An introduction to winter in Plettenberg Bay
Over the years Plett has become more than just the perfect family summer destination. Plett winters are full of sunshine, crisp weather and loads of fun. Whether you’re an international traveller or a local looking for something cool to do over the weekends or during school holidays, Plett has an excellent selection of events and festivals – a great way to find the best in outdoor adventure sport, music, visual arts, performing arts, film, food, historical, ethnic and community cultural activities.
It’s Whale Season. Gentle giants of the sea visit our beautiful bay to rest, calf and rear their young. The MTB trails are bustling with activity. Golf enthusiasts bask in the sunshine and diehard surfers enjoy the tide. Against this beautiful backdrop, the people of Plett and fans of the Garden Route enjoy an amazing offering of art served on a platter.
Plett Tourism embarked on the Plett ARTS Festival journey four years ago, building around the popular Plett Fringe Festival by the Kids of Kurland project. Adding new elements each year, it is still a work in progress, so by its very nature, a dynamic festival!
Our challenge has been to create an arts experience and festival that is unique to Plett. Plett Food & Film was a first in Africa, and now established, has been complemented with another film event, AFRIDOCS in Plett. Here, on the big screen, in collaboration with Afridocs.com, one can view relevant current documentaries, meet and network with the people behind the films, makers of history like Albie Sachs and experts in their relevant fields, like Richard Nwamba for example, an extraordinary African music aficionado. This is world-class entertainment.
A newcomer to Plett Arts this year is Plett Winter School; offering nine short courses and workshops including a Barista course and a Cape Wine Academy course, a special performance and workshop with Mamela Nyamza and a rare Colour Lino-cut course with acclaimed SA artist John Moore.
Diversity is a buzz word in South Africa, and perhaps a good one to describe the Plett ARTS Festival. Artists like Koos Kombuis and Chris Chameleon, in the music programme for example, share the arts platform of Plett with the likes of Pops Mohamed and Femi Koya. In line with what Jerzy Kosinski once said, “The principle of true art is not to portray, but to evoke”, we hope that the diverse line-up presents options you would not normally choose, but we urge you to go with the hard pick, you may be gently hooked into a whole new world.
There are many people who work hard at the development of the arts in Plett, notably The Lunchbox Theatre and Tshisa Talent, the visual artist groups and the mayor’s Bitou Arts Foundation.
Without funding it’s very difficult to get any traction. An arts development centre has been mooted for many years, but with investors not yet secured, this has not got off the ground.
In the future, we imagine a mini-season during July festival time, when our visitors stream in to Plett ARTS Festival and Winter School, in more locations around Plett. Our community halls will be festival hubs around which our visitors seamlessly move from suburb to suburb enjoying the arts and fully integrating into Plett culture. The trend worldwide is for more experiential tourism and it would be great to experience the arts in that way. Adding to the main – piano recitals in homes, stoepstories in Kranshoek and poetry on the winelands.
We’re very excited about our winter programme, so have a browse and start planning your breakaway!