By Marley

In the dizzy haze of organizing the Last Waltz (Blue Moon last show), raising teenagers, fixing dirt roads, lining up the next Up The Creek and trying to survive the next few days I got a sneak interview with the 3 people behind the never changing smile of Blue Moon – Anthony Bumbstead, Anna Mart Halderman and Pete van Halderen. All 3 of these special people have played an important role at the Blue Moon in the last few years as we know and love it.

Anthony Bumbstead - phot by Up The Creek Festival
Anthony Bumbstead (photo: Up The Creek Festival)

I don’t think many people realise how much work it really takes to organise just a gig never mind a weekend such as The Last Waltz. They each bring their own personalities to the table which can clash or work together like a well-oiled machine. Each having their own opinions and views on what to do, what not to do, who to book, what to order and much more.

Pete van Halderen
(Photo by: Royal Lens Photography)
Pete van Halderen
(Photo by: Royal Lens Photography)

There have been others in the past of Blue Moon both as silent partners, PA’s, bartenders and other staff members. But I simply can’t believe that Blue Moon wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the visions of these fire starters.

Anna Mart Halderman - photo by Belia Oh Photography
Anna Mart Halderman
(Photo by: Belia Oh Photography)

I only asked them a few questions, if you want them to tell you some more stories then you better ask them yourself because there are many stories and not enough blog space:

STM: Can you describe 14 years of Blue Moon in a few short sentences?

Anthony: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”

– Hunter S Thompson

I partly agree, but we’ve made lifelong friends, attended many concerts and festivals, learned a lot AND remain healthy and strong. It’s been hazy; tenacious, joyful, frustrating, exhilarating and rewarding.

Pete: A lifetime learning experience

Anna-Mart: To describe 14 years at Blue Moon in a few short sentences will be a tall order. How do you explain that what you are today, what you know about this industry, the love you have for SA music, the way you raised your children, the children from other mothers that you have collected over the years and the people you’ve met and learned to love, in a few short sentences.

STM: What were the Top 5 highlights for you at Blue Moon?

Anthony: Springbok Nude Girls Final tour / Seether / Bok van Blerk DVD concert / some of the earlier Innibos shows / and hopefully Our Last Waltz

Pete: Seether 1st time back from overseas / Seeing our 1st kudu on the rock next to the venue / Bok van Blerk video shoot / The dam parties we had with my nephew and niece and Beanie on the jetty / Owl babies that were born behind the toilets and seeing them grow up.

Anna-Mart: I really cannot choose 5 highlights. I always felt content after every single show knowing that even if the attendance was not great we gave an AWESOME show.

STM: Can you describe a typical Sunday morning after a show at Blue Moon?

Anthony: Exhausted, hung-over, content, enjoying the cameradie

Pete: Wake up on the bar floor at 07H00 (my routine to sleep in the venue for 13 years). Slowly walk around and assess the night before, switch off lights and start the 1st round of cleaning and packing away valuables then beer and bed.

Anna-Mart: Waking up at 06H00, having a cup of coffee on the back veranda waiting for Anthony to wake up and have a “what happened” session with him before starting breakfast for the bands at 07H00. Then rush rush to get breakfast served, pay bands, have a chat with everybody, wave them all goodbye and go home to rest.

STM: What will you always remember of Blue Moon?

Anthony: To many to choose from, things like having to wear gumboots at a Danna Winner show with 3 inches of water in the venue.

Pete: The Beautiful view of the mountain across the dam

Anna-Mart: What I will always remember is being invited by a previous gate queen, Stefanie, to come and meet Anthony Bumstead, the owner, who was looking for a Maitre’d to help with Afrikaans Concerts. Spending much of the evening in the kitchen, the same kitchen where I spend 8 years selling hamburgers, I phoned him on a Monday morning and said “Mr Bumstead, you can do so much more with that kitchen”, and that was the beginning of my love affair with Blue Moon, some days screaming, some days shouting, some days crying and most days laughing out of my tummy, never a dull moment, never one day the same – In love forever!

STM: Blue Moon has built quite a name in the Lowveld and put Nelspruit on the map, do you think the legend will live on?

Anthony: No idea, very much doubt that in its current form but I imagine someone with vision will take it to another stage.

Pete: The wonderful memories and jols will last forever.

Anna-Mart: I think in music circles definitely and in people whose lives were touched by it like me and you (STM) and Rudi and the girls. But if the legend will live on in Nelspruit – nope, I don’t think so.

STM: What is the one thing you have to drink at Blue Moon?

Anthony: There is nothing that you have to drink.

Pete: Castle

Anna-Mart: Cuervo Tequila with whoever meets me at the bar.

STM: What’s next for you as staff member?

Anthony: Going to Mosselbay to be at sea and ride my bicycle.

Pete: Going to Knysna where my old folks are.

Anna-Mart: Going to do Project Management at every festival that can afford me. And will keep an eye on the Corporate function/venue hire side of Blue Moon. In short Event Project Management.

STM: Who would you like to have seen perform at Blue Moon – dead or alive, any artists from anywhere in the world

Anthony: David Kramer / Johnny Clegg / Huge Masekela

Pete: Cherry Faced Lurchers

Anna-Mart: The Dutchman in me, Laurika Rauch I think she would be spectacular on our moon and Zakes Bantwini (because I want to meet him) and Dave Ferguson because I think he will fit the venue and the crowd like a glove (and I love him).

STM: Finish this sentence “Come to Blue Moon Last Waltz because…”

Anthony: It’s the end of one era and the beginning of a new one.
Pete: All the good folk and friends will be there.
Anna-Mart: because like everything else we have brought you over the last 13 years at Blue Moon, it will be AWESOME!

I want to thank Anthony, Pete and Anna Mart for taking the time and answer a few of our questions. Don’t miss the Last Waltz weekend at Blue Moon Nelspruit on 22 – 23 March 2014. For full line up and details, you can like the Blue Moon Nelspruit Facebook page or call them on 082 455 0674

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.