Innibos Cultural Festival detonated over the past weekend in an unabashed cornucopia of entertainment. If any excuse for a good time was caught unaware, it was summarily ‘ingeprop’ and the cultural hat made to fit. Music, theatre, prose, poetry, art, film and food – name it, someone was there representing the cause, from amateurs to professionals.
Music varied between mainstream popular music, traditional standards, rebellious nouveau rock, classical music and modern folk music. Popular music drew crowds in excess of 30 000 at any given time and included the likes of Nicholas Louw, Heinz Winkler, Kurt Darren and Steve Hofmeyr to name just a few. An interesting new face is that of cricketer AB de Villiers. In spite of initial speculation, and the amusement of the cricketing community, he was very well received.
The MK stage hosted avant-garde performances, often of world-class quality. The sound was predominantly heavier, a reflection of the music that evolved in the sixties metal and the early nineties grunge scenes amongst a disillusioned, industrial class children. Similarly, the MK stage gave voice to the rage of young Afrikaners piecing together a new identity in a leaderless, alien and hostile environment.
A moment that will go down in history is the collaboration of Koos Kombuis and Hunter Kennedy of Die Heuwels Fantasties, performing Brand Suid-Afrika (originally performed by Fokofpolisiekar). Two generational giants, rebels for the same cause: to find sense in the contradiction that is Afrkanerdom.
Other acts to keep an eye on include Oorlog Frankenstein, Andra, Isochronous and Jan Blohm.
Poetry and prose, a popular tradition, were given special attention as was drama. The popular play genres were comedy, black comedy and drama and actors included the green and veterans like Ana-Mart van der Merwe, Deon Coetzee and Lizz Meiring.
The aroma of food filled the air from morning until late night and supplemented picnics, the base of operation for most families. The overall feel of the festival is that of a family event; parents went to see what kids were enthralled by at the MK stage (unfortunately some attempts of ill-advised paternal-dancing was reported), children indulged their parents and every generation participated in the fun.
Apart from the festival grounds, events were organized at venues located around Nelspruit. This provided a welcome break from the crowds and because these events are priced separately from the entrance at the festival ground, it made it worthwhile for top artists to attend.
The genius of Innibos Culture Festival is the superb organization and an unabashed open-minded approach to representation of every aspect of Afrikaans culture. Like any segment of society, Afrikaans people can be dissected into many distinct groups that are only bound together by one denominator – the Afrikaans language. And the result was without exception that a marvelous time was had by all.