White River is a small town about 40 km from Nelspruit and is not really known for anything famous besides that it hasn’t really grown much over the years. It has a Spur, a Spar, two schools and the Sasol Rally passes through it every year. Another little legend place that is starting to make a real name in the Mpumalanga province is the Casterbridge Music Academy Development (or CMDA as most locals know it).
For the past few years the CMDA have been tutoring kids from all ages, races and back grounds the finer details of music. Whether it’s the smallest girl wanting to beat bass guitar to make a grown metal head weep or the incarnation of Jimi Hendrix, the CMDA does it. Sound engineering, stage management, band management – these guys have definitely got it together. In and around the Lowveld the CMDA have been providing us with some kief upcoming bands like Café Wha? and Appelfinger.
This weekend (the 6th to the 8th of December 2013) the first ever Route 40 Music Festival is being held. The name “Route 40” comes from the main road that the CMDA is located next to. This is a first for White River when it comes to three day music festival. The CMDA is located at the Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre and this centre is home to many shops, restaurants, the Caster Hallow Hotel and the Casterbridge Car Museum.
What makes this cow excited is that never before did we have a line up quite like the one we will see this weekend, the best thing of it all is that it’s right in our neighbors backyard. Friday it kicks off at 11 AM already to keep the kids busy with the Coca Cola Youth Stage with the Route 40 Talent search finalists. The CMDA Stage will also have the winners of the Route 40 Talent Search, sHades, doing their performance. However the main stage will only open at 18:00 and kicks off with Italian pop singer Stefano Giorgini. Later on it will be the ever popular, make up wearing The Parlotones and then the rock group Zebra & Giraffe. Funny and ironically enough, the Kruger National Park is only a 20 – 30 minute drive from the festival.
Saturday also promises to be the best day with LOTS of local talent out of the Lowveld also kicking off at 11am in the morning with the Coca Cola youth stage and CMDA stage. During the course of the whole festival well-known singers, songwriters and music business people will be conducting free workshops. These workshops follow different musical topics and is open to anyone attending the festival. Saturday night the main stage brings you The December Streets, Vusi Mahlasela, Watershed and Cape Town rockers Woodstock Mafia. Man oh man I’m going to rock out with our horns out.
But it doesn’t end there, Sunday kicks off at 10 AM with local Cya Uyazi on the Coca Cola Youth Stage followed by 4 CMDA bands including sHades. The main stage opens at 2 PM with Shortstraw, Jason Hartman, Lindiwe Suttle, ISO, Café Wha? and Prime Circle. I think I’m overdosing on good music this weekend, and you should too. “Fok Ja” (like oom Francois van Coke would say).
Tickets to the Route 40 musical festival will be on sale at the gates, day passes are R 150 and the weekend pass will be R 350. And before you say it’s too expensive let me remind you that Oppikoppi tickets go for between R 650 and R 850 a ticket. There is a more enough cow stalls and other accommodation available in White River and Nelsparta area, so if you struggle give me or my human a shout. Like any ‘normal’ festival there will be lots of food stalls, a cash bar and other things to keep you busy, so bring your friends.
If you live in Gauteng: White River is about a 4 hour drive from you and this area is well-known for it’s green grass and pretty girls. I wouldn’t know about the girls, because I drool over rock stars. For more info rock on over to the CMDA website or their Facebook page. Let’s rock it!
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