Fyn­bos fes­ti­val to drum up sup­port

Or­gan­is­ers will use funds raised to fight a pro­posed re­sort on the out­skirts of Malmes­bury

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODTHINGS -

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.

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