Cape Town's Festivals and Festivities
The all happening Cape Town has so much to offer you with its dynamic, exciting and fun festival celebrations for all people with different tastes!
The great party city presents you a plethora of festivities, parades, and world class sporting events in its mellow climate, attracting many tourists around the world throughout the year. Much is happening in the beginning of the year, especially in the month of March with a lot of exciting cultural events such as the International Jazz, Pride Festivals, and many other pompous festivities.
If you want to live the cultural and fun side of your travel then consider this amazing list of festival experiences in Cape Town:
Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Join in the Africa’s annual Grandest Music Gathering- Cape Town’s International Jazz Festival - the fourth largest jazz festival in the world! With its unique programming formula- a balanced split between Africa, and the rest of the world, you’re sure to meet talented local and international jazz performers such as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Al Jarreau, Courtney Pine, Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, Amel Larrieux, Naima Kay, just to name a few.
The first festival was held in 2000 and was previously known as the Cape Town North Sea Jazz Festival due to its association with the North Sea Festival in the Netherlands. From 2005 onwards, the festival was renamed to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival due to the partnership failing. But it continued to cherish with 14,000 of concert goers in 2000 to 34,000 in 2013!
This festival usually occurs in the month of March and April, it caters for more than 40-acts perform over two days on five stages at the Cape Town’s International Convention Centre (CTICC). It is a six hour performance and forms part of the festival’s eight day community programme at the Cape Town's Green Market Square.
This renowned music festival entails free community concert, photographic exhibition, fashion & jazz gala dinner and golf day:
Free Community Concert
The Free Community Concert is a distinct feature of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, since it is considered as old as the festival itself. It is commonly held in the heart of the city at the Green Market Square, which shows an appreciation to the people of Cape Town, by giving them a taste of some of the world class performers at no charge which in turn draws thousands of music lovers into the city.
Besides having fun and appreciating the culture, you will get the chance to discover world-class photographic exhibition held at the Duotone Gallery featuring amazing work of both amateur and industry professionals.
The photographic concept behind the unique captures highlights the essence of “jazz in motion”. The exhibition also documents the emergence and growth of jazz globally. As old as the festival itself, this long running and very popular exhibition has over the years housed the work of, amongst others; Alf Khumalo, Mike Mzeleni, Basil Breakey, Fanie Jason, George Hallett, Herman Lenard and Uli Pschewoschny.
Fashion and Jazz Gala Dinner
There is no better way to discover fashion glamour than during this festival! The collaboration between the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Cape Town Fashion Festival heralds a unique era of embedding an iconic event in the mainstream economic activity of the Western Cape.
There is this synergy between the two concepts-Fashion and Jazz which together brings a creative and interesting way of showcasing talented artists. You will likely come across the local designers who work closely with WEAR SA to showcase South African talent in fashion.
The ‘Golf with a Cause’ day is an annual precursor to the prestigious Cape Town International Jazz festival. Hosted at the Westlake Golf Club, the event is a social opportunity for businesses to network whilst enriching and developing local community projects.
Cape Town Pride Festival - The Rainbow Festival
Usually celebrated at the end of February, along with other exciting festivities around, the Cape Town Pride festival offers you a rainbow-coloured constellation of gay events dazzling in the Mother City with its awe-inspiring main parade to celebrate the cultural diversity.
The first pride was celebrated in 1993 and is still celebrated with pomp while creating awareness for LGBTQI issues in South Africa and throughout the continent. You don't have to be a gay or belong to any group to celebrate this unity.
This event includes a fantastic collection of parties, parades and protests scattered across a nine-day period with its big march in the Capetonian sunny streets as the main highlight. It also, includes the all favourites such as: the famous red party, the annual parade and the Mr. and Ms. Pride pageants.
You will find alongside a few newbies appearances such as the fun outdoor Beach Picnic & Sports Day at Camps Bay Beach; a handful of discussion sections (also known as the 'Hacked off') devoted in exploring how LGBTQI freedoms are being upheld.
Stellenbosch Wine Festival of Cape Town
Come and savour this annual three day family-friendly food and vino extravaganza in Stellenbosch, with its finest wine estates and restaurants. What a great opportunity to sink your teeth into some delicious food and sample delicious wines!
This magnificent town was voted as the International Wine Region of the Year and here you can experience the top quality products from its vineyards. With wineries dating from the 17th century, the Boland region is the heart of the thriving South African wine industry.
It’s the birthplace of the world’s very best Shiraz, Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay grapes, and river-valley Stellenbosch - South Africa’s oldest European town after Cape Town.
Cape Town is very proud of its annual Stellenbosch Wine Festival which brings thousands of international guests into town, who are eager to meet winemakers, sample fine local vintages, go on historic wine tours and attend cooking competitions.
