Writing this blog post is almost embarrassing. One: I only spent about one and a half days at the KKNK in Oudtshoorn. I probably have one of the least thorough assessments of this event in the history of ever ever. Two: there is way too much stuff going on. It's impossible to dictate all the cool things I did and saw in a mere 36 hours. So I offer you a few humble highlights so that I can at least rest easy in the knowledge that I made some sort of half-arsed effort at documenting my experiences.
First on my List of Cool Things™ is the music group Zamar, who deliver a sound which I shall simply describe as “gypsy music stuff”. I'm a bit of a musical heathen, so don't ask me for any proper definitions.
I first heard these guys while I was sitting in an Oudtshoorn cafe (sipping mineral water and pretending to be posh, of course). Their sound immediately grabbed me and I was moved to sit down and chat with them after their performance.
Zamar consists of a bunch of Stellenbosch students who decided to get together and make something a little different from the run-of-the-mill Afrikaans pop music and doof-doof-doof club sounds that have pretty much saturated the local market. They've been touring the country for some time now, building up a fan base and even winning awards for their performances at events like the KKNK. Not only are they different, but their lack of emphasis means that they're effectively language-neutral, so pretty much everybody can enjoy the music.
Also, they have a rad Website. Much respect to a group who knows the IT haxx.
Now, music aside: one of the main drawcards for the arts festival (in my opinion) was the open market filled with some of the most absolutely cool stuff in existence. And by that, I mean loads of awesome food. And super-cooled relaxation tents with built-in water sprays.
But seriously, you find some recipes in all this madness which are probably unique to the festival: stuff like mint-flavoured nougat, mint-flavoured pizza cones and mint-flavoured baby elephants. You know, the good stuff. I broke my noodle diet once again to sample some of these wares. It was glorious. Budget-killing, but glorious.
As it so happened, I was carrying my devil sticks around with me at the time (let's all say it together now: not a tool of Satan) and a little birdie told me that there was actually a stick juggler wandering around the KKNK market. I enthusiastically hunted said juggler down in the hopes that I could bump into El Rondo again.
I ended up running into another juggler instead. His name was Nico, he had a shop in Knysna and he recognised my sticks as El Rondo's work, so we sat down to chat for a little while. Our conversation brought to my attention the harsh reality of festival markets everywhere: if you're even a paltry two stalls down from the high-traffic paths, you're going to get screwed over for customers. A pity: I tried out some of the sticks myself, and they were pretty well-made.
In closing: I totally got to ride in a Toyota along an off-road hazard course.
Enough said. Post over.