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UPBEAT FESTIVAL (article first published : 2007-08-14)

On August 17 and 18, Kearsney College at Botha’s Hill comes alive to the sound of music, theatre and more with its UpBeat Festival. Leave the BEATEN track and the stresses of city life and follow the BEAT of a cow-hide drum UP to the top of Botha’s Hill for a festive feast of eclectic shows, fabulous food and creative arts and crafts. Celebrate the cool embrace of an August winter weekend and between shows enjoy a light refreshment or something warming from the Food from Around the World food court which will offer the best of British, American, South African, Thai, Indian, Portuguese and Italian fare. Find a chair or a bale of hay and listen to up-and-coming talent on the Coca-Cola Buskers’ Stage, or take a stroll through the Arts and Crafts Stalls.

Young children are also catered for with plenty of entertainment in the Kiddies’ Fun Fair, with jumping castles, airborne adventures, quad bikes and go karts. Now in its fourth year, the Upbeat Festival promises to be an explosion of rhythm, sound, theatre and fun for all ages. (Patrons are kindly reminded that no food or drink may be brought on to the campus.

The programme opens on August 17 with the Christian Rock Festival from 19h00 to 22h00 in The Big Tent. Jersey is a three-piece band hailing from the KZN South Coast. Relative newcomers to the Durban rock scene, they are in the process of establishing themselves based on a simple experimental style and are currently in studio finalising an EP. Spin The Flava is a group from KZN who reach out primarily to the youth of South Africa through music and dance. A dynamic team of singers, rappers and dancers, they are focused on spreading the gospel. Not The Majority is a group of four skating, surfing, bodyboarding Jesus-believing guys who play largely Christian punk rock. Previously known as No Tuck Money, they’ve been together for over five years. The Kearsney College SCA Band will also provide a special performance. Tickets R40.

Also on August 17, The Best of Brazilian Jazz with Joe Delew runs from 20h00 to 22h00 in the Cricket Pavilion. The band essentially has its roots in jazz, but with Brazilian rhythms. Its repertoire includes many of the great jazz standards and Brazilian evergreens. Sit back and enjoy a quiet evening of great music with maestro Joe Delew (piano) and friends Tom Hare (sax and trumpet), Dan Chiorboli (percussion), Andreas Kappen (electric and acoustic bass), and Gareth Gale (drums). Bar facilities will be available at the venue. Tickets R40.

Umoja - The Spirit Of Togetherness, which take place on the Standard Bank Stage on August 17 from 19h30 to 21h30, is the tale of South Africa, its people and their song. Travelling on the beats of drums the show tells the moving tale of indigenous South African music - from the earliest rhythms to kwaito. Umoja is a loud, colourful and jubilant celebration of life that audiences from all backgrounds have found infectiously delightful and uplifting. Relive the energy of Sophiatown, infused with passionate voices as they tell their story, or stomp your feet along with the explosions of gumboot dancing. There are also the reminiscent sounds of the vibrant jazz that forced its way free from the constraints of the times, and the thread of gospel music running through the tale, recalling the huge helpings of faith and courage. Tickets R50 with seating at tables of 10. You can either book a whole table or just a few tickets. (Patrons are kindly reminded that no food or drink may be brought on to the campus. Traditional South African food and bar service will be available from the venue)

The festival activity carries forward to August 18, starting off with Comedy Games with Whackhead and Friends in The Big Tent from 10h30 to 12 noon. Darren ‘Whackhead’ Simpson is joined by friends Beatbox, Darren Maule, Vittorio and Al Prodgers for a series of riotous stand-up comedy and fun. These hilarious young comedians bring a variety of positive and uplifting comedy that will explode on stage with their different stand up acts. Tickets R60

Madness, Magic, Mystery, Mischief and lots of fun s promised with the Richdens Spar Magic Mania Show from 11h00 to 2 noon in the Cricket Pavilion. Jason Temlett, a member of the Johannesburg Magic Circle, will make objects float; appear and vanish mysteriously; burn spectators’ money only to magically restore it; and become invisible. Inspired by the great illusionist David Copperfield, come and join Jason and his assistants having fun as they weave their magic and mystery. Tickets R20

Watch one or all six of international award-winning films for R20 in the Foreign Film Festival which takes place on August 18 from 11h00 to 23h00 in the Auditorium. These include Blind Shaft (Mang Jing) at 11h00; Swindled (Incautos) at 12h30; Cyclo (Xich Lo) at 14h30; Burnt by the Sunat 17h00; Rosetta at 19h30, and All about My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) at 21h15.

