Star-studded line-up for Marula Festival

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Phalaborwa - Award-winning artists like Judith Sephuma, Professor, Malatji, Candy, Liquid Deep, Future Sound and Revolution, are part of the line-up at this year's Marula Festival in Limpopo.

Held in the picturesque town of Phalaborwa since 2008, the festival will stretch over the period, 19-26 February 2011, with the main events taking place from 24-26 February.

The highlight of the festival is the open air music festival on 26 February, featuring local acts and acclaimed musicians across a wide spectrum of all genres of music and live performances.

The open air concert is expected to bring young and old together in dance and song. The plan is to have a combination of a traditional dance competition and musical concert on the day.

Freshly Ground, Thomas Chauke, DJ Mahoota v/s Vetkoek, Jay and various local artists are also billed to perform at the show.

Limpopo MEC for Economic Development, Environment and Tourism, Pitsi Moloto, said his department would spend over R400 million to build a marula refinery like the one in Stellenbosch, where the marula liqueur Amarula Cream, is mainly processed. He said the making of Amarula Cream and oil extraction from the fruit should be done in Limpopo.

"It is one of our main goals to have a world class marula factory right in our backyard so that local people can have direct economic benefits throughout the year. We remain committed and will work tirelessly to achieve this dream, working together with our partners, the department of sport, arts and culture and Ba-Phalaborwa municipality," said Moloto.

He added that the population of Phalaborwa was growing like elsewhere in the country and the local community needed to learn the importance of preserving its natural products, like the marula tree, which "has actually placed Phalaborwa on the global map".

Chief Executive for Limpopo Tourism and Parks, Rob Tooley, said the Ba-Phalaborwa local municipality benefited immensely from the Marula Festival last year.

He said 1 223 beds were booked in the town, as well as in Tzaneen, Hoedspruit and the nearby Kruger National Park during the main festival weekend of February 26 and 27.

"The local municipality benefited immensely from the festival, with a total injection of R10 3 million," said Tooley.

Last year, 25 000 people attend the event, compared to 16 000 in 2009.

Organisers are optimistic that about 35 000 will have attended this year's event. Tickets to this year's festival will cost R80 for adults and R20 for children.

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