The festival includes a street feast in the historic Church Street, a harvest parade, cultivator showcases, speciality tours and tastings, art exhibitions, dining in the vine encounters, special events as well as a number of restaurant and wineries promotions. A lot of exciting happenings, indeed!
You can also attend the annual harvest which takes place at the same time, allowing you to join in the festivities and learn more about the Capetonian culture, its people and history of the area.
Knysna Oyster Festival in Cape Town
The Knysna Oyster Festival, offers you the best of the winter with a variety of delicious food and wine-related events, off-the-wall sports, adventures, and fun activities for everyone.
This popular annual festival is a ten day event, aimed at foodies, sports enthusiasts and families. Around 70,000 visitors celebrate this event with much excitement and enthusiast, especially those who know how to enjoy food and sports at the same time.
It also reserves around 200 000 mouth-watering oysters at over 20 dedicated oyster venues in the region. You can eat the molluscs ‘au naturel’ or cooked in a variety of ways depending on your taste. You'll probably discover a variety of dinner themes such as: Oyster eating, oyster sucking, oyster farm tours, oyster recipe challenges and gourmet oyster- all in all, with the wine and champagne tastings.
Not to forget, the fun and game side of this festival which includes everything from paddling, golf, bowls, soccer, angling and mountain biking to music concerts, theatre shows, craft workshops, cooking demonstrations and even bridge contests for everyone.
Children will enjoy the Young Oyster Festival, youth theatre and puppet shows, creative art workshops and fun cooking courses.
The Kaapse Klopse - Cape Town Minstrel Carnival
The Cape Minstrel Carnival or Kaapse Klopse, evenly known as Tweede Nuwe Jaar (which means second New Year) is a uniquely local event not to be missed!
It is characterised as a spirited cultural music and dance celebration that explodes onto the Mother City’s streets in a flurry of colour, song, drumbeats and movement.
The Minstrel Carnival is Cape Town’s longest-running street party, tracing back to old slave traditions during the days of the Cape Colony. It is historically celebrated on the 2nd of January annually with music and a parade of local performers from the local communities, dressed as minstrels, as they wave parasols, dance and sing their way from Zonnebloem, formerly District Six, through the city centre.
The carnival was typically influenced by a group of African-American musicians who docked in Cape Town in the late 1800s and entertained sailors with their spontaneous performances. You will be amazed to hear many tunes dated to more than 200 years! You will also get to hear pop songs and local interpretations of modern music too.
Cape Town Getaway Show - Three Day Lifestyle Festival
The Cape Getaway Show offers camping enthusiasts, and adventures seeker to get all the required information, along with incredible specials, exciting competitions, delicious food and fun for the whole family, especially for the kids! It’s a three day lifestyle festival for you to pick up some top of the line camping equipment.
You can expect over 200 interactive exhibits featuring destinations, accommodation, outdoor gear, 4X4 products, accessories, and adventure operators at the holiday expo in Somerset West which usually occurs in the month of March.
Those who have keen interest in travel and food, they can look forward to seeing various chefs showcase their skills and participate in tasty cook-offs for light hearted fun. You will also discover the ‘Awesome South Africans’ segment - where local adventurers/travellers can share their one-of –a-kind experiences with an audience.
Kids will surely enjoy the ‘kiddies’ area’ where they will have lots of interesting and exciting to-dos such as the trampoline and water slides.
In addition, you will get the chance to enjoy the weekend long fiesta with the 'Makro Wine Tent' exhibition where festival goers can taste up to 20 of local wines!
Taste the Culture Lifestyle Festival - Wine, Food and Music Festival in Cape Town
Find the unique concept to celebrate diverse cultures with the ‘Taste the Culture Lifestyle Festival’ at the renowned touristy location at Khayelitsha, Lookout Hill.
The concept behind this “celebration” is the rich history, culture and humanity of the people of Khayelitsha and the contribution that established trades have in the lives and communities at large.
This exclusive lifestyle party educate the audiences in stuff like the art of wine tasting and food pairing, how to sip and savour beer, and how to best enjoy your spirits (whisky and cognacs).
In addition, there is an on-going sensitisation campaign to raise awareness to the populaces about the importance of responsible drinking, and about the consequences of drinking and driving.
There will be talented sculptures, portrait artists and crafters showcase their works. Along with the music and entertainment galore featuring internationally artists such as Ralph Gum, Mshayi Mbeki, Deep Console, Dj Phira and Dj Kop of Afrosoul, Dj Luyar and many more.
The gathering also serves as a platform for young professionals to locate a class and lifestyle that best signifies who they are.
Come and grab this opportunity to discover new tastes!