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The Boland’s got talent at the 2010 Oesfees

March 2010

The Franschhoek Valley’s 2010 Oesfees is the Boland’s hot ticket for a superb line-up of proudly South African talent, sure to make you dance, laugh and even shed a tear or two.

The festival is a down-to-earth annual harvest celebration that doubles as the region’s best and most extensive showcase for rural Cape music. Headlining this year’s 14-act show on Saturday, 27 March at Solms-Delta Wine Estate are Emo Adams and The Radio Kalahari Orkes, two dynamic acts well-known to South African audiences.

Witty and flamboyant Emo Adams, whose best-selling CD “Tall, Dark and Afrikaans” CD won a Huisgenoot Tempo award, is an entertainer in the fullest sense of the word. He’s travelled the world in his role as the main character of “Cat and the Kings” and regularly wows audiences of all ages with his energy, diversity and humour.

The Radio Kalahari Orkes (RKO) incorporates the unlikely musical talents of actor Ian Roberts and writer Rian Malan in a revival of working class Afrikaans music. Robert’s tongue-in-cheek and razor-sharp social commentary along with a vibrant mix of instruments –think kazoos and boozophones — have made this one of South Africa’s most popular new bands.

Other well-known artists are Cape Jazz king Robbie Jansen, whose signature sound fuses traditional Cape Malay and Goema, with African rhythms and funk; and Oesfees favourite, the legendary spoon-wielding slide guitarist Hannes Coetzee, whose unusual “optel en knyp” (pick up and pinch) style produces sounds that seem to come from two guitars.

The much-anticipated appearance of Negosiegoed promises to be a ‘best of the best’ of Boeremusiek performances; and a feast for the eyes, ears and heart. The band consists of leaders and artists of top bands from all over the country, like concertina-maestros Willie Nelson of Namakwaland Boereorkes and Stephaan van Zyl, who leads the Oudag Boereorkes. Dancing to the infectious rhythms of age-old polkas, seties, mazurkas and waltzes will be members of the Traditional Boere Dance Club, known countrywide for their spirited heritage performances.

On the homefront, Les Javan, acknowledged as one of Cape Town’s great composers and artist-in-residence of Solms-Delta’s Music van de Caab, will be on stage with his band Nonspesifiek. And adding their own toe-tapping brand of Cape vernacular music will be Solms-Delta’s women’s choir, the Delta Soetstemme; a brass, guitar and vocal ensemble, the Delta Langbroek Band,; the Delta Bluestars brass and klopse band, and the evergreen locals, the Paper Family Langarm Band.

This musical extravaganza is also a feast for the stomach, with authentic Cape flavours pervading the lekker food stalls, all manned by Boland cooks with a reputation for their particular speciality. The local favourites range from waterblommetjie bredie with aartappelslaai, bobotie, snoek & patats and afval potjie to Tipsy Tart and fudge. There will even be a tuckshop, dealing in chips and sweets as well as shoelaces and airtime.

Mary Malgas, tuck shop proprietress, will also offer dance lessons to the festival’s live tunes.

The Oesfees is the culmination of a dedicated Cape Music Project at Solms-Delta, which aims “to bring all people of the Franschhoek Valley together through a love of music,” according to owner Mark Solms. It’s a project that not only seeks to preserve the traditional music of the Cape, but also ignite the younger generation’s love for creating vernacular music, ensuring that it will live and evolve long into the future.

The 2010 Franschhoek Oesfees takes place on Saturday 27 March, from 11am until 9pm at Solms-Delta Wine Estate. Gates open at 10am. Tickets available through WebTicket (, at the farm or at Franschhoek Tourism office for R160.00, which includes a meal voucher. There will be a cash bar for wine and soft drinks. Entry free for children under six, half price for under 12. See for details.
Click here for videos of 2008 and 2009 events and further details.

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