Rob’s Top 5 Picks For The Weekend

Here’s a little something that flew under the radar a wee bit… Spring is upon us in a couple of days. Well, I’ll call it official as soon as the incalculable heavens open up. For now we’ll have to sit with the swirling August swells and we can only look on as early September sets out to ruin the exteriors of our cars. Bird poop and blossoms will drop aplenty and, to an irksome end, you’ll only be able to rid your vehicle of one when you crank the wiper stalk in the cabin. Chalked-up windscreens are a menace.

When Planet Earth tilts, it furrows up a few regulatory issues, too. You see, this old bag-o-bones of mine battles to make sense of the ambient clime it finds itself in. Such a point has come; it is a right toss-up between a heater and a fan at night – as with Goldilocks, all has to be just right and it rarely is. I’ve woken wearisome most of my life for it, but I’ve familiarised myself with the delirium over the years, luckily. This season in particular, however, amplifies my hardship somewhat. At least I’m not prone to hay fever at all.

The warmer weather does however mean that we can venture out at will without lugging cloaks, caps and coats around. This certainly means that we can pick and choose more liberally what we’d like to attend over a weekend. This is why I figured that we can travel to a few spots that are positively thought of as ‘open-air’. We shan’t go swimming just yet, but we’ll thoroughly be able to enjoy ourselves outdoors. I just hope that the wind does not wail on us. Let’s have a look at this week’s itinerary.

  1. Magalies Rocks The Cradle Festival, 23-25 August

Cost: Free, visit Magalies Rocks the Cradle for venue details

If you find yourself a resident of Gauteng or passing by as a traveller, perhaps you should spend your weekend in the mountainous valleys in the north of the province. The annual festival offers up a veritable smorgasbord of activities that will suit every single member of the family. Various foods will be on offer rather generously as will a variety of drinks and trinkets. Music will permeate throughout for all three days of the festival and you’ll be able to clue yourself up on a bit of history and other forms of art.

  1. Mercury Wine Week, 29-31 August

Cost: R120-R160, available through iTickets


Won’t this just be the ideal way to bid farewell to winter? The country’s oldest wine festival returns to the Greyville Racecourse in Durban once more and this year’s offering is quite stupendous. They will cater to all, casuals and connoisseurs alike with the mountainous assortment to pick from. A wine festival will typically boast a respectable collection of labels to sample from, but here we’ll see 70 of the best producers compete for your affection with their rosés, red, white and sparkling wines. There will naturally be tonnes of great food on offer so that you can mix and match your selection as you see fit. A range of gin and whiskey will also be available for those who fancy themselves a change. There will be no shortage of all-day entertainment, too.

  1. Argentine Film Festival, 23-25 August

Cost: Bookings through Tixsa

If you’d to hazard a guess as to who the host of such a festival would be, you’ll probably need no more than three to solve this here puzzle. The Bioscope Independent Cinema is yet again at the forefront of cinematic schooling and this time we’ll explore a picture show or two all the way from Argentina. As they have done in the past, each respective evening will see a screening from independent producers and directors who are hard at work to have the industry in that country flourish. We’ll explore the human condition more than a typical cinema complex can ever wish to. We shan’t see any space beams of sorts in these films and a horde of otherworldly creatures will not have a perplexing fixation on New York City. No, here we’ll be exposed to refined cinema as it should be and you’ll be able to witness something so often overlooked in big budget movie-making – great cinematography.

  1. Jozi Book Fair, 29 August – 1 September

Cost: Visit Jozi Book Fair for prices and programmes


Don’t you dare think that reading is dead for one moment. There is a reason why this fair exists and the volumes of bibliophiles that ought to show up will attest to just that. The JBF is also more than a mere second-hand peddler of old tomes that had no place on a shelf anymore. It is more of an agora – a place where exchanges can be made and intellectual pleasantries exchanged on a variety of topics. It also caters to any and all no matter their interest or age. The fair also serves as a platform where writers and publishers can network in order to gain a foothold in the market. Several books will be launched here and there will be opportunities for the public to engage with writers and attend art and literature exhibitions.

  1. We Are The Champions, 23 August – 1 September

Cost: R250-R390 available through Computicket


I have to put forth an unpopular preference forward here. Stadium rock just doesn’t do it for me. I much prefer Queen’s back catalogue and some of their older work before they turned into juggernaut that they turned out to be. It is for the same reason that I just can’t get into U2. But! But! There is no questioning the individual talent among its members and the massive influence they had in shaping modern rock ‘n roll. The millions of rabid followers that the band still has to this day can’t be faulted in their admiration of the English music titan. For as much as I have my own reservations, Queen, as a whole, rarely put a foot wrong musically. Now South African fans that never had the opportunity to see the real thing in concert will now have the chance to witness a near-perfect reimagining when Showtime Australia unleashes Dominic Warren, Richard Baker and co. to local audiences at the City’s Mardi Gras Theatre at Carnival City.

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Robert Clunie
Robert is a descendant of the stout Macpherson Clan out of the Scottish Highlands and can claim Robert the Bruce as a far-off cousin. He suffers from a severe form of Collectors’ Disease and sports an assortment of small valuable curious. In his spare time he works a full-time job, but his real prowess lies within his musical aptitude as a drummer. He is a semi-amateur of the instrument and although he claims beating a drumhead one of the more primal sensations man can experience, he feels it to be an unnatural exercise to pursue. If he could have his way, he’d have breakfast every meal of the day and is a fan of all things Roald Dahl.