Four South African Festivals worth travelling for this Easter

2017-02-05 11:10
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The long Easter weekend might be the most anticipated weekend on the South African holidays calendar. It's a weekend of travel in SA - in every sense of the word. 

People stack up their cars, and taxis and head to their places of ultimate chill, whether that be at their family homes, a favourite camping spot or their vacation homes. 

Three of these have become synonymous with the Easter long weekend, while a fourth is fairly new and etching its way on to the scene for a second time running  here they are explained in their full!

Take your pick...

SEE: Top 5 spots South Africans want to visit this Easter



What: From its early beginnings back in 1990, Splashy Fen has evolved into one of South Africa’s premier music festivals which nowadays sees thousands of people making the annual pilgrimage to Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal for what is regarded by many as the ‘ultimate outdoor experience’.

If you have to pick one festival to go to this year, you might as well pick the one with the longest running record. 

Through the years, this festival has gained iconic status, and regardless of it's size, the festival still remains something special. The festival is known for its familial vibe, which has allowed it to endure for two decades to become the longest-running music festival in the country.

When: 13 to 16 April

Where: Splashy Fen Farm, Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal

Ticket costs:  There is a new ticket collection process, click here for the details

General Access (over 18 yrs) R765
General Access - Under 18 Ticket (12-17 yrs) R745
Kids Ticket (5 - 12 yrs)  [+] more R400 
Children under four get in free.

The Line-up: This festival holds one of the more extensive local music line-ups of all. The Temper Trap will headline the show but expect lots of expert local talent. Check out the full line-up here.

At the festival: Camping is the way to go at this festival. There are various campsites available on the festival grounds from general camping quarters, family quarters as well as a Motel, if you're really not into camping. 

Click here to search accommodation deals in the Underberg area.

What to take along: 
As per the extensive list on the Splashy Fen site, bring: your AA card, Bags for dirty clothing and footwear, Beanie / hat / gloves / socks, Cameras (for personal use), Camperhome / caravan

Camping equipment, Contraceptives, Cooking utensils, Ear plugs / cotton wool, Emergency numbers, your Festival ticket, a Flag (to mark your campsite), Gas cookers, Hot water bottle, ID / driver’s licence, Lanyard for keys, Lip-Ice, Medications (prescribed and sundry / inhalers), Medical info (allergies etc), Mobile phone (no power, so conserve battery life), Money / bank cards (ATM facilities available on-site), Musical instruments, Phonecards, Refuse bags, a Sense of humour, Sleeping bag / warm bedding / mattress / pillow, Spectacles / contact lenses and solution, Sunblock, Sunglasses, Swimming gear, tubes and inflatables for river and dams

Tent (lines / poles / groundsheet / pegs), Toiletries, Torch and spare batteries / bulbs, Towels, Warm Clothing, Water containers – all tap water is drinkable but for logistical reasons and your own convenience, please bring as much water with you as possible, Waterproof clothing and umbrella, Wellington boots / sturdy shoes.

SEE: Day-tripping Durban like a local



What: If you've already done the longest running festival on the Easter long-weekend scene, then you might want to head to Clarens to check out Lush. In its second year, the LUSH Festival's line-up of entertainment is set to etch its way onto the scene as a mainstay, as is the the town of Clarens for an alternative South African road trip.

When:  4 – 16 April 

Where: Clarens, Free State

SEE: Jozi breaks: A Free State road trip

SEE: Extreme exploring the eastern Free State of Adventure: 5 Things to do

The Line-up: LUSH Festival, presented by OFM, has added American musicians Michael Franti and Kaki King to its lineup. They will join the likes of The Temper Trap, Jeremy Loops, Francois van Coke and Karen Zoid, amongst others, at Linwood Farm situated at the foothills of the Maluti and Rooiberg Mountains in Clarens. See the full list here

Click here to search accommodation deals in Clarens

Ticket costs:  
Ticket sales for Lush Festival 2017 are now open. Tickets are limited to 4 per person, you will need to share the ticket with the ticket user (via email) and ID (Identity Numbers / Passports) is required. Early bird booking closes on 14 February

Early Bird: General Admission Weekender [Excludes camping] R445
Early Bird: General Admission [Includes R495
Early Bird: PLUS+ Admission [ PLUS+ Uprgraded] R1 195

Phase 2: General Admission Weekender [Excludes Camping] R595
Phase 2: General Admission [Includes Camping] R645
Phase 2: Plus+ Admission [PLUS+ Upgraded Camping] R1 345

At the festival:  Besides taking in the class acts, the surrounds of Clarens are spectacular. Set at the foothills of the Maluti mountains you can check out iconic spots such as the Golden Gate National Park or even just make a point of checking out the craft beer scene in the town.

