Once a year, the tiny student town of Potchefstroom comes alive for the Aardklop National Arts Festival. The festival is a week-long celebration of Afrikaans identity through music, arts, and culture. This year the festival takes place on the 6th to the 10th of October, and people travel from all over South Africa to enjoy the music concerts, theatre productions, comedy shows and dance performances that run throughout the week.
One of the popular attractions of Aardklop is the array of magnificent theatre productions, and the variety in the theatre programme. Not only can one watch the staging of popular, highly esteemed productions, but the festival also hosts the premier of many new theatre productions. The Aardklop programme holds something for everyone, hosting performances from opera to satire and musical numbers. Festival goers who are less excited by the theatre won’t be disappointed either. Music concerts are held all across the tiny town, performed by up and coming artists as well as many big names in the South Africa’s Afrikaans music scene. The music offerings include many different genres for every taste, from rock and pop to tunes that stick more to traditionally Afrikaans culture.
The celebration of Afrikaans identity allows people of all ages to relate, and adds to the community feeling the festival brings to the small town. The entire town soaks up the festival atmosphere, and many of the local bars become hot spots for festival goers who celebrate late into the night and revel in the general feeling of cheerfulness that Aardklop inspires. The festival gains popularity every year, with hordes of South Africans descending on the town to immerse themselves in Afrikaans culture, or even just for the superb theatre productions and popular music artists.
Aardklop is an ideal destination for anyone who likes a bit of cultural education in their getaways, and is a great place to celebrate and understand an important South African identity. The festival has a programme geared towards the whole family, and a highlight is watching people of all ages celebrate the Afrikaans heritage together. While the culture is Afrikaans, the festival plays a large role in developing South African arts, and is aimed at all South Africans. Aardklop is definitely a must-do on South Africa’s festival calendar.