Klein Libertas Theatre fire: WinterFest’15 jeopardized

Klein Libertas Fire, before and after

As of the earliest hours on Saturday 13 June, metal4africa has been added to the expanding list of metal festivals to have found themselves destitute at some point during 2015. M4A home of almost nine years, and safe haven to the bi-annual fixture of SummerFest and WinterFest, has burned down.

“It looks like an electrical fire. The fire department will say for sure after an investigation.” ~ Dawid Fourie (spokesperson, Klein Libertas Theatre)

The Klein Libertas Theatre, situated in a historic building tucked discreetely away in the heart of Stellenbsoch, is the pride and joy of the whole Fourie Family (mom, dad, three brothers and a sister) who have built and operated the business for over a decade. It has been celebrated by all levels of Stellenbosch society as a hive of activity for every manner of Arts & Culture event, catering primarily for theatre-styled productions and musical concerts. Protected as a South African National Monument (main building dated from 1790), the building before the fire sported a quiant rustic appeal and a homely atmosphere, plus a beautiful area of grass and trees outside. Ironic as it may sound, this picturesque environment provided a beloved home which called back a large family of metalheads every six months over a span of seventeen events. 01 August would have been our eighteenth milestone at the Klein Libertas Theatre with WinterFest’15.

“Myself and www.metal4africa.com are heavily invested into this and at present have no intention of pulling the plug on WinterFest’15 if such a decision can be avoided. However, finding a workaround will not be easy. Seeking out a new venue has never been a desirable option.” ~ Patrick Davidson (event manager, www.metal4africa.com)

Klein Libertas Theatre bar before and after fire

With the family still awaiting a report on the cause of the fire, there has been no discussion with media yet as to any insurance matters or rebuilding. Gigi Fourie is reported to have estimated that even under the best circumstances, it is highly unlikely to be back to functioning during this year. Judging by some of the images, it may take some time still even before it is determined whether the remains must be torn down completely.

“There is nothing left” ~ Dawid Fourie

In the meantime, it is clear that if WinterFest’15 is to take place, a new suitable venue will urgently have to be found.

“I think it is safe to say that as a community, we are all vested in M4A and it’s events in some way or the other. If a solution is to be found in preserving WinterFest’15, I believe that it will come from a team effort rather than from an individual. This is how it has always been with these events” ~ Patrick Davidson

Patrick Davidson metal4africa

At this time, the M4A team are open to any-and-all ideas. It will be extremely difficult to preserve the essence of an event concept whose identity and character was first visualized only after discovering the perfect venue nearly a decade ago, rather than the other way around. In so far as is possible, the organizers would like to preserve as much element of the typical M4A event which the public has come to know and love.

“By simply moving the line-up to another location, we would be cheating our loyal supporters. What we’ve built up at the Klein Libertas Theatre over all of these years was not just about being bombarded by eight hours of live music. It has been about bringing people together in a space that allowed an equal balance between an excellent live music production and the best possible social environment.” ~ Patrick Davidson

Watch this website for more news, or follow www.metal4africa.com at our official facebook page. Information will also be updated at our official WinterFest’15 event page.

A great deal of the nations metal bands have been serviced by M4A on the Klein Libertas Stage over the years, such as: A Price On The King’s Head, A Walk With The Wicked, Adorned In Ash, Agro, All Guns Full Ammo, Animus Fall, Arc Reactor, Architecture Of Aggression, Atlantic South, Axxon, Azrail, Balyios, Beeldenstorm, Betray The Emissary, Bile Of Man, BloodBeast, Bulletscript, Child, Cold Hand Chemistry, Contrast The Water, Crow Black Sky, Dark Heritage, Day Turns Night, Diverge, Empery, Erebus, Forgive Us Not, Gadabout, Ill System, Imperial Destruction, Heathens, Imperium Of Man, Infanteria, Inferium, ING, Marching Dead, Maximum Carnage, Megalodon, Messiah Complex, Mind Assault, Ministry Of Lost Souls, Moment Of Clarity, My Dark Fugue, Nebula Disrupt, Norse Code, Original Sin, Overthrust (Botswana) Peasant, Regicide, Revenge By Dawn, Rigormortem, Rukuz, Sabretooth, SacriFist, Sadistic Dementia, Semyazah, Sindulgence, Spectral Realm, Stellitius, Strident, SubMission (Namibia), SubverS, Suiderbees, Symphonic Schizophrenia, Theatre Runs Red, Terminatryx, The Black October, The Broken Result, The Impalement Theory, The Fallen Prophets, The Horrorcast, The Warinsane, Thread Of Omen, Throatball, Wargrave, Warthane, With Dawn, Wildernessking, Wings Of Aggression, Wolven Decorum, Wrust (Botswana) Zero Stroke, Zombies Ate My Girlfriend and 21st Century Tragedy.