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The Flux Festival (not to be confused with the Flux festival which is part of the Edinburgh Festival's Fringe or indeed the FLUX festival de vídeo d'autor of Barcelona) was a New Year music festival staged between 2001 and 2005 in Kwa-Zulu Natal Province, South Africa. Essentially a youth market event, the Flux Festival was held in a picturesque area known as the Hidden Valley, some 230 km inland from the province's main city, Durban. In terms of the number of patrons attending the event it would be considered a small event, but by no means lean on talented performances. At its height the event attracted approximately 5 000 patrons hailing from all corners of South Africa.
South Africa's first racially integrated music festival
The most remarkable aspect of the event (much commented on in media coverage of the time) was the mix of patrons. At a time when almost all other music events in South Africa, and especially those held in rural areas, were frequented by patrons of European origin, the Flux Festival attracted a multiracial crowd - a result of the events' eclectic line-up. An important factor which had contributed to the racial orientation of outdoor and rural music festivals up until this time was the perception amongst urban 'black' youth that rural areas represented the 'farm', as in the districts that their parents and grandparents came from, with all the negative connotations that forced removals and dispossession that some of these areas were associated with. Conversely, white youth had an opposite and favourable impression, linked in part to the precedence of 'white' music festivals in Europe and the U.S.(e.g. Woodstock, Glastonbury, Lollapalooza, Reading et al.) which served as reference. With a new democratic dispensation and an easing of racial tension, the youth of South Africa began to outgrow their entrenched viewpoints, enabling outdoor events to begin attracting audiences of greater diversity.
A major contributing factor to the popularity of the Flux Festival was a progressive line-up which favoured no particular genre or race group in its content and indeed portrayed a snapshot of contemporary South African music at the time. Among the acts hosted were luminaries such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Selaelo Selota, Bed On Bricks, Judith Sephuma, 340ml, Jabu Khanyile, Vusi Mahlasela, Max Normal, Brasse Vannie Kaap, Springbok Nude Girls, Tidal Waves, Sipho Gumede, Blk Sonshine and BOO! Beyond the selection of live acts, DJ's also featured prominently and reflected a comprehensive selection of urban musical mores: Ready D, Krushed & Sorted, Sibot, Toine, Rob (206 Allstars), Boogieman, Kliktrak, Blunted Stuntman, Bionic, Mimi K, Redwood, King Skaza, Inertia, Pepsi, Blaze, Impact (London), Earth, The Joynd Sons, Mbuso, Dodgy Rodge, SomeOne, Absolute (New York), Rawkiss, Oskido, [Tira (musician)|[Tira]], Sox, Fistaz and many more.
Ultimately the event ceased to be held after the 2004 New Year event due to financial constraints, a result of sponsors re-orienting their assistance along demographically and racially focussed lines. For an event whose lifeblood was the multiracial integration of the youth market, this meant a change was necessary. With the reputation of the event intact as one which celebrated the diversity of culture and the changing nature of South Africa as it established itself in the new millennium, the organisers have taken a sabbatical to consider their options. Rumours of an imminent move to greener pastures are yet to be confirmed.