Port Elizabeth, South Africa: what started as a simple facebook request developed rapidly into a full day music event, showcasing a range of genres from pop to rock, to reggae, and even including a dose of glorious Metal. Of course, most important aspect is the magic which brought the players together; as the event is a charity initiative to support a local resident and friend of the family which owns the Swartkops Hotel, In Support Of Geoff, who suffers with Acute Myelofibrosis.
“It started off as a charity fund raiser for the Supporters of Geoff initiative. My uncle asked me if I’d organize some bands for the event; say three or four. Well, I posted on my personal facebook wall that we are looking for bands for this charity event and the reaction was overwhelming. Bands started contacting me; people were commenting and sharing the post. Eventually we had ten bands!” ~ Chanel Wewege (event coordinator, Swartkops Hotel)
Of course, the festival caught our attention with the appearance of bands like Jeffrey’s Bay Metalcore minions Behold The Silence, local 80s-style Glam Metal masters Pink Lippz, and other hard rocking outfits like Innerdrive. The diverse line-up also places these champions of chaos alongside the likes of Idols SA finalist Loyiso Gijana and folk rockers Princeless Society to name a few. The day of entertainment also includes features such as food stalls, a potjie competition, tattoo stand, jumping castle and more. Further specifics can be found at the official facebook event page.
“We now plan to have ‘The Swartkops Music Festival’ once a year and support more charities in the future. Wayne Wewege (owner) has agreed to let us turn a section of the historical Swartkops Hotel into a permanent gig venue with a separate bar. Some of the bands are pulling into the project to help build a stage. This will mean a lot to the rock community as venues are so limited in PE. Now people from Uitenhage, Despatch, Bluewater bay, PE and surrounding areas will have a central venue to go to.” ~ Chanel Wewege