UMOJA - The Spirit Of Togetherness can be seen on August 18 on the Standard Bank Stage from 13h00 to 15h00. The tale of South Africa, its people and their song, it travels on the BEATS of drums and tells the moving tale of indigenous South African music - from the earliest rhythms to kwaito. UMOJA is a loud, colourful and jubilant celebration of life that audiences from all backgrounds have found infectiously delightful and UPlifting. Relive the energy of Sophiatown, infused with passionate voices as they tell their story or stomp your feet along with the explosions of gumboot dancing. There are also the reminiscent sounds of the vibrant jazz that forced its way free from the constraints of the times and the thread of gospel music running through the tale recalling the huge helpings of faith and courage. Tickets R40.

The Richdens Spar Magic Mania Show takes place in the Cricket Pavilion from 15h00 to 16h00 offer ing madness, magic, mystery, mischief and lots of fun! Jason Temlett, a member of the Johannesburg Magic Circle, will make objects float; appear and vanish mysteriously; burn spectators’ money only to magically restore it; and become invisible. Inspired by the great illusionist David Copperfield, come and join Jason and his assistants having fun as they weave their magic and mystery. Tickets: R20

The Improv Express Comedy Show runs from 15h00 to 17h00 in: The Big Tent. Fans of eTV’s Whose Line Is It Anyway? will be familiar with this hilarious format: four players improvising a series of riotous comic scenarios, with an MC coaxing suggestions for each game from the audience. The fun begins when the crowd realises the MC is egging them on to give the players a hard time. That’s when the suggestions become ever-more elaborate and the performers are stretched to their mental and physical limits – with hysterical consequences. A player could find himself miming the birth of sextuplets one moment, then spouting mock-Shakespearian verse a second later. All of it made up on the spot, off the top of his head. Join the hilariously popular Darren Maule, Vittorio, Al Prodgers and Hannes Brummer for plenty of fun. Tickets R60

Sponsored by Coca-Cola, a Band Festival takes place in The Big Tent on August 18 from 19h00 tp 23h00. Driverlane have created a fresh and original version of rock that will set them apart in the SA rock scene. Experienced musicians from three top bands in Durban have combined their skill and experience to form a new style of rock that will appeal to the commercial and underground markets. The Black Hotels is an indie-rock band whose unique blend of melody and energy has established them as one of the rising stars on the SA music scene – and were voted as one of 10 bands to watch out for this year. The band’s sound is a mix of indie, rock and pop with an up-tempo country feel, having a cross-genre appeal that has seen them winning fans from a wide variety of audiences. Wonderboom is unquestionably one of the most enduring truly South African rock acts ever. Their crazy colour has painted all the stages of South Africa with funky tattooed muscle-flexing energy. Although they have released several albums and have three hit records under their sleeves, Wonderboom are ultimately a ‘live’ band. The Gauteng-based group has toured overseas on several occasions, with frontman Cito Otto recently having returned from a six-week run of Jesus Christ Superstar – as Jesus Christ - in Athens, Greece. Tickets R60

Presented by The Dockyard Theatre, The British Invasion takes over the Standard Bank Stage from 20h00 to 23h00, celebrating the music that changed the world. Prior to the 1960s, international pop music was dominated largely by American artists. When the Beatles burst on to the scene in 1962, initially playing a lot of American rock ‘n roll, loads of other British acts were soon to follow … Herman’s Hermits, The Dave Clark 5, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Hollies, Beatles, Animals and Rolling Stones started having hit records in the USA. The British Invasion features the music of those British singers and bands who invaded America in the 1960s and the performers like Dire Straits, Robbie Williams and Phil Collins who still give the Yanks a good run for their money. Tickets R60. Seating is in tables of 10. You can either book a whole table or just a few tickets. Please do not bring food or drink. British ‘pub grub’ and bar service will be available from the venue.

The Coca-Cola Buskers’ Stage on the Festival Field will operate from 12h00 to 20h00 and entrance is free. Find a table and chair or a bale of hay, choose something to eat from the Food from Around the World food court and refreshment from SAB’s Beer Tent, then enjoy the variety of up-and-coming talented musicians who will take to the stage during the afternoon and early evening. Special guests from 17h00 to 18h00 is Somebody's Child - a blend of artistic classical training meets raw street. The mix and tone of the band has been described as where the mighty Led Zeppelin meets Britney! - a mixture of pop/acoustic/rock, a bit of blues and Celtic rock added for good measure. It is fronted by 15-year-old Zoe, with another 15-year-old, Casey, on keys - and experience behind them of Kody on lead, Davin on bass and Robby on drums.

Works of Art in a variety of media from various local primary and high schools will be on display in the WALTONS JUNIOR AND SENIOR SCHOOLS ART COMPETITION which will be held in the Henderson Hall foyer for the duration of the festival. Bookings on www.strictlytickets.com or www.kearsney.com or by phoning 083 918 8551 Further information from Sue Miles on 031 303 3329; fax 031 303 3940 or Cell:083 222 5211




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