Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees 2014
The KKNK, as it is known for short is an Afrikaans language event with smatterings of English on the festival programme. Translated from Afrikaans, it is called the Little Karoo National Arts Festival and is known to be one of South Africa’s largest arts and culture festivals. Every year it attracts thousands of visitors and over 200 performances. This year it takes place from the 29 March to 5 April.
The KKNK is the brainchild of two Oudtshoorn-born businesspeople, with the inaugural event being held in 1994, making this popular festival 20 years old in 2014. With so many years of tried and tested programmes behind it, you can be sure that this festival will knock your socks off with a superb recipe of entertainment comprising myriad genres of music, dance, theatre, comedy, visual arts and kids theatre.
The festival is held in Oudtshoorn, a small town in the Karoo, and the end point on Route 62. Usually the settlement, which is known for ostrich farming, is a quiet and hot little place, but it springs to life during festival time! The main streets are closed off to traffic and become lined with street food vendors, buskers and swathes of festival goers. The bars and restaurants throw their doors wide open and patrons spill out onto the pavements. It is a very festive time indeed.
While the KKNK has a distinctly party feel to it, it is also known for being a significant event on the Afrikaans cultural calendar. Not only does it showcase the best in Afrikaans performance art, with many shows making their debut there, but it is also a great place to observe some of the more subtle Afrikaans cultural cues – the informal sokkie dancing, the distinct sounds of Afrikaans pop music and the braai broodjies (toasted bread on the fire) for sale being some examples.
This year you can expect performances from music artists like Francois van Coke, Chris Chameleon and Amanda Strydom, dance productions like Plastiek, from the Underground Dance Theatre (that won a Standard Bank Ovation award last year), comedy pieces like Vat hom Flaffie (Get him Fluffy) and dramatic pieces like Boesman, My Seun (Boesman, my Son).
Ticket prices vary according to the show, but one thing is certain: If South African performance art is important to you, you need to take a trip to the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees.
Please click map for interactive version.