Clarens Brewery is situated in the heart of Clarens, the perfect pit stop during your Clarens exploration. Pay a visit to 278 on Main for a true Free State brekkie, the first art and wine gallery in SA, Art and Wine Gallery on Main and peddle out the Bokpoort mountain bike trail.

SEE: Clarens: A brewery with a town around it

Along with the music and entertainment hosted at the festival, activities on site will include trail runs, mountain biking, abseiling and more. The region also offers hot air ballooning, white water rafting and a MTB trail.



What: This is THE South African arts festival if there even was one. It is here where mostly Afrikaans, but all local artists of all mediums come together every year in celebration of everything expressive in the country.  Original South African plays take to the stage and good food, good music and good people enjoy the SA arts in the interesting Klein Karoo surroundings of Oudtshoorn. This year marks the 23rd KKNK, and it promises to deliver even more pleasure to the magnitudes of festival goers that come to camp out in the Klein Karoo every year, religiously. 


When:  8 to 15 April

Where: Oudtshoorn, Western Cape 

SEE: How to have the ultimate KKNK road trip

The Line- Up: The extensive program, which offers everything from stage productions, music shows and interactive discussions, can be viewed here

Ticket costs: 
Attending the festival is free. Shows and performances will be charged individually. See the line-up here

At the festival:  The whole town of Oudthoorn opens its door to happy campers and festival goers of all sorts. 

Activities at the festival will play off mainly in the so called Rivierbuurt. For R200 you get general access for 7 days and it includes a massive fair, complete with a giant merry-go-round. There are also amazing food and drink stalls available, as well as a dedicated grown-ups’ beer-tent with live entertainment from excellent SA acts.

For sleeping arrangements, you can either choose to camp in the ATKV camping site, or book a chalet on the festival premises, sleep in the school’s hostel in town. 

Click here to search accommodation deals in Oudtshoorn

It is advised to book shows you want to attend well in advance. You can view ticket prices and shows here. 



What:  Re-launched in 2010, the Rand Show is one of the oldest Easter tradition festivals in SA. This year, it will focus on its heritage and proud tradition to offer both exhibitors and visitors refreshed contemporary entertainment and interactive events.

The Rand Show is a wholesome day out for the whole family, so pack the kids! 

When: 14 to 23 April 

Where:  Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, Gauteng  

SEE: Discover Joburg: 8 ways to enjoy it like a local this summer

The Line-up: 

Some of the main attractions to the festival have included the Italian imported kids playpark, the Pirates Paradise, as well as grown up entertainment like the Rand Show’s Strongest Man  - better known as the Battle of the Behemoths competition, as well as an exhibition from the South African Defence Force and an educational experience from the Animal Kingdom show. The official line-up will be available in full from March 2017 - click here to view it. 

Ticket costs: 2017 Show ticket prices will only be available March 2017 

Previous prices were estimated at Adults – Peak* R120 at Turnstiles, R100 at Computicket. Adults – Midweek* R60 at Turnstiles, R50 at Computicket

R50 for pensioners over 65
R50 for teens aged 13-16
R20 for kids aged 6 to 12
FREE for children under six.

At the festival:  You can view an extensive program of the Rand Show here

SEE: From concrete to jungle: Your nature escapes in Joburg

What to take along: 

As this is not a sleep-over on the premises type of festival, and there’ll be plenty of walking around to get to see everything, do make sure you wear a pair of super comfortable shoes, sunblock and a hat. 

Rand Show goers should definitely make a long weekend of the show and book accommodation close to the venue for the ultimate Rand Show experience. 

Click here to search accommodation deals in and around Joburg

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