Aardklop Festival in Potchefstroom was held from 22 to 27 September and attended by 10,000 visitors where the technical crew worked on seventy productions, fifteen of which were debuts.
Pieter-Jan Kapp (Kappie) stepped into the role of technical manager for the entire event. Blond Productions was appointed the full technical supplier. Company owner, Christiaan Ballot, had a mission to keep Aardklop alive and works around any budget allocated to him, throwing in as much gear as possible to ensure the success of the event.
DWR Distribution’s involvement was primarily as tech support on the MA Lighting platform, where Jannie de Jager was eager to jump in wherever help was needed. If there was a problem on moving lights, he’d fix it; if an LED was not responding or a hazer not working, he was on it. Jannie also provided crash courses to the young technicians on all the lighting consoles used at the festival.
It really was a team effort that saved the day. People like Blond’s Riaan Rademan were indispensable. “While I handled lighting, Riaan handled sound,” said Jannie. “He is one of those guys who has great knowledge and skill and, out of interest, is also a master
Bladesmith.” Some venues had four different shows running per day, which meant four different set changes. This is where Riaan was hands-on, helping technicians with difficult changeovers to ensure everything ran smoothly.
There were also those working at Aardklop who were even more unnoticeable than technicians, literally working behind the ‘behind the scenes’! Blond’s Eugen Engelbrecht managed everything that moved in and out of his store based at Aardklop, and without him, it could have been an admin nightmare. If two blue gels needed to go to a venue, he’d make a record of it.
If there was a cable short at a venue, Eugen wrote it down, made sure it was sent out and that it came back again. Keeping track of everything he was very collected, super sharp and knew all the items in his inventory.
“Besides the technicians in the venue, we have a wonderful support team, our festival family, that make the wheels at Aardklop turn,” added Kapp.
“In the Radio Room, Yolandi Kemp, the festival mom, assisted by Annarie Grobler, ran an hourly schedule every day – making sure the technicians and the Blond Production team had the support they needed -as well as handling the communication with productions. Thanks also to Dawid van Eeden, Springs Theatre resident stage manager and master electrician, who handled all the electrical needs for the theatres and supported the changeover crew when productions were swopped out.”