Karoo Roads to Richmond

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So I spent the weekend down Richmond way, Northern Cape for the Boekbedonnered Festival. My first time there. I get the feeling it won’t be my last!

Firstly, Richmond is a tiny, No-whereville town! It is basically two main streets and a small smattering of buildings. But it has charm.

Secondly, the Boekbedonnered crew really pull a good crowd and there is plenty to do and see over the 3 days of the festival.

Thirdly, I had a gas doing what I did and met some really cool people.

Essentially I went down to host a 2-hour workshop on creativity with 20 kids from the local high-school. That was fun. Took them a while to loosen up… the teacher in the room didn’t help! But we got there eventually. I don’t think they have ever met a bird of my stripe before and were frankly unsure of what to make of me!

This was organising by the WHAG Gallery from Kimberly who run an amazing community outreach arts programme. Check them out, they deserve you support: William Humphries Art Gallery. The venue was the MAPs Gallery in Richmond… wow! What a space!

The kids were 15-17-ish. I think a lot of what I said may have been over their heads, but I saw the bomb drop in about 3 faces, so I reckon it was all worthwhile!

Punk In The Karoo
Later that evening there was a screening of Punk In Africa. Competing with the Currie Cup final did us no favours and the turn-out was tiny. Tiny but positive. The Q&A after wards was more like a quick chat in the foyer.

Publisher Putting In
From everything I saw and heard about during the weekend, the single most impressive thing for me was Jonathan Ball Publishers bussing in a bunch of journalists and prize winners to attend the event. I often accuse publishers of not really doing much marketing but that was damn cool.

If only more companies would invest as much in their communities we would have a stronger industry.

This festival has been going for 5 years. It’s really young and small. But they are growing. AS they establish themselves gradually more community outreach stuff is starting to happen and the place is starting to look good. You know there is a 1935 cinema in the town? Awesome venue!

If you’re an arts festival kinda person, add this one to your calendar. Check out the Richmond website here   and keep in touch with them. They also do the JM Coetzee fest in May every year, so there is more than one chance to get there.

Afrikan Freedom Market
This weekend I am doing something else really cool… playing a short set at the Afrikan Freedom Market at the Afrikan Space Station in Westdene… art, music, poetry and crafts… in the heart of the residential area of Westdene… Really looking forward.

Come and say hello why don’t you?

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