The recently concluded Wavescape Festival raised R250, 000 for charities and attracted more than 8,000 people to six venues around Cape Town.
Celebrating beach culture, ocean conservation and art, the Festival, which is presented by Pick n Pay, has established itself as integral to the Mother City’s summer calendar.
An estimated 6,000 people attending the open-air surf film screenings at Clifton 4th Beach on a perfect summer evening, while the Centre for the Book was packed for the Slide Night ocean talks. The Labia Theatre was sold out for the Chris Bertish premiere Ocean Driven, and the festival’s first All Africa film night, featuring multiple screenings of South African-made films attended by directors.
The Artboard exhibition and auction held at Tiger’s Milk in Muizenberg broke the record for the highest bid at a Wavescape auction. The surfboard, a yellowtail fish design by leading artist Beezy Bailey, sold for R54,000. Brett Murray’s #PayBackTheFuckingMoney board sold for R51,000.
The other artists were Andrew Whitehouse, Asha Zero, Chris Brehem, Conn Bertish, Jake Aikman, One Love Studio and Sanell Aggenbach. Comedian Rob van Vuuren had the crowd in stitches as he took a total of R211,500 for ocean conservation and awareness charities such as the NSRI, Waves For Change trauma programme, Shark Spotters, Cancer Dojo and The Little Optimist Trust.
Wavescape worked closely with WWF-SASSI to celebrate sustainable seafood at the Wavescape Fish Fry, a community get-together of surfers, local surfing craftsman and ocean-minded people in Muizenberg that included a celebrity fish braai using green listed seafood. MC Cath Grenfell, 5fm presenter and WWF-SASSI ambassador, presided over the braai-off that saw Team WWF-SASSI win over other teams that included Siphokazi Ndlankomo, runner up of Master Chef South Africa 2014.
Pick n Pay’s General Manager: Sustainability, Andre Nel, said: “Ensuring that marine resources are protected is a cause we care deeply about. We are very encouraged to see the positive impact that Wavescape is having in raising awareness of the importance of protecting our oceans and proud to support it.”
Festival Manager Shani Judes said her highlight was Slide Night: “It is always incredible to hear people’s intimate stories with the ocean. We ended the night with a truly remarkable talk by Caleb Swanepoel, who lost his leg to a shark in June this year, and is already inspiring people with his attitude. He received our first standing ovation in four years of Slide Night. These moments make the festival a pleasure to pull together for our ocean-loving community.”
In the Wavescape Shortcuts Film Contest, adventure filmmaker Benjamin Malherbe won a film commission with Red Bull South Africa in 2016. Working with Wesgro Film and Media Promotion, Wavescape also held a special master class at the SAE Film Institute for aspiring filmmakers, with talks by top movie specialists.
Steve Pike, co-founder of the festival, summarised the 2015 edition: “The festival has really jumped up a notch, and we’re thrilled that we are able to in some way contribute to Cape Town becoming the adventure capital of the world. Also, as surfers at the frontline of human interaction with the ocean, we’re enormously proud to carry a torch for ocean conservation and sustainable seafood. Our oceans are in desperate need of care. One way to change habits and help people make a difference is to inspire and educate on a collective scale.”
Supporting partners of the Festival this year were Save Our Seas Foundation, WWF-SASSI, Jack Black Beer, Fast Company and Intrepid Explorer, with the Wavescape Shortcuts Film Contest in collaboration with Red Bull Media House, and the Wavescape Master Class presented by Wesgro Film and Media Promotion.