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open air movies - Out in the open

Out in the open

By Jennifer Stern

, |

Take advantage of balmy summer nights by organising some fantastic outdoor events for your residents.

One of the big advantages of living in South Africa is our fabulous weather, and one of the big advantages of living on an estate is the open space – so take advantage of those fabulous summer nights by organising some great outdoor events for your residents. Here are some ideas – there really is more to outdoor entertainment than a braai. If you decide to open to the general public rather than just organising the event for your own residents, you’ll need a permit from the municipality, and you may have to jump through a few more hoops as well. So, rather, keep it simple, and ‘in the family’. Even if you restrict your event to residents or ‘members’ you may need to pay license fees for music and/or movies, so make sure you do your homework.

Poetry evenings

‘A book of verses underneath the bough, a jug of wine, a loaf of bread – and thou’. The immortal words of Omar Khayyám describe a scene that truly is ‘Paradise enow’. There are surprisingly many options. Invite a poet to give readings of his or her work. Or, you never know, you may just have a poetic wordsmith living on your estate.

Open-air concerts

There are loads of great musicians around, so check out one of the online music-finding sites like gigster.co.za or bands.co.za, and make beautiful music. If you’re doing this way in the heart of the estate, you can pretty much do what you like, but there is a decibel limit for amplified sound so, if it’s going to be near the fence, you will need permits, and you may need to inform the neighbours.

If in doubt, check with the municipality. There are fewer restrictions on acoustic music, but that probably doesn’t mean you can have a full brass band right across the fence from your neighbours. For a truly memorable unplugged experience, you could go big and rent a world-class a cappella choir like the Cape Town Youth Choir (ctyc.co.za). And it’s not just music – there’s also dance or even drama, or you could engage a couple of stand-up comics.

Carols by candlelight

This is a winner, and Christmas has been sufficiently culturally appropriated to no longer be a strictly Christian celebration. There are lots of non-religious Christmas songs.

Movies

Open-air movies are a great way to chill out on the lawns. Contact brightnightcinema.co.za, who can set up an outdoor cinema for up to 600 people. Check out our suggestions for some great summer holiday movies.

Talent show

This is a great community builder, but you are going to need someone to drive it. You can either open it up to all residents, or limit it to the kids. Either way, it’s bound to bring in a few laughs – and you may well be surprised at the depth of talent residing in your estate.

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