THE last year has been particularly hard on the entertainment industry. Before Covid-19 hit our shores, musicians had to hustle to perform at local venues and put out new music in their spare time, but with the hard lockdown, not only were music venues such as restaurants, clubs and bars closed but festivals were completely shut down for the foreseeable future. But, as soon as restrictions were relaxed, local Hout Bay market, Bay Harbour Market, knew an important element for a day at its market was live entertainment.
“Of course, people come for the vendors, food stalls and to explore Hout Bay, but it is an added treat to enjoy a light lunch and something to drink while listening to great live music,” says Luke Fridjhon, music manager for Bay Harbour Market. The Bay Harbour Market stage offers artists an opportunity to showcase their talent to a wide demographic and audience from all walks of life.
With his authentic rock vocal delivery and awesome guitar skills, Mark Haze has become a regular fixture on the stage at the market so much so it almost feels like a second home to him. “It’s like a comfort you normally get from family,” he laughs. “The people are dynamic and their energy is infectious – I’ve never had a bad time on that stage.” Lead vocalist and harp player Terry Porter from blues band The Bootleggers (pictured at the top of the story) 100% agrees and wouldn’t have it any other way. “We have never had a disappointing evening at Bay Harbour Market. The audience is always responsive and a session there always ends with everyone on their feet singing and dancing.” While laidback jazz/light house funk/reggae outfit Oceans Riff feel it is a privilege to do what they love for a living, says their bass player Joshua Daniels, “Being respected and appreciated for doing just that – it’s what makes performing live so great for artists.”
Having been exposed to music his whole life, Porter doesn’t go a day without singing or listening to music. “Experiencing live music never fails to excite me,” he explains. This is why he feels platforms like Bay Harbour Market are so vital for the industry. Being able to showcase their work and the time and effort put into their art on a world-class stage is why, for Joshua, they always come back to perform at the market.
“There’s no entry charge so people can come in, have a listen and leave with a whole new experience without losing anything,” explains Porter. It’s a sentiment Haze sees when he visits the market as well. “Most people visit the market to socialise and escape in a relaxed environment – they don’t necessarily go for the music, but they get the added beauty of live music and can be introduced to new local artists.” Artists and musicians end up with a whole new fleet of fans who had never even heard of them until they popped into the market and heard a set.
Like every other visitor to the market, the bands not only enjoy performing there but also sampling the stalls at the market too. “Without fail, upon my arrival, I always get an Americano and an apple pie from the Nap stall conveniently right by the stage,” says Porter. While Haze says he can’t pick a favourite, he spends his break traversing the market to see what’s new and grabbing an excellent cup of coffee too. But for Daniels, it’s all about the food and he always makes a point of stopping by Zoop for a wholesome bowl of soup and Smokey Oakey for a handcrafted ciabatta.
“As the music manager and in-house sound engineer, I want to ensure that the musicians enjoy their experience as much as the crowd,” says Fridjhon. “Being happy and comfortable on stage will always result in a better performance.” He strives to create a vibrant and upbeat atmosphere with the Bay Harbour Market live music programme and offer relatable music that the audience can sing along or tap their feet too.
“Artists looking for an opportunity to perform at Bay Harbour Market can get in touch by emailing [email protected],” Fridjhon says. “I’d love to hear from you and always enjoy connecting with local artists.”
Enjoy live entertainment at Bay Harbour Market on Fridays from 7pm to 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 1pm.
This month, don’t miss Mark Haze, The Bootleggers and Oceans Riff, who take the stage along with plenty more great talent.
Friday, March 12, 2021: The Bootleggers
Saturday, March 13, 2021: Brandon Lee Hunt
Sunday, March 14, 2021: Vic Horne
Friday, March 19, 2021: Mark Haze
Saturday, March 20, 2021: Emile Swiegers
Sunday, March 21, 2021: Oceans Riff
Friday, March 26, 2021: Keanu Harker
Saturday, March 27, 2021: Tyan Odendal
Sunday, March 28, 2021: Peter Wyness