Garden State is a brand-new festival and the brainchild of leading music industry women, Jessamine County and Jessica Schnehage. The festival will host an exclusive launch party in Cape Town on 7 April 2018 with a carefully curated line-up that’s built to impress.
The ‘Introducing Garden State’ launch event offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience for 300 ticket holders only and includes a selection of stellar international headliners. Hailing from the USA - Kyp Malone (TV on the Radio), Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds) and Dave Depper (Death Cab for Cutie) will take to the stage for an up-close-and-personal performance alongside an outstanding South African line-up of musical shape-shifters across multiple genres. Jozi-based rule benders The Brother Moves On, alt-electro wizards Age of Waves (fronted by the ever-powerful Joshua Grierson), the fiery and controversial isiXhosa vocalist Obie Mavuso and the mythical sonic revolutionary InviZAble are the first wave of local acts confirmed with many more to follow.
Garden State was born out of a dream to create a space that resonates with alternative creation. Jess and Jess moved to the Garden Route - part looking to align with a new era and lifestyle in one of the most magical regions of the country – and part to join forces and devise an event that would set the experiential bar for audience and artists alike.
Having both worked in music and events (locally and abroad) for over a decade, the 'Jesses' are well aware of the need for platforms where audiences can discover pioneering, fresh & definitive acts that would flourish on a significant stage undefined by media or consumer influence, whilst paying homage to the role and power of trailblazing stalwarts
“We want to breathe life into a scene that has become mostly generic,” says Jess, “and we want to do it in a part of the country that's a perfect fit for our vision,” says the other Jess.
The plan? Well, it’s twofold. Re-introduce the wild enchantment of the Garden Route as a truly mind-blowing playground, and offer audiences an array of intriguing, progressive live music that represents the possibilities through diversity and collaboration in our local creative landscape.
“Bringing together a multitude of elements, we want you to leave our events feeling inspired and with renewed trust in what artists and an audience can do together.”
Why Cape Town for the launch event? "We want to bring the concept to locals where it's easily accessible. From there we're sure to have their attention to lure them a few hours further East." This particular launch event will exhibit the enchantment of wilderness - in the city. "You can expect ambient sounds of nature between acts, a showcase of plant-based cuisine, unusual crafters, awe-inspiring art installations and unexpected spaces for human engagement. We're bringing a taster of what exists on our back door - back home, and our vision for the festival."
Official dates of the Garden Route based event will be announced on the day along with the environmental and social initiatives Garden State is undertaking in its surrounding communities.
“In the wake of the recent disastrous wildfires in the region, our vision for Garden State is to integrate locals and tourists in support of the Garden Route's producers and businesses and to celebrate the natural beauty and resilience of an area which remains one of South Africa's wildest destinations. It is as dramatic and beautiful as ever and we want to encourage people to get out of the city and find their natural self with us - their curious, kind and free spirit.”