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Thursday, March 7, 2013


(Anton Cawthorn-Blazeby)

Anton Cawthorn-Blazeby, a classically trained violinist and one of South Africa’s most respected musicians, has been confirmed as the featured act for this year’s Splashy Fen Music Festival, which takes place on a farm by the same name near Underberg over the Easter long weekend.

With 20 festivals under his belt so far, Cawthorn-Blazeby is a true Splashy Fen legend. Well-known for his role in the celebrated instrumental band Landscape Prayers (which he co-founded with guitar maestro Nibs van der Spuy), he has also worked and collaborated with many other top artists and groups. These include Steve Newman, Guy Buttery, Greg Georgiades, Squeal, Robin Auld and, more recently, Celtis – a project with flautist Keri Povall and guitarist Ron Uken that sees him expressing his passion for Celtic music with a quirky feel.

On being offered the Splashy Fen 2013 featured act billing, Cawthorn-Blazeby said he felt “humbled and very grateful for the opportunity and proud to have been chosen”. He added that he had already started planning his set, which would include a number of guest artists and promised to be “one for the books”.

Described as “inadvertently funny and fond of a pint”, this dad, husband and musician is also, interestingly, a qualified geologist. Working for Richards Bay Minerals, he completed his honours degree in geology at UKZN last year. In the early 1990s, he also spent 14 months at the research station on Marion Island, where part of his time was dedicated to monitoring bird life.

Based in Durban, where he lives with his wife and six-year-old daughter, Cawthorn-Blazeby’s ‘bucket list’ includes trips to both Antarctica and Marrakech, a gig with Sting, and he wouldn’t mind having a go at running the Comrades, and finishing… (something he admits is sadly not very likely at this stage).

Meanwhile, this year, he gets to fulfil another wish: the featured act slot at Splashy Fen, where he’ll share the bill with the likes of Mi Casa, Gazelle and inviZAble, The Muffinz, Desmond & The Tutus, Gangs of Ballet, Ard Matthews, December Streets, ISO, Matthew Mole, City Bowl Mizers, Dave Ferguson, Veranda Panda and Dan Patlansky, among many others.

Supported by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Splashy Fen has been going strong since 1990 and is one of the premier live music showcases in the country. 

Advance tickets cost R575 at Computicket, which includes camping for the entire four-night, five-day festival. More information on 031 563 0824 or visit