Fynbos festival to drum up support
Organisers will use funds raised to fight a proposed resort on the outskirts of Malmesbury
Wine and other alcohol will be sold but visitors are welcome to bring their own drinks. There will be gourmet food stalls – sushi, smoothies, Indian food, wraps and produce from the area. Rozelle Abrahamson, a relative of Diana and Johan Simons, who own the farm, makes a range of chilli and other products and they will be for sale. There’ll be no shortage of choice but you can bring a picnic from home.
The Simonses, made their home in fynbos country about 14 years ago. Before that Diana had been a psychotherapist in Cape Town and Johan a microbiologist. They were attracted by a lifestyle which veered towards self-sustainability and was rooted in peace and quiet. Now Fynbos Estate is well established on 320 hectares in the Paardeberg Mountain, just outside Malmesbury. It is in the process of becoming a fully fledged Cape nature reserve (www.fynbosestate.co.za). They grow grapes, make their own wine under the label Dragonridge (a mountain on the farm), and produce honey and olive oil.
The farm includes a guesthouse and a retreat geared for team-building workshops, yoga and mediation events.
Last year freelance photographer Karoline (aka Kay) Staszak attended a spiritual retreat weekend at Fynbos. She fell in love with the place and asked if she could stay. In exchange for board and lodging, she has pitched in to do whatever work needs to be done.
Shortly after Staszak arrived, a meeting about the proposed Malmsbury Aviation Estate was held.
Why not organise a music festival, asked Staszak? The Swartland Forum, a group of people trying to stop the development, thought that was a cood idea (www.swartlandforum.yolasite.com).
Staszak has experience running live music venues in Cape Town. She worked the phones and was delighted to sign up artists who offered reasonable rates.
The line-up on Saturday features big names as well as off-beat outfits: Steve Newman, Guy Buttery, Derek Gripper, Errol Dyers, Hilton Schilder, All In One, Gary Thomas, Take Two, aMani, Miss Texas 1977, The Frown Family Karavan, Karnamrita Dasi (inter national act from the US) and Sangam, Koitrans. Party band Off the Record will end the evening with classic rock. The talented and energetic Rob van Vuuren will be MC.
On Sunday, there will be the African Mbira Band, dancing, Riebeek steel drum, drumming in the forest and other activities which will enable festival goers to commune with nature.
Not everyone is opposed to the plans. According to media releases by co-developers, the idea of the estate has been placed before authorities such as the Airports Company South Africa and Air Traffic Network Services, and they like the idea. Job creation is a big plus and there are other positive spin-offs.
Tickets are R300 for two days; R200 for Saturday only, R150 for Sunday only; R50 for camping on Saturday night. Gates open at 10am on both days with music from around lunchtime. Tickets available from the following Ska outlets: Long Street (021 426 5025), Observatory (021 447 6014) and Kalk Bay (021 788 7437) and from the Melting Pot in Long Street www.meltingpotsocialclub.com or by EFT through www.swartlandforum.yolasite.com or call Kay Staszak at 072 385 7322.