A Treasure Called Snowflake

musings of a professional dreamer

You wouldn’t think it’s much by looking at it, but hear me out. When I was booked to play Snowflake, the VIP venue at Aardklop Nasionale Kunstefees in Potchefstroom in the North West Province, I had no idea what to expect. I drove the long, straight road from Johannesburg to Potch, adding a new route to my relatively extensive roadtrip catalogue for the year, noting signs for the “Treasure Route” along the way, not knowing that I was about to stumble on a real-life gem.

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to accommodation, but checking into a room with no lock on the door, no plugs, shared ablutions and a breakfast menu that included cold dry toast, a side of boerewors and quite possibly the worst coffee I have ever forced down, did not leave me feeling very optimistic about the week ahead. I have never been so wrong.

Snowflake is a unique and refreshing space – an old flour mill converted into a double volume exhibition space. Apparently the space lies dormant during the year, but during the festival, it plays host to an incredible exhibition of art and music until all hours of the morning. The audience is varied and made up of Potch residents, festival visitors, actors and musicians participating in the festival, journalists, industry gurus and a few recognisable “celebrities”, all of whom are there to LISTEN, which is almost a novelty. I was completely blown away by the vibe, the response, the absolute respect that the audience have for the artists who perform there, no matter who they are, and I cannot wait for next year’s edition! I met some incredible people, including a few very helpful career contacts, and scored my first Afrikaans review in Spat (the festival pullout of Beeld) in which I was named Aardklop 2010’s new voice of the year, an honour I cannot even begin to articulate.

Snowflake is my new favourite venue in the country. Perhaps next year I’ll spend a little more on accommodation.

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© Shannon Hope 2017