Vibrating with autumn colours
This was the first year that a small vibrant group of like-minded people launched the Stanford Herfsfees, a new arts festival for Stanford with the goal of reaching deep into our community and uplifting all with art, music and creativity. The line-up was generous, starting with a week-long arts and crafts workshop run by local NPO, Creative Skills Factory, which climaxed at the parade to launch Herfsfees on the Friday evening. The spirit and exuberance of the minstrels was intoxicating as people joined in the revelry of music and dance, and followed the Baruch performers through the village. Children wore the outfits and masks that they had had been making all week.
The Baruch Entertainers were invited to Herfsfees to help launch the Friday evening carnival to rounds of applause. Villagers and children joined in the parade as they danced, jived, drummed, trumpeted and entertained their way from the Community Centre to the NGKerk garden, homebase of the newest Arts Festival in Stanford. The Herfsfees has its heart deeply rooted in the Stanford community, and plans to grow the annual Herfsfees event with an ongoing community arts programme that is run year-round in tandem with Creative Skills Factory.
Not only will the ongoing arts programme focus on Stanford children, and keep them educated, exposed to the arts, entertained and off the streets, it also hopes to negotiate a mentorship of a minstrel band in Stanford with the Baruch Entertainers, Carnival Champions of the Cape Town Carnival 2018. Baruch is committed to improving the social situation in communities through music tutoring and workshops, and organizers of the Herfsfees are already discussing ongoing collaboration between Stanford and Baruch.
Herfsfees also included a food market at the NGKerk, and a band line-up to die for! Tribal Echo stole the hearts all the audience on the Friday Night with their funky local flavour and cool drums, trombone and energy, while Mr Cat and the Jakkal had everyone dancing. Ibuyambo, Hatchetman, the Nick Turner Band, Dax Butler and the Hearts of Darkness, Taleswapper, The Time Flies and Gert Vlok Nel, along with DJChina had the village dancing to their beat. Various venues hosted different bands, and buskers kept the day time visitors entertained. Nick Turner, Tribal Echo and Ibuyambo offered free workshops on the Saturday – such generosity of intention and sharing of the delights in the arts made Stanford a warm and welcoming festival venue.
Thank you to the organizers who poured their hearts into this event, to the venues who hosted musicians, to the businesses and individuals who invested in earlybird tickets, to the Cape Whale Coast office of the Overstrand Municipality who contributed towards the Creative Works craft workshops, those who donated supplies, to the musicians and artists, and to all those who bought tickets and supported this event. Well done Herfsfees 2018! We can’t wait to see what Herfsfees 2019 will bring.
Words by Phil Murray