While the festival committee adds finishing touches to the performance venues, our out of town audiences are starting their trek to Smithfield.
One of the first to arrive will be Amanda Fitschen, economist from Pretoria, who gets in on Thursday afternoon, determined to beat the rush.
She bought a house in Smithfield some years ago, "because it's so peaceful and safe; maybe I will even more there permanently at some stage."
Amanda was one of the stalwarts who came to the very first festival. "I thoroughly enjoyed it and now it's an annual on my calender."
This year's programme is once again "propvol", with many different kinds of entertainment, she says. "I enjoy coming to the festival because there's so much variety and you get to see so much. It's actually worthwhile coming all the way from Gauteng, not just for all the shows, but also because of the atmosphere. I just love getting away from the mundane business of my life, being in this lovely little town and soaking up all the excitement."
She's gone through the programme carefully and marked everything she wants to see - starting with the opening night's special event: We didn't come to hell for the croissants. That, says Amanda, is a definite 'must see'.
Amanda is a mountaineer who regularly takes parties of climbers to some of the highest ranges in the world. When she is in Smithfield, and not watching shows at the festival, you'll find her out in the veld round the town, running, cycling or walking with her dogs.
Welcome Amanda! We hope you enjoy the festival!