Mannville music fest returns

Four Winds Music Club members, from left, Kevin Abraham, Alasdair Gillies, Claire Venn and Doron Blackman
Four Winds Music Club members, from left, Kevin Abraham, Alasdair Gillies, Claire Venn and Doron Blackman
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

What used to gathered up to 1 000 folk music fans in picnic style for decades at the Mannville open air theatre in St George’s Park returns to the Bay after 15 years of absence on Saturday April 28.

Now tagged the Ellies Electronics Mannville Music Festival, the revival of the old Mannville Music Festival is courtesy of PE’s Four Winds Music Club (formerly Four Winds Folk Club) in collaboration with Ellies Electronics.

The original Mannville Folk Festival began in the 1970s when Four Winds, PE’s oldest folk club, and folk clubs from other South African cities decided to hold annual gatherings at the open air theatre, entertaining the Bay’s folk audience for about 30 years.

“By the early nineties, however, it had ceased to draw the support of the other cities, largely because folk clubs around the country were dying in the face of the exploding rock scene in the new democracy, and costs,” Four Winds member Tim Hopwood said.

The festival continued to feature only local artists until the end of the 2003 series. It was only held again in 2010 and 2011. Four Winds Club president Alasdair Gillies said the club saw it fit to revive the festival this year.

“From 2011 we didn’t really have the right infrastructure and the club had gotten a bit quiet at the time, but now that we are back on full steam with a full committee it feels more possible to do another festival,” Gillies said.

The picnic-style festival, from 1pm to 10pm, will feature Claire Venn, The Madhatters, Kevin Abraham, The Goodness and The Folk Collective, among 11 other Bay acts, as well as national artists Rowan Stuart and Steve Fataar.

There will be food, tea, coffee and Four Winds T-shirt stalls at the venue.

Tickets cost R100 at the entrance.

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