I remember the opening of the Joubert-Tradaux wine cellar in 2000. There was not much of an infrastructure then, but true to Beate & Meyer Joubert’s nature, they felt the need to celebrate the opening of the momentous occasion with friends and family. They wanted to combine the elements of the essence of life: good food, great wine and live music. Something was missing from the celebration cocktail though and so DNA Strings were invited to join in on the fun.
I don’t think even they realised then that their passion and pure zest for life would grow into what is now known as the UnPlugged62 Festival.
I was excited to get away from the city and experience Klein Karoo hospitality on their beautiful farm situated on the R62 just outside the picturesque village of Barrydale.
My weekend pass included camping, a Deli Al Fresco lunch and an amazing line up of South African artists including Albert Frost and drummer Jorik Pienaar, who seemed to just know “nog ‘n liedjie” and kept the crowd entertained and swaying for two hours on Friday evening – most certainly not clock watchers, but entertainers to the core!
DJ DirtRoad did not disappoint either and pumped up the jam until Saturday’s early morning hours for the “kanniedood” festivalgoers.
What I loved most about our hosts is that they engaged with the crowd throughout the festival and not even a turn in the weather could dampen their spirits.
One of the festival highlights was certainly homegrown Majozi who had the crowd and more specifically the children singing in chorus to his catchy and inspiring tunes. Getting the children off the stage was a different story.
Manouche entertains on a different level and when lead singer Thandeka Kamfer opens her mouth and projects a few lyrics, you know you are in for a real treat. The interaction of the other band members, Diana Neille (Violin), Bernard Kotze (Guitar) and Sarah Blake (Double Bass) sparks on stage and in a delighted way.
A few of the other bands who entertained the crowd were: Slow Jack (Hannes Muller, Jayme van Tonder, Jeandré Hector Schultz, André Skywalker & Adrian Fowler) and Nomadic Orchestra (James McClure – Trumpet, Gabriel Du Toit – Sax, Joe Bolton – Tuba, Marlon Witbooi – Drums & Greg Abrahams – Guitar).
With dust on my boots and a memory card full of great moments… Do it again? I know I should.