Kirkwood Wildsfees responds to government call to limit Covid-19 infections
The Kirkwood Wildlife Festival will be held over to June 2022 in support of government efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to the chairperson of the festival board, Paul Marais.
“We are responding directly to the call by president Cyril Ramaphosa in his January 11 address to the nation, where he called on us to avoid what has been described as the three Cs – closed spaces, crowded places and close contact with others.
“Even though the Kirkwood Wildsfees is largely an open-air festival, we will not risk the health and lives of the 45 000 festival-goers, and those of the people living and working in the Sundays River Valley,” he says.
The 2020 festival was moved to 2021 in accordance with the Covid-19 regulations.
Marais is confident that the festival will be held from June 24 to June 26 2022.
“We have taken all the steps necessary to keep the festival financially sound and to secure the commitment of our core organising team to see us through the next few months.
“Thanks to the support from our naming sponsor, SPAR Eastern Cape, we are able to keep core functions running up to November this year. By then we should know if the vaccine rollout is bringing down infections, and whether festivals will be allowed in 2022”.
“If it does go ahead next year, it will be one of the best ever, and we expect to have to put a limit on the number of tickets available for each of the three days,” he adds.
A selection of South Africa’s top performers has already been booked.
In 2020 the artists who had been booked for the festival were given the option of retaining their deposits if they agreed to appear in 2021.
This agreement is being rolled over to 2022 with those wanting to continue with the agreement.
November 30 has been given as a cut-off date for making a decision on the 2022 festival in order to retain the integrity of the organisers, businesses and the people of the Sundays River Valley.
“It is a community-owned festival, with the board members being made up of top business and community leaders from the valley who volunteer their time,” says Marais.
Deposits paid by stallholders have been ring-fenced, and will be repaid in December if the decision is made to close down the festival company in November.
“We will have sufficient money in the bank to meet all our obligations, and to leave behind an intact legacy which could be revived at some time in the future,” he says.