Theuns Jordaan, Robbie Wessels, Loukmaan Adams and Karen Zoid are some of the headliners taking centre stage at South Africa’s most authentic harvest festival, the ATKV-Oesfees, to be held on Saturday, 22 March, 2014 at the Solms-Delta wine estate in the Franschhoek Valley. The seventh annual Oesfees, in association with RSG, kykNET, MyEdit and Wesgro, which takes place over the long Human Rights Day weekend, is a feast of real Boland music and culture, and features over 100 uniquely South African performers.
An event like few others on the South African cultural calendar, the ATKV-Oesfees gives thanks for, and celebrates, the end of the harvest, bringing together farm workers and farm owners from the Franschhoek Valley to kuier and vastrap, along with thousands of other music lovers who enjoy a day of rural Cape sounds and flavours, under the estate’s shady oak trees.
Launched in 2008, the Oesfees has grown from a small farm celebration to a sold-out festival with over 5000 in attendance in 2013. “It is great to see how this event has sparked the interest and enthusiasm of people from Bantry Bay to Bellville to Belhar, who no matter where they come from, enjoy the music and the unification that characterise the day,” said Mark Solms of Solms-Delta. “While now a large-scale event, the ATKV-Oesfees is still as authentic as ever, touching all who perform and attend with the power of music and gratitude.”
Japie Gouws, managing director of the ATKV-Group says, “the ATKV-Oesfees offers a stage, not only for the cream of South African artists, but also for the wonderful talent among ordinary people. These are the events where the potential of Afrikaans is exhibited and nation-building is promoted.”
The annual event is also a showcase for the Music van de Caab project run by Adriaan Brand of Springbok Nude Girls and an important part of this festival is the performances by the project’s very own home-grown bands amongst all the top talent. The Music van de Caab project seeks to preserve and develop the diverse musical heritage of the rural Cape, including the fostering of local musical talent.
The Solms-Delta music acts range from the Klein-Handjies pre-school choir and the “Kaapse Klopse” style walking band – Delta Valley Entertainers; to a top wind and percussion band – Langbroeke; a female choir ensemble – Soetstemme and the home-grown Delta Vastrap Genootskap and Lekker Lekker Delta.
Tuned Up from Morning ’til Night
Known for his deep gravelly voice, popular Afrikaans singer and songwriter Theuns Jordaan returns to the ATKV-Oesfees, along with Karen Zoid, a performer lauded for her emotionally charged rock music with cross-cultural appeal. Zoid’s act will incorporate a full band and school choir collaboration (Hoërskool Stellenbosch). Robbie Wessels hits the Oesfees stage for the first time, along with entertainer Loukmaan Adams of District Six: The Musical and Kat and the Kings fame. Legendary folk singer Valiant Swart will once again wow the Oesfees crowds!
Masterful blues guitarists Albert Frost and Nick Turner will collaborate with guitar students from the Music de Caab programme. Spoon-slide guitarist Hannes Coetzee is a long-standing Oesfees favourite, and Afrikaans hip-hop/folk fusion band Tribal Echo lends its unique sound to the festival once again.
Besides being a platform for established artists, the ATKV-Oesfees has introduced unknown cultural gems from some of South Africa’s most remote rural areas to its audience, over the past several years. In January 2014, Music van de Caab director Adriaan Brand went on a talent scouting mission to the Richtersveld National Park, where he discovered six ‘unpolished diamonds’ who will perform at this year’s festival. “What makes the songs they sing special is that they are in a very old dialect of Afrikaans that is spoken only in this area traditionally inhabited by the Nama and the Griekwa,” explains Brand, who adds that their Oesfees debut will be “characteristically Richtersveld.”
An annual Oesfees highlight is a performance by winners of the ATKV Riel Dance Final. This year the 2013 junior champions, Die Nuwe Graskoue Trappers (from Wupperthal), will take to the stage!
The festival emcee will be actor and funnyman Siv Ngesi, whose one-man comedy, Race Card was a hit at the 2013 Grahamstown Festival and the Baxter Theatre.
Kaapsekos and Kids
What’s a rural music festival without tasty, soul-satisfying home-cooked food? From the Oesfees kitchen comes Kaapsekos favourites made with local love, like chicken breyani, beef afval curry, venison pie and waterblommetjie bredie, as well as all the salads, along with hand-held treats like samoosas and koeksisters. Solms-Delta wines, aptly named Langarm, Vastrap, Cape Jazz Shiraz, Lekkerwijn and Hiervandaan are the ‘hiervandaan’ accompaniments to the authentic Boland fare.
A total family experience, the ATKV-Oesfees caters for children too with the secure Bashews Kidz Zone, where parents can sign in their children between the ages of 2-12 years for fun, supervised entertainment and play. Arm bands for both children and their parents will be issued and children will not be allowed to leave the zone without their parents. There will be a wide selection of arts, crafts and activities, from balloon modelling and face painting to crafts and carnival games, floor games and croquet on the lawn for the kids.
Tickets are available online from www.plankton.mobi for R130 (adults) and R30 (Children 2-12 years – includes access to the secure ‘sign-your-kid-in’ Bashews Kidz Zone with supervised entertainment and play) or at the gate for R150 on the day. Children under 2 years get in for free. Gates open 9am; music from 10am – 9pm. For more information, go to www.solms-delta.co.za, call 021 874 3937 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on facebook.com/solmsdelta and Twitter @solms_delta. Twitter hashtag: #ATKVoesfees