Smithfield, deep in South Africa’s Free State heartland, is a vibrant community. We are a town rich in history; home to festivals, artists and writers. Here’s where you’ll find eco-adventure in the unspoilt African veld, as well as great accommodation and eateries offering travellers a brilliant experience of genuine, classy hospitality.

Water for Life Festival is Born

By Greg May ~ How it Began - Background History and Vision On 29 October 2015 the town of Smithfield officially ran out of water. Our town dam had already dried up a few weeks earlier. On a daily basis people living in the greater Smithfield area were to be found queuing for water at the various boreholes (municipal boreholes, many of which were found not to be operational) and privately owned, around the town. No water flowed from their taps – this was to remain the situation until 18 January 2016 when assistance from the SANDF came through for two weeks during November. The army unit...Read more

Platteland Preview 2016 Programme Grows

The line-up of performances accepted for this year’s Platteland Preview is virtually complete, with the organising committee confirming that show, Creature is now a certainty. The other shows, most of which we have already reported, are: OPENING NIGHT – Friday, 24 June Born to Diva , which opens the festival at the Red Barn features the “pint-size dynamo” Tonya Koenderman, known internationally as one of the hottest properties on the cabaret circuit. Playing at the high school, Lust is aimed at creating an awareness of the notorious Aids virus. Saturday At the Chapel the two shows will be...Read more

Education through Art

By Greg May ~ When Motseokae Klas Thibeletsa arrived in Smithfield during February 2016 he was on a mission to educate people, and in particular school-going children, as to the power of art as a means to improve communication within a community. With support from the Department of Art and Culture and the University of the Free State he embarked on a series of workshops with students from all the schools in the Smithfield area taking part. The aim was first to inspire them to create and commit images representing matters of concern both as individuals and to the community as a whole to paper...Read more

Book Review

"Leaving Before the Rains Come" by Alexandra Fuller. Reviewed by Anne Montgomery. For those who have read her first book, "Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs tonight", this sequel will be returning, in part to familiar territory. The farm in Zambia, her indomitable parents, and her elder, but totally unlike, sister. This book also encompasses glimpses of life in erstwhile Colonial Africa today, the author’s grandparents in Scotland and England, her family traits and heritage, and living in the American mid-west. She meets Charlie Ross, the love of her life, an American running African river safaris,...Read more

Lazy Likkewaan Art Café

Smithfield’s new restaurant, the Art Café, which we recently introduced to our readers, was officially launched last Monday in a party-like atmosphere. A representative gathering of locals were invited to partake in examples of dishes in which the place will specialise. All voted the event a great success and thoroughly approved of the menu. Hosted by the two partners in the venture, Greg May and Francois du Plessis, the launch party enjoyed sampling what is to be on offer – and also enjoyed the delightful experience of lunching in an art gallery – to the accompaniment of music.. New ideas in...Read more

Another Three Platteland Preview Shows Tied Up

Platteland Preview 2016 comes closer to being a reality with the news that three more shows have been signed up for this hugely successful series of annual previews to the famous Grahamstown Festival. Following details of three shows we revealed last week , we can now add another three which have been confirmed: Ingrid … …Celebrates the life and work of acclaimed poet Ingrid Jonker. Described as mixed media theatre with image-driven scenes inspired by various Jonker texts, it is brought to life through mask work, puppetry and imagistic theatre techniques. A certain theatrical and poetic...Read more

The Preview 2016 Comes Together

The lively committee putting the Smithfield’s exciting annual Platteland Preview together, has tied up most of the acts to be performed in June ahead of the Grahamstown Festival. It is also hard at finalising all the peripheral details to ensure that this major project is even more successful than in the past few years. Preceding the show will be a cocktail party at the Red Barn celebrating the opening of another in the famously successful annual event. Born to Diva Opening proceedings at the Red Barn will be the widely acclaimed Tonya Koenderman, hailed by critics as “one of the hottest...Read more

Upcoming Events

Friday, June 24, 2016 (All day) to Sunday, June 26, 2016 (All day)
Remember the date. Platteland Preview Smithfield - Boutique Festival - Download the full size Platteland Preview poster. Platteland Preview...
Friday, June 24, 2016 -
10:00 to 11:00
At Relebohile Combined School. This is our community project and no ticket will be sold for this show.  It will be provided...
Friday, June 24, 2016 -
18:00 to 19:00
Official opening of the Platteland Preview, followed by the opening show Born to Diva. R120.
Friday, June 24, 2016 -
19:00 to 20:00
Musical – Cabaret. No age restriction. R120. Starring Tonya Koenderman. Well know cabaret artist Tonya koenderman is in town...
Saturday, June 25, 2016 (All day) to Sunday, June 26, 2016 (All day)
A Mobile Thriller. Age restriction 18 (Language, violence and prejudice). R80. The Mobile Thriller series is here for the very first...