Splashy Fen turns 30

With not long to go before the 30th edition of the Splashy Fen Music Festival, on the farm of the same name near Underberg, a reminder that the full line-up for the four-day event now includes more than 100 acts performing across five unique stages.

From local Underberg legends to South African favourites, up-and-coming musos and international hot shots, there really is something for everyone to look forward to at this year’s Easter event which runs from April 18 to 22.

The Treehouse Stage – introduced in 2017 and essentially a hand-made wattle stage hidden under the trees in the Splashy Fen forest – has become a popular platform for budding musicians to showcase their skills.

The vibe is laid back, the décor whimsical and other-worldly and the vendors trading in this area offer a range of esoteric products and services.

Belly-dancing

Make a diary note that music performances start from 1.15pm on Thursday, April 18, so pop along and enjoy music from Dawn Morey, The North and South, Gavin Ferguson, Blessing Tangban, Nipho Hurd and Chad Jubber, to name a few.

Throughout the festival, visitors will also be treated to a series of belly-dancing workshops and performances, digeridoo workshops and the Art- Go-Round interactive billboard – all an annual occurence at the Treehouse Stage.

Surrounded by some 30-plus food vendors in the Splashy Fen Food Court Area, is the Acoustic Stage. Here the programme will include David Fisher, Bad Peter, Freddy-L, Hayden Rattray, Rowan Stuart, Lanky Jake, Hollowbody and others.

What’s on: Meander Chronicle diary of events, Mar-April 2019

Pull up a hay bale, order your lunch and stay until dinner enjoying the music – from acoustic solos to bango-playing harmonies, an electric jazz set from Veranda Panda, and a Splashy Legends line-up hosted by Don Clarke and Dicky Roberts, and featuring PJ Powers.

The Splashy Fen Main Stage opens on Friday, April 19. It is scheduled to have the crowd on their feet all night and all weekend with a line-up that includes Ben Dey & The Concrete Lions, Jeremy Loops (pictured top), Wonderboom, Kim Churchill, Youngr, Mi Casa and the festival’s main headliner act, US band Wheatus.

Fans can look forward to another stellar line-up at the Corona River Stage from the Friday morning. The Mavericks will open the festivities on the popular river banks, followed by Sutherland, Minananzi Mbira, The Kickstands, The Steezies and more.

Surprise set

Look out for the Surprise Set, where the stage is handed over to acts from the festival’s line-up. If the 2018 is anything to go by, you do not want to miss this!

For those festival fans looking to dance the night away, the Red Square Electric Boma is a hive of great music, quirky décor and party starters. It is here that you can catch Slim Beats, Royal Love, Huckleberry, Craig Rude, Kyle Deutsch, Crazy White Boy and East Coast Radio’s Bongani Mtolo, plus others.

Only 1 700 tickets remain for the 2019 Splashy Fen Music Festival – so hurry up and book your tickets at www.splashyfen.co.za

A scene from KicktArt’s The BFG, which has final performances in Durban this weekend.

Meanwhile, if you have not yet seen KickstArt’s excellent production of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, directed and designed by Greg King, you have only until this Sunday to catch it before the run ends at Durban’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Booking is at Computicket.

My full review of this enchanting production is available by clicking here

Now read: Thupelo Arts workshop at King’s School

Also worth checking out in Durban this weekend is a new show teaming showbiz all-rounder Ian von Memerty and his dancer wife Vivienne, a former SA National Latin and Ballroom Champion.

Titled Putting on the Glitz, the production runs only from April 3 to 7 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. The song and dance spectacle features songs such as Waka Waka, Pata Pata, Homeless, Putting On The Ritz, Sway, The Samba, Mr Bojangles and Memory.

Booking is at Computicket or you can buy tickets at the door.

Looking to Saturday, note that Josie Matabola and her band are scheduled to entertain at Durban’s Jazzy Rainbow at 93 Smiso Nkwanyana Road, Morningside. Admission is R50 call 031 303 8398 for bookings.

Presented in association with Concerts SA, the event will see the up-and-coming Pretoria jazz vocalist performing standards and her own jazz compositions, accompanied by Sanele Phakathi on piano, Dalisu Dlazi on bass, Sbu Zondi on drums and Thabo Sikhakhane on trumpet.

Singer-songwriter Mbuso Khoza performs from 7pm on Saturday, March 30, at Seaman’s Corner in Hammarsdale.

Also of note is that singer-songwriter Mbuso Khoza performs from 7pm on Saturday, March 30, at Seaman’s Corner in Hammarsdale, where admission will be R40.

Khoza will also entertain from 4pm on Sunday, March 31, at KwaMashu’s Artizen Restaurant & Lounge, where the entry fee will be R80.

Presented in association with Concerts SA, Khoza is from Eshowe. His music has been described as rich and unique, a delicate mix of deep, traditional Zulu music infused with jazz elements.

Joining him on stage at The Luthuli Museum will be Sphe Mngwengwe on keyboards, Dalisu Ndlazi on bass and Sbu Zondi on drums.

At the Artizen gig, two other bands will also take to the stage: AfroSoul and Scelo Ngowane.

SATMA and Metro FM award winning group AfroSoul is an Afro-pop trio based in Durban. Scelo Gowane is an Afro-soul/R&B artist, self-taught producer, guitarist and composer from KwaMashu.

Movie scene

On the movie scene, a must-see in cinemas this weekend is audacious director Tim Burton’s live-action remake of Disney’s 1941 success, Dumbo, now with a cast headed by Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito and Michael Keaton.

It tells of a young elephant whose oversized ears enable him to fly. He helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.

SHOWBIZ TRIVIA:
Do you know? What British actor played the lead role of Oliver Twist in the ’60s movie musical, Oliver? (Answer next week).
Last week’s question: What famous singer-songwriter and pianist has Reginald Dwight as his real name? (Answer: Elton John)