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Wednesday, September 2, 2009


(Pic: Farryl Purkiss)

Programme line-up for festival in the Drakensberg.

Escape the city and chill out in a superb mountain setting while listening to acoustic performances by some of the country’s top artists at the annual White Mountain Folk Festival.

Coinciding with Heritage Day and the start of the school holidays, this intimate, family-friendly festival runs over four days from September 24 to 27 at White Mountain Lodge near Giant’s Castle in the beautiful Central Drakensberg region of KwaZulu-Natal, only 200km from Durban and 430km from Johannesburg on tarred roads.

Farryl Purkiss heads to White Mountain for his first big KZN show in two years. Having spent the past two years touring abroad and working on his new album, this acclaimed singer-songwriter is upbeat about performing to his home crowd. Now based in Cape Town, the Umhlanga born and raised surfer-come-acoustic songwriter is currently recording his second full-length album, Fruitbats and Crows, and festival-goers can expect a taste of some of his brand-new material. “I’ve definitely matured as a songwriter,” he says. “The first album was compiled over 11 years and was my first foray into songwriting. This album took two and a half years to write and contains a lot of the influences I experienced from being on the road for so long. I’m very happy with it and hope people are going to love it,” he said. Purkiss has also toured and shared stages with international acts like Jack Johnson, Donovan Frankenreiter, Ben Lee, Bob Evans, Missy Higgins and, most recently, Canadian duo Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland.

Featured acts include Rambling Bones, the alter ego of Jay Bones, frontman for popular ska/punk band Fuzigish; Wonderboom’s Cito, performing songs from his soon-to-be released debut solo album; as well as a rare, acoustic solo performance by Bertie Coetzee, lead vocalist for Afrikaans folk rock outfit Zinkplaat.

Also on the White Mountain Folk Festival line-up are the likes of Rambling Bones, The Simon van Gend Band, Bertie Coetzee of Zinkplaat, Josie Field, Larry Amos, Gary Thomas, Laurie Levine, Redhand Blues Band, Joshua Grierson, Andra, Barry Thomson, Peter Hoven, Flowing Water Band, Shannon Hope and Catlike Thieves, among others.

Apart from its stunning setting, the festival also offers arts and crafts, a beer market, assorted food stalls, plus lots of fun outdoor activities for the whole family. Festival-goers can also make full use of the lodge’s facilities, including a restaurant, pub, games room, swimming pool and satellite TV.

Tickets available at Game stores in KZN (R400), Computicket (R450) and at the festival gate (R500). The price includes camping for the entire festival and children under 12 pay R50. For more information and the full programme, visit or contact Pedro at 082 892 6176.