Muizies festival a boost

Jeremy Shelton enjoys the music and the moment at a previous Muizenberg Festival Concert in the Park.

Muizenberg’s annual two-week festival, which is in full swing and making waves, will this Friday usher in a new way to experience the groovy little village by the sea.

The festival’s first week will end with the start of First Fridays. Mirroring First Thursdays in Cape Town, restaurants, galleries and other entertainment venues will link up, extending their business hours, and bringing a special buzz to Muizenberg’s bohemian atmosphere, connecting the heart of the village to the beachfront, opening streets and bringing smiles to the seaside.

Inez Arendse, of Muizenberg Pulse, which came up with the idea, says its a chance for businesses that are usually seasonal to pull in tourists and out-of-towners at any time of year.

But if you don’t make it to First Fridays, there’s plenty else on offer during the two week festival, which has as its theme this year, “Senza Amaza”, or making waves.

Fergus Turner, of The Hive, who came up with the idea for the festival, said the theme echoed the community’s interest in making an impact, together. The area, he said, was recognised for its support for environmental causes and its appreciation of the arts.

“Muizenberg’s community celebrates unity in diversity and creativity by inclusion – as well as highlighting the enterprises of the area, and encouraging local economic development.”

The Muizenberg Lakeside Residents’ Association spokeswoman Janine Versfeld said: “Celebrating our neighbourhood is a wonderful way to see the ‘glass as half-full’ and to be inspired to take on the challenge on days when it appears ‘half-empty’. The festival is also a great way to connect with like-minded people from greater Muizenberg – and the rest of the world.”

Ms Arendse said Muizenberg had an eclectic energy and was well positioned to connect the city to the far south.

“Muizenberg is central to many areas. It is along the route to Cape Point and Fish Hoek, which makes it a great far south link. But it also links really smoothly with the M3 to Constantia, Kirstenbosch and Hout Bay, or the city. And in the other direction, Muizenberg is also well linked to Stellenbosch and Strand. This makes it unique for visitors who may want to have a base to surf or enjoy the Blue Flag beach, but also do day trips across the peninsula.”

The festival’s first week focused on the Children’s Arts Festival with workshops by festival partners, including Hand in Hand Creatives and Jungle Theatre Company.

The Zandvlei Trust presented the Eco Festival marquee on the pavilion grounds, from Monday to Friday October 1 to October 5, where prominent researchers, educators and activists for the environment shared their expertise with the youth.

The children, aged seven and up, spent this week learning about environmental issues through talks, documentaries and educational activities, complete with fun games, quizzes, plays and treasure hunts.

The Scitizen Dialogues are a meeting of Muizenberg’s science and arts communities for discussions on the city’s water crisis and plans for its future.

On Saturday October 6, the focus moves to Vrygrond, with a programme full of performance, markets and opportunities to connect to the greater Muizenberg community.

All Vrygrond Experience events will be on Vrygrond Avenue, opposite the Vrygrond Community Development Centre.

During the second week, there will be a series of concerts, at venues in and around Muizenberg village, featuring local artists including Jungle Book Birds, Mixed Mense, Emile Gwenyambira Ensemble, among others. There will also be film screenings and comedy routines.

On Wednesday night October 10, Khoi Konnexion – comprising Glen Arendse, Garth Erasmus, and Jethro Louw – will perform indigenous music and storytelling.

Other highlights are the Alive Dance Studio concert, on Friday October 12; the Open Studio Tour (a feast for art lovers), on Saturday and Sunday October 13 and 14; and the annual Muizenberg Festival Dog Show on Saturday October 13.

The festival goes for a big finish with the Muizenberg Parade, starting from Muizenberg Park, on Sunday October 14, at 10am, and winding through the village to the beachfront.

And there’s a curtain-closer music concert in the park on Sunday October 14, from 1pm to 6pm. The full line up has not yet been confirmed but some of the names you can expect to see are Ernestine Deane, Mixed Mense, Emile YX? and Francesca Biancoli.

For more information, visit the festival office at: The Hive, 37 Palmer Road, or email info@muizenbergfestival.co.za or call 072 365 4440. Visit www.getoutgetsouth.co.za for a full festival programme.