Jacques talks about the Oakyard Sessions which form a backdrop of party life in Potchefstroom. He talks to Ciska Joubert and Waldo van Wyngaardt, two of the three organisers at Oakyard Sessions. 

To be honest, in Potchefstroom, there’s not a lot happening music wise. The scene has been a bit of a DIY vibe ever since I moved here. Friends with similar social interests soon started to hustle their own scene, and the result is Oakyard Sessions. Oakyard Sessions started in 2010, and this monthly musical shindig on a farm 7km outside Potch has always had a bit of a buzz around it. With every event, nine bands play from noon til night, and entrance is a ridiculously cheap R20. I’ve only been to four or five, and everytime it’s been a pretty sweet vibe. I spoke to the Ciska Joubert and Waldo van Wyngaardt, two of the three folks in charge of Oakyard.

DYD: How did Oakyard start?
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions):
My good friend/former bandmate Henk and I started Oakyard in 2010. We wanted a place where local bands can play and where we could chill in a garden. The first one we organized was in a friend’s garden and it was cool, because 40 people pitched up which was quite a big surprise. From there we knew we were on to something. People wanted something like Oakyard, and there isn’t anything similar in Potch.

DYD: Who is in charge of Oakyard?
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions): For the moment it’s Gust Greyvenstein, Waldo van Wyngaardt and I.

DYD: What does a typical Oakyard Session look like?
Waldo (Oakyard Sessions):
 It’s a super chilled acoustic vibe. People pitch up at our farm, they bring their own booze and picnic baskets, they chill on the grass, listen to the bands, and get drunk. We expect students to come, but there have been some older people at Oakyard.
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions): Everyone’s welcome, really.

DYD: Do you guys invite local (as in Potch) bands to play, or is it open for anyone?
Waldo (Oakyard Sessions):
Bands from Pretoria and Johannesburg have played at Oakyard… Bands we’ve never heard of or even asked have messaged us and said, ‘Hey listen we want to jam.’ Then we’re cool with it. There isn’t any auditions or whatever. You just come play.
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions): Yea, it’s a platform to get yourself out there, and to build up some experience. It’s always hard to get proper gigs in clubs and things, especially if you’re not well known.

DYD: Can you name some of the bands that have played Oakyard Sessions?
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions): We’ve had Werner (Olckers) from Wrestlerish, and yea, a ton of cool bands. Tamara Tree was rad the other night, and Carrie Wolfe’s always good. We’ve got a local group called Jack and the Boys who always jam in front of the ATM at Bourbons (note: a Potch club EVERYONE goes to) and they’ve played Oakyard as well. Underground Airlines was also pretty cool…
Waldo (Oakyard Sessions): Die Stofapostels is ALWAYS a lekker vibe…
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions): Slyde Brown too, he’s awesome. Bouwer Bosch has played, No Dancing has played, Snowing Down South has played…
Waldo (Oakyard Sessions): We’ve had a fuckload of bands play Oakyard.

DYD: How would you describe Oakyard to some who’s never heard of it?
Ciska (Oakyard Sessions): It’s a place you can go to chill. It’s a place where you as musician can grow and learn, and to get your name out there. It’s just a rad place to chill.
Waldo (Oakyard Sessions): It’s a place you can go to listen to great music and to make new friends. It’s a way different vibe compared to the bars and clubs in Potch.

DYD: Do you guys have anything exciting in the pipeline?
Waldo (Oakyard Sessions): For the moment ther’s something big happening on the 3rd of October in collaboration with Mystic Boer. The Narrow will be playing Oakyard along with a metal band from New Zealand.

More Info
– The Oakyard Sessions Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oakyard-Sessions/308153488826

– The Oakyard Sessions Twitter account: @oakyardsessions
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