29 September – 8 October 2023
“Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” – William Plomer
The Plett ARTS Festival returns for its tenth year with a fresh focus on outdoor experiences and art following the form of nature for an immersive and uniquely “Plett” arts experience from 29 September – 8 October 2023. The theme of the festival is CONNECT: connect with nature, connect with the elements, connect with the artists and performers, and connect with each other. Spring is sprung and, as the days lengthen, it’s time to shake off the winter months and enjoy South Africa’s favourite playground: legendary hospitality, outdoor adventures, beautiful beaches and, for ten days, a firm focus on arts, music, food, and drama to delight and entertain.
Festival director, Cindy Wilson-Trollip is pleased with the theme and nature-focused approach: “This year, once again, that Plett feeling is stirred by the focus of the festival on art in nature with many performances set with Plett mountains, seascapes, forests and rivers as backdrop.” Over its ten year run, the Plett ARTS Festival has become known for bringing to life “art-in-nature” pop-ups and concerts, land art concepts, and a variety of other much-loved events such as Plett Food and Film and the Plett ARTS Twilight Meander which continue to draw interested visitors year upon year.
Festival organisers have recognised the attraction of small, boutique-style events that favour the fantastical and whimsical – pushing the boundaries of what is expected and ordinary – and feasting the senses in a natural environment that would delight even the most seasoned traveller. Wilson-Trollip explains, “The diversity of Plett culture is centre stage during the Plett Arts Festival, celebrated with music, dance, art and performance. Artists have limited opportunities to stage their shows and we appeal to audiences to support all of the shows – these are dedicated performers who may just touch your life in unexpected ways.”
The festival begins on Friday 29 September with a Plett ARTS Twilight Meander, a celebratory opening to the festivities and the arts culture held in Plett’s Main Street. From the Dolphin Circle to Whale Wire Sculpture, galleries, pop ups, restaurant spaces and sidewalks come alive for the meander. Visitors are encouraged to browse galleries and exhibitions, stop for a coffee or dinner at any of Plett’s Main Street eateries and enjoy the spring air. The full programme and a QR code guide will be released shortly on www.plettartsfestival.co.za.
This year’s delicious film and compelling food pairing will provide more laughter and flavour at Plett Food & Film. An absolute treat for the senses, the festival will be presenting the Academy Award Winning film “Cinema Paradiso” paired with an al-fresco Italian feast and unforgettable movie and musical magic, featuring baritone Mike Bayibhile, recently returned from his run at the Berlin Opera Academy. This 1988 film – set in a small Sicilian town – was a box office and critical success. Consensus among critics is that “Cinema Paradiso is a life-affirming ode to the power of youth, nostalgia, and to movies themselves.”
New to the programme is the African Wave Arts Festival presented by Tshisa Talent producer, Mnce Ncedani. Wilson-Trollip explains that he will be bringing together a lineup of talent and musicians, “the calibre of which is rarely seen in one place on a single day!”
The popular Plett ARTS Festival SPARK Land Art Route returns this year with fresh natural artworks ready to be appreciated before being swept away by the winds and tide. Land Art is created using materials from the natural environment and pieces on display last only as long as nature (the tide, the winds, the waves) allows – a transient beauty as perfectly fleeting as a spring breeze. The planned route includes Piesang River mouth, Central Beach, Hobie Beach, Wedge Beach, Lookout Beach and Lookout peninsula, and extends this year to forest and fynbos-scapes.
Cindy finishes by adding, “The connection between art and nature is a strong one, and a concept that we have continued to explore as the Plett ARTS Festival evolves year on year. We encourage all visitors to browse the programme (and follow Plett ARTS Festival on Facebook, Threads & Instagram) and to immerse themselves in the wonders of Plettenberg Bay and the best that the arts community of our town has put together.”