SOUTH African musicians, Ard Mathews, Dan Patlansky, Locnville and Siphokazi, are among the drawcards at this year’s Royal Agricultural Show concerts, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.
Music plays a major part in the event, which runs at the Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg from Friday, May 26 to Sunday, June 4.
First up is the East Coast Radio Royal Rock Concert, featuring The Black Lapels, Mathews, Patlansky and Locnville, which will take place on Saturday, May 27 in the main arena.
The Vuma FM Concert will feature the talents of Msizi Shembe, Makhosi Khozi, Linda ‘The Game’ and Siphokazi on Sunday afternoon, May 28.
For those who love Bollywood music and dancing, then make sure you head to the Royal on the evening of Saturday, June 3 for the Hindvani FM Extravaganza.
For those who prefer classical music, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra will be in town from 10 am on Sunday, June 4 for the Royal Symphony Concert. The 90-minute performance will be conducted by Richard Cock and will feature a mix of light classics and medleys of music by the likes of Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber. The soloists are Andrew Butler, Shelley McLean and Hayley Hounsom-Heyns.
The final musical offering of the weekend will be delivered by Radio Sonde Grense (RSG) who are hosting an afternoon of tunes from Lee Vaughn, Wynand and Cheree Strydom, Anton Goosen and Robbie Wessels on Sunday, June 4.
Other attractions in the main arena will include:
- The Boerperd Provincial Championships from Friday, May 26 to Wednesday, May 31. This equestrian event will involve all disciplines of this ‘Proudly South African’ breed.
- An international women’s tent-pegging competition between the Proteas and Jordan on Thursday, June 1 and Friday, June 2.
- Watch man’s best friend get put through his paces at the national dog agility trials on Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3.
- A parade by the Umvoti Mounted Rifles and other bands on Saturday, June 3.
- Working on Fire demonstrations across the 10 days of the show, with a number of lunchtime events focused on young people.
Elsewhere on the showgrounds, visitors will be able to enjoy round two of the Powasol Enduro-X series will – held under the auspices of Motorsport South Africa – in the Cattle Arena from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4.
There is more fun for petrol-heads and adrenalin junkies with the Coca-Cola Monster Activation in the main arena on the evening of Friday, June 2 and the afternoon of Saturday, June 3. The event will include endure-bikes, skate-boarding, BMX and Moto-Cross trials.
And there will be plenty of car chases, rescues, explosions and surprises on Saturday, June 3 when the main arena plays host to the Extreme Car Stunt Show.
Other attractions include: the River Stage, which will host a mix of informative entertainment including shark dissections with the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board and a ‘Russian Scientist’ who will be conducting a range of educational and fun-filled experiments; the Karkloof Canopy Zipline, and the province’s largest fun-fair.
But there is more for show-goers to enjoy with more than 400 commercial, industrial and service sector exhibits, and The Mercury Hall of Fine Living, which will be hosting a food and culinary display, focused on the food chain from production to consumption.
And delivering on its focus of bring town and country together, the Royal is a must for those in the farming community. The largest mixed agricultural show in Africa, it hosts the nation’s best livestock, virtually every tractor and implement manufacturer, and a display of construction and materials handling equipment.
Visitors will be able to see judging of cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits and birds in the show’s cattle and sheep arenas and the bird and bunny halls. There are also displays of interesting breeds in the Sheep and Cattle Expo and the chance to see cows being milked in the Dairy Parlour.
In 2017, the Royal Show Sheep Section will host the Ile de France and Hampshire Down national championships; as well as the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the Toyota SA National Young Auctioneer Competition in the sheep section on Saturday, May 27.
The cattle and sheep competitions will end with the Gold Cup Parade where more than a hundred of South Africa’s best livestock will be paraded in the main arena prior to the presentation of the coveted best in show awards.
Entry to the Royal Show costs R65 per adult, R40 for children under 12 and pensioners, R40 for everyone on Wednesday, May 31 and R50 on Friday, June 2. Tagged as Super Friday, the halls will remain open until 8.30pm and the funfair will provide unlimited rides between 5pm and 7pm for R150.