The McGregor Poetry Festival is the vision of Billy Kennedy who has had a life-long dream to honour poets and poetry. Together with a small group of friends who shared his passion, this dream became a reality in 2013, when a poetry festival was organised in the quaint village of McGregor in the Western Cape of South Africa. Their goal was to arrange an event where poets could share their talent in an informal, intimate manner with fellow lovers of the art and members of the public.
McGregor is a small village about 180km from Cape Town and has proved to be the perfect setting for a small intimate festival such as this. The first McGregor Poetry Festival took place in June 2013 with over 40 local poets taking part. Accommodation was provided by local residents in their private homes. This warmth and hospitality set the scene for a weekend of poetry events which thrilled and delighted audiences in the various venues throughout the village. Temenos Retreat was the hub of the festival, providing unique places where poetry readings and performances took place. A number of other venues were used (Wahnfried, Edna Fourie Gallery, Windsong) as well as restaurants and coffee shops.
This proved to be so successful that a second festival was soon organised and took place in October 2014. The follow-up festival attracted international poets from America, England and Holland and they joined with the 45 other local poets who provided 3 days of poetry events. Besides the readings and presentations, workshops, films, Open Mic sessions, exhibitions and musical performances were slotted into the programme. Free events were arranged for school children of all ages and a platform was provided for local talent to be showcased. Local bands, music groups and street artists had the opportunity to take part. Members of the local churches were encouraged to take part too and they hosted services with poetry themes which included song and dance items.
For more details, visit www.mcgregorpoetryfestival.co.za
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