Sometimes we need a gentle reminder of what an amazing country we live in. Tons of glorious sunshine, beautiful diverse countryside, amazingly energetic young people, emerging new crossover music from bright talented musicians and DJs, incredibly gifted and creative new designers, celebrated young chefs and globally recognized restaurants, world-beating wines…
…and just sometimes you get an opportunity to experience all of these things at one time and one place.
Now into its third incarnation, the Littlegig Festival has been growing from strength to strength, and there is every reason to believe that the 2018 edition will be the best yet. To be held on the weekend of 17-18 February 2018 at the now established venue of Wiesenhof Farm in Stellenbosch, this 24-hour party/get together/celebration is a classy hedonist’s dream.
So what is it exactly? Music festival? Food fair? Fashion market? Wine tasting event? Yes, and within each of these categories, the event organisers strive to assemble the best young talent SA has to offer. And the greatest part? The ticket price includes pretty much everything (including all day food and drinks), no queuing is guaranteed, none of the normal festival mud and grime to be found, and the plan is to keep the numbers down (no more than 1 500 people) to maintain an intimate, exclusive feel.
Live music is on offer all day and through the night in 6 different locations with a leaning towards new emerging local talent and a smattering of international artists including multi-instrumentalist, carnival-style storyteller Stelth Ulvang (from Billboard No. 1 folk/rock band the Lumineers), Cameroonian-New Zealand singer and beatmaker Estère, and Kenyan DJ/producer Blinky Bill. Local highlights include afro-folk sensation Bongeziwe Mabandla, futuristic queer music act Umlilo and the Stash Crew, electro-soul songstress Nonku Phiri, Giles Peterson and Ninja Tunes-approved Sibusile Xaba (fresh from their first headline European tour), rising indie act Johnny Cradle, and Samthing Soweto, the award-winning new project of The Soil founder Samkelo Mdolomba. On the electronic lineup are Johannesburg DJ, promoter and radio host Kenzhero, DJ and 5FM radio host Kid Fonque, Afrosynth blog and record store founder DJ Okapi, DJ and visual artist Zara Julius, DJ and executive producer at Black Coffee’s Africa Rising events DJ Strat3gy, and queen of bass Doowap, alongside fixtures on the Cape Town DJ scene K-$, Toby 2 Shoes, Artelligent and more.
Foodwise, the options at Littlegig are equally varied and well curated:
*delicious and varied food is available at multiple all-day stations (including after midnight braai broodjies and a Sunday morning recovery breakfast/brunch).
*a Saturday afternoon food and wine pairing experience involving 3 of the best young female chefs in South Africa right now (Jenny Ward of Chefs Restaurant & Kitchen, Ash Heeger of Ash Restaurant and Vanie Padayachee of Marigold) teamed up with 3 of our finest female winemakers (Jocelyn Wilson of Hogan, Nadia Barnard of Waterkloof and Nadia Newton Johnson of Newtown Johnson).
*a limited seating 6-course chef’s table in the forest with Eat Out top 10 chef Arno Janse van Rensburg of Maison fame.
Other than the wines available with the pairings, premium alcohol and coffee brands are available throughout, including a separate gin and single malt whisky bar, a Krone champagne salon and a rum shack.
In terms of art, design and fashion, there will be various performance artists doing their stuff throughout Littlegig, specific artworks from leading contemporary artists on display, live installations, a concept store selling both vintage and new fashion (including festival-specific ranges by exciting local designers such as Neo Serati, David Brits for GOOD GOOD GOOD, Sheila Madge, Lukhanyo Mdingi and Dr Pachanga), and free hair and makeup at the Krone Salon.
The programme runs roughly from 11am Saturday morning through to the same time Sunday morning. For those without the stamina to make it right through the night, there are various on-site camping options, ranging from fairly basic 2-person tents to super up-market glamping. There is also a ‘deep sleep experience’ zone (enhanced meditation basically) for a quick refresh option. Alternatively, there is a taxi rank on site, enabling an escape to a nearby guest house or hotel for a couple of hours.
Equilibrio caught up with Littlegig founder Georgia Black at the Johannesburg media launch held at Hallmark House in Maboneng recently (itself well worth a visit). And, if the launch function itself or Georgia’s energy, passion and glamour is anything to go by, Littlegig 2018 should be brilliant fun. As Georgia herself puts it: “In many ways, Littlegig is a sophisticated rave. A space where you can be hedonistic but still feel looked after”.
A truly unique, truly South African event.