Be ‘wild at heart’ at Wildsfees

2015-05-28 06:00
The 2015 Wild@heart Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees was launched last Friday. Amongst the dignitaries in attendance were Tasmia Ismail (General Manager EP Media and Die Burger Oos-Kaap), Jacques de Coning, Jenni Honsbein (Festival Director) and Kurt Darren.

The 2015 Wild@heart Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees was launched last Friday. Amongst the dignitaries in attendance were Tasmia Ismail (General Manager EP Media and Die Burger Oos-Kaap), Jacques de Coning, Jenni Honsbein (Festival Director) and Kurt Darren. (Heilie Combrinck)

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Among the big attractions to this year’s Wild@heart Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees are the biggest stage in the Eastern Cape featuring top national artists and the country’s first festival within a festival for the children of festival-goers.

“We are recognised as one of the most child-friendly festivals in the country, and this year we have declared that ‘kids are king in Kirkwood’ while they are with us,” says festival director Jenni Honsbein.

Housed in the Squillos Kids Square will be a Magic Faerie Trail – another Wildsfees first; a Kids Castle, kid-friendly rides and puppet shows and workshops.

Entry for the first two hours is free.

Included in the attractions and entertainment on the festival grounds is the Eastern Cape’s only annual mohair expo, the Walk on the Wildside experience, the province’s biggest new vehicle show, and more.

For the first time the festival will be hosting a series of talks on burning and contentious issues such as fracking and its consequences, sustainable fishing techniques, anti-poaching and the effects on adults and children owing to of a lack of sleep.

Theatre productions include Een klavier, een hart with Rocco de Villiers and Die hart is maar net ‘n pomp (the story of South Africa’s pioneering heart transplant) with Johan Engelbrecht.

A special treat for ladies will be a High tea with Emsie Schoeman, the doyenne of etiquette in SA supported by the two well-known kokkedore, Tiaan and Mynhardt.

Artists appearing on the giant Windhoek stage include Wicus van der Merwe, Radio Kalahari Orkes, Lianie May, Mi Casa, Snotkop, Kurt Darren, Desmond Wells, Ray Dylan, Nicholis Louw, Izak Davel, Die Campbells, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels and many more.

Also new to the festival is the Tiki Island style beach bar, which promises to be the “chill place of the year,” predicts Honsbein.

Heating up the action and getting hearts fluttering will be two of TV’s hottest young stars, who will sporting “sixpacks” for photo shots with fans. Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees visitors will be able to meet Isidingo’s hunky Maurice Paige on Saturday and Izak Davel on Sunday. Both will be showing their Island Style from 10 in the morning.

There will be top entertainment provided by local artists from the Eastern Cape as well.

The Eastern Cape’s premier game auction, which takes place on the Friday 26, is another festival highlight. Once again it will be the only game auction in the country where buyers can bid for disease-free buffalo from the Addo Elephant National Park.

Park Manager, Mzwandile Mjadu, says although he has attended the festival regularly in the past, he is excited to be doing so in his new role for the first time this year.

“The Addo Elephant National Park will once again offer prime, disease-free buffalo at the auction. As always, we are happy and proud to be associated with both the auction and the festival.

“Last year a provincial record was set with the sale of a buffalo cow for R975 000, and a total of R9 million for the 30 buffalo from Addo. We hope to break some more records this year, with the funds raised to be ploughed back into conservation,” he says.

South African National Parks will be featuring Addo, as well as the Camdeboo, Karoo, Mountain Zebra and Garden Route National Parks in a stall in the Walk on The Wildside experience.

Other attractions include the skaapkop lang tafel, mohair expo, Boerboel show, wine, gourmet food and beer tents, cooking demonstrations, as well as agricultural, new car and outdoor expos.

The Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees 2015 takes place from Friday, June 26 until Sunday, June 28. Gates open from 9 am, and festinos can party late into the night.

Tickets are available from the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees office on 042 230 0064 or go to for more information.

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