by Michelle Wilding in New Events on Thursday 3 June 2010

I’ve been following Smirnoff Experience events held around the world and never had the fortune to get to one. The volcanic ash halted my Berlin endeavours, so naturally I was absolutely ecstatic when asked to attend the Johannesburg gig as a VIP. DJ Tiesto co-headlined with South African big guns BLK JKS, and the result was something unique.

I must say, I’m not typically fond of Tiesto recordings. He just doesn’t do it for me “all-around”, like my favourite mouse Joel Zimmerman (AKA: Deadmau5) does. But experiencing a live set by the big Dutchman left me impressed and made me understand why he’s been voted the world’s number one DJ for the past 3 years in a row. Tiesto delved into the mainstream sphere and also stirred the crowd with dirty house and electro which is notably different to his signature progressive trance style.

His ability to feel what the crowd wanted to hear and consequently deliver an enduring three hour set full of wind-up breaks and teasy moments that flirted with the LED light show meant we all left satisfied. Overall, I was intrigued that these Smirnoff events are anything but your average music festival that all the while may sound great, but actually sounds the same. I admire that a company like this visits the finest global cities and adapts the culture of that particular country into their event by integrating it into the line-up via musicians, DJ’s, art, layout, genres and styles.

I can now say I am equipped with a greater understanding of South African ways and culture because of my experience. Essentially nothing makes me happier than interesting live music and drinking quality vodka in good company. You can watch an hour of Tiesto’s 3-hour live set here.