It’s that time of year, again, when Plettenberg Bay’s arty, celebratory spirit emerges in a splash of colour, theatre and music during the annual Plett ARTS Festival! Now in its fifth year, the arts festival schedule is better and more exciting than any year before and we’re looking forward to getting our groove on, learning new things at the new Plett Winter School and being dazzled by performing arts and film.
Picture this: you wake up to a glorious Plett sunrise, as the sun peeks out from behind the Tsitsikamma Mountains (winter sunrises are undoubtedly the best in Plett), have a leisurely breakfast before heading out on a whale-watching excursion or white shark-spotting on a Robberg hike. Spend your lunch and afternoon exploring the Plett Winelands or learning about viticulture or taking art lessons at Plett Winter School. At sunset (depending on the day), you might take a walk down Plett’s Main Street during “Arts Meander”, as the street opens art exhibitions up and down the street, head to the Piesang Valley Hall for a show or film documentary and finish off with a delicious dinner at any one of Plett’s popular restaurants. It’s a day combining the best of Plett: nature, arts and culture, food and wine. But, we haven’t even told you the best part, the Plett ARTS Festival will play host to some of South Africa’s most respected and talented musicians; these are some of our highlights of the Plett ARTS Festival for us:
AFROJAZZ on CENTRAL BEACH
In a setup very similar to the Plett Wine & Bubbly Festival, the AFROJAZZ concert on 7 July 2018 will be the Grand Finale of the arts festival. The concert is headlined by multi-instrumentalist, jazz musician and producer Pops Mohamed (born Ismail Mohamed-Jan) and award-winning South African composer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Reyonolds and friends. Femi Koya and the AfroBeat Band will also be performing at the concert. World Afrobeat Music composer and performer, versatile saxophonist and dynamic vocalist, Femi Koya is the new face of the African Renaissance, combining West African highlife and Jazz, South African Sofiatown with a nostalgic Afrobeat root sounds, his music is a rich blend of deep and sultry Afrobeat and contemporary groove. So get ready to groove!
Pops Mohamed, Dave Reynolds, and friends(Charlton Daniels and Ronan Skillen) will also be conducting a jazz workshop at Skhulu’z Lounge on the afternoon of the 7th July. Bring your own instrument, or not, and participate in 2 hours of music making and learning with African jazz masters. Entry is free with AfroJazz concert tickets.
PLETT SUNSETS CONCERTS
Friday nights in Plettenberg Bay just got a lot cooler! During the Plett ARTS Festival, the Surf Lifesaving Club will play host to two superb South African musicians. Sip your wine, watch the ocean change from blue to pink, as the sun sets and listen to the musical stylings of Koos Kombuis and Msaki. Msaki is being touted as the South African “Tracy Chapman”, and she creates a sound that combines soulful folk with symphonic movements, Xhosa lyrics and African poly-rhythms with portals of sincere improvisations. Her raw delivery disrupts your senses, leaving you moved and quietly longing for more as she weaves subtle tales of love, loss, home, revolution and hope. Msaki will perform at Plett SunSets on 29th July. Revolutionary Afrikaans musician Koos Kombuis, who became famous as part of a group of anti-establishment maverick Afrikaans musicians, who, under the collective name of Voëlvry (directly translated meaning “Free as a bird”; in Afrikaans “voëlvry” is synonymous with the words “fugitive” and “outlaw”), toured campuses across South Africa in the 1980s, to “liberate Afrikaans from the shackles of its past”. Tim Hopwood will open for Koos Kombuis on 6 July.
What else to do during winter in Plettenberg Bay
Whale-watching: Plettenberg Bay’s whale-watching season runs from June-November 2018. The most commonly sighted whales are Southern Right and Humpback whales, although Minke, Orca and Bryde’s whales are spotted on occasion. Watch the whales from a boat-based marine safari or choose one of Plett’s viewspots to sit and overlook the bay. An added benefit is the possibility of seeing Great White sharks and Cape Fur seals from Robberg Peninsula and dolphin sightings are common year-round.
Hiking: Robberg Peninsula is certainly Plett’s hiking jewel, but there are many more trails to explore: the Nature’s Valley and Salt River trails are spectacular, Harkerville Forest gives way to a dramatic coastline hike amongst the Fynbos and many more. Your days will be filled with ocean views, warm weather, Fynbos, forest, lagoon and beach.
Animal Encounters: If the weather isn’t playing along, or even if it is, Plettenberg Bay is fortunate to play host to Plettenberg Bay Game Reserve, a Big Five reserve, world-famous Monkeyland and Birds of Eden sanctuaries and Tenikwa Wildlife Rehabiliation Centre. Meet the animals of these sanctuaries and game reserve in a touch-free environment.
Foodie Experiences: Eating out in Plettenberg Bay is always an experience: from fine dining experiences at Zinzi Restaurant and Emily Moon, to coastal casual at Lookout Deck and Fat Fish, to bistro-style fare at The Table Restaurant and The Med. If you’re looking for something special, take a short drive out to Bocca Dolce, an organic, vegan restaurant that serves delightfully delicious dishes.
Plett Winelands: The Plett Winelands, the first grapes of which were planted in 2000, is a relatively young Wine of Origin Region. But don’t let that fool you, its fast becoming known as South Africa’s bubbly region. The wine estates cover an area from The Crags in the east to Harkerville in the west, many with restaurants and tasting rooms, nestled amongst the Fynbos against a backdrop of the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Some even have sea views! Our advice: take a wine tour with Plett Wine Tours – you can sip and savour the flavours with none of the hassle.
So, will we see you grooving at the Plett ARTS Festival this June & July?