It’s Wild Coast Jikeleza Fest time

The Wild Coast Jikeleza Festival is back for it's 17th offering this year
The Wild Coast Jikeleza Festival is back for it's 17th offering this year
Image: File / Alan Eason

Now in its 17th year, the annual Wild Coast Jikeleza Festival is undergoing a facelift with more live music, more sport and an extension from the usual long weekend to a nine-day affair.

WCJ Association chair Jennifer Woods said the festival, which starts on Friday, now includes more Jikeleza route venues and showcases more of its attractions. “There is so much to offer, so we decided to have smaller events at other spots leading up to the main festival day at Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve on Saturday August 25.”

The route includes beach resorts, plant and rose nurseries, beach and river resorts, lodges, art galleries, restaurants and coffee shops along the beautiful countryside and coastline, starting from Floradale and ending where Schafli Road joins the N2 near Vineyard Guest Lodge.

Woods said soon the rout e would be extended to include Haga Haga, Morgan Bay and Kei Mouth, making it a true “gateway to the Wild Coast”.

“The festival has been based at Inkwenkwezi, which has the infrastructure to make it the best place for the main event on August 25,” said Woods.

“This way people will see much more. We want to show visitors there is more to this area than East London and Chintsa.”

There are trail runs like the Glengarriff Lodge Beach Run, the Table 58 Night Run and an Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve run. The Barefoot Surf Challenge at Chintsa Beach will include the surfing community in the festival, and cyclists have the MTB Cycle Challenge.

There will be open-air cinema at the scenic Areena Riverside Resort and an Emeraldvale Brewery Family Picnic.

“People who live in this area typically live an outdoor lifestyle and this area is known for running and surfing so we wanted to reflect that,” said Woods, adding the last day on August 25 would culminate in the traditional packed day of food, craft beer, children’s entertainment, a craft market and music at Inkwenkwezi.

Music plays a big role in this year’s festival, with the C-Club in Chintsa East running a full live music lineup and the day-long festival at Inkwenkwezi ending with a variety of music shows headlined by Majozi and including former East Londoner Aston Wylie.

“There will also be a performance and drumming workshops by Kevin Fish and performances by Jason Gladwin and A Can of Worms.”

For more information, go to the wildcoastjikelezaroute Facebook page or to the website, www.wildcoastjikeleza.co.za.

To enter for trial runs, the surf contest and other events, please go to www.yourtribal.com.

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