crew. Our livers may never recover from that fateful evening…


Saturday morning came around, and the sun showed us a lot that we had missed the night before. A number of cars had arrived in the dead of night, giving us a little more to aim our cameras at. Luckily, the scenery revealed to us by the rising sun was more picturesque than we realised the night before. A backdrop of greenery and mountainous fields created a stunning setting for the show area, which once again was complete with a drive-on stage, proper sound, and the infamous mirrored floor. A number of competitors were ready and got their rides judged early, while others kept their creations under wraps until the next day.


One of the rides that got a shitload of attention wasn’t getting ladies wet because of bags, or split wheels, or a banging boot install. Nah, this was something else entirely - a Mk3 Jetta with its roof cut off and the back seats and boot converted into a splash pool; The Jetcuzzi. The lad didn’t enter his Frankenstein, but still got a special mention from the weekend’s MC, the loudest white boy on African soil.


Saturday was just getting better and better with every passing hour, as more and more hot rides started hard parking in anticipation of show day Sunday. One of them came on a trailer and was kept under covers until the morning -  Durlyne’s freshly detailed Mk7 R, which had just received the fitment of yet more choice bits. Them carbon fenders had the same effect as Hundreds in a strip club; you could almost hear the panties hit the floor.


Not everything went according to plan, though. A couple of competitors fell captive to fatigue, and one Mk5 ended up scratching its bumper on a trailer, while another EuroProjektz car, a Mk4 with some fresh Anniversary Edition bits, ended up with a cracked sump on the drive there. Amazingly, both cars were sorted in time to be on stage come Sunday morning, and both Sanjay’s Mk5 and Aslam’s 2-door took home trophies, despite the minor scratch and unexpected sump replacement.


Overall, the event hosted a smaller crowd than expected due to what was perceived as excessive distance, but it honestly wasn’t a long drive, and the roads were 95% perfect. Despite this, the show was once again an evolution in many ways, and the hype for Fest just keeps growing. Sure, there was controversy around the fact that the crowd had a big say in the Best of Show prize, but the homemade Rat Rod Beetle that took this year’s crown was certainly a worthy contender, and even with a world-renowned VW scene expert on the judging panel, there will always be shade thrown by people looking in from the outside.


All we can say is that, come what may, for better or worse, we will be reporting on the scene bringing you the dopest shit out there. We can’t wait for next year, as Chaz surely has something special planned for the 10th anniversary of SA’s biggest show. Keep it locked on and follow us on the ‘gram and FB for all the latest.



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