The Darling Music Experience aims to refresh the idea of classical music and make it more accessible to the West Coast and beyond.

Conductor, David Tidboald; composer, Hendrik Hofmeyr and music enthusiast Alfred Legner aspired to arrange a series of small concerts outside of the metropolitan areas. Music lovers received the idea incredibly well and so, the Darling Music Experience (DME) launched in 2006 and is now in its 11th season.


The festival brings together local and international musicians to perform a variety of classical and contemporary chamber music, famous choir works and Jazz. Integral to the festival is opera, which encompasses both classical music theatre as well as more contemporary work, thereby appealing to a variety of audiences.


The DME plays a significant role in cultivating an appreciation for classical music. The festival highlights local talent and provides a platform for young musicians to perform and receive recognition for their craft. The DME even commissions a local composer every year to create a unique piece, especially for the festival.

Darling and the surrounding areas present some quaint countryside venues for concerts including wine estates, a brewery, beaches, galleries, schools, village barns, and local farms.


The festival is all about the good things in life, so pairing delicious food and fine local wines with world-class music, enhance the entire experience and entice everyone to spend a day out in the country.

There is something for everyone; the DME Kids Corner is a fun event which encourages kids to use their ears as eyes. Admission to this event is free and it takes place at the Darling Primary school.


In addition to the festival, Darling offers a number of things to see and do such as galleries, whimsical bookstores, museums, theatre, golf, mountain bike trails, and food and wine tasting. Read our blog post to find out other cool things to do in Darling and make a day of it.


See the full programme to get all the details on the fantastic events happening in this spectacular celebration of music.

The DME runs from 29 January to 14 February with a spectacular encore event under the stars at the Hope amphitheatre at Paul Cluver in Elgin.

Head to the West Coast and get a fresh perspective on music; from classical to opera to jazz.

When Friday 29 January 2016 at 7 pm – 14 February. Encore on 27 February
Where Various locations in Darling
Cost Free – R350 at
Contact +27 79 445 9703, +27 72 015 1653, [email protected]

Photography courtesy

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