#FindYourEscape: Feast of festivals for Cape Town's culture vultures

2017-08-22 19:00
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Cape Town - There’s always something happening in Cape Town, but it’s not always possible to say when and where.

Come rain or shine, in true laid-back Mother City fashion, plans a made in a split second. However, winter time is always an absolute feast of festivals in the CBD, all of which have to the potential to revive the creative mojo of even the most determined residents.

ALSO SEE: SA Insider: Get Cozy in Cape Town

Festivities are concentrated around the East City Precinct, but Cape Town’s Central City Improvement District (CCID) suggests making a day of it and also exploring the plethora of bistros, speciality coffee houses and designer bars and restaurants that are mushrooming throughout the downtown area.

Added to this, here are some of the events worth marking on your calendar. 

Open Design Festival (13 to 25 August)

The Mother City’s preeminent design festival features a 12-day programme of “inspiration, discussion and discovery”. Most of its events are free to enter, ensuring people from all walks of life can participate.

The programme engages design practitioners, entrepreneurs, managers, media, educators, students and members of the public to share design, innovation, ideas and inspiration with each other.

The festival’s mission is to develop a culture of design as a foundation for future generations of entrepreneurs, change-makers and innovators who use design and innovation to gain and maintain their competitive edge and drive socio-economic change in their communities and cities.

This is a vital part of developing a culture of design and innovation that will increase social cohesion, economic development and nation building, creating inclusive, accessible and sustainable communities and cities.

Events include sessions on Funding and Monetising Your Design, Black Filmmakers Film Screening, Architectural Open Studios and Art Deco Tours.

Where: Cape Town City Hall

Open Book Festival (8 to 10 September)

Cape Town’s annual ode to the written word features a six-day programme celebrating “writers, books and ideas”.

Among the authors participating in the Open Book Festival are Deon Meyer, Lindiwe Hani, Marianne Thamm, Zapiro, Vytjie Mentor, Neo Muyanga, Mamphela Ramphele and Jonathan Jansen.

Attendees can meet and engage with writers from all over the world, and attend book launches by established and first-time authors.

Where: The Fugard Theatre, District Six Museum Homecoming Centre and The Book Lounge.

Cape Town Fringe (21 September to 8 October)

This year’s Cape Town Fringe has an all-new format. The 18-day programme is now a “circuit” that includes events all around Cape Town, with many taking place in the CBD.

Between 80- and 90% of the productions will be local. The bulk of the programme will comprise theatre, dance, comedy, jazz and cabaret.

Now in its fourth year, the Cape Town Fringe is a live multi-arts festival and an annual celebration of local and international creativity that encourages experimentation, collaboration and innovation.

The concept of ‘Fringe’ started 70 years ago in Edinburgh when a group of artists were excluded from the Edinburgh Festival. This prompted them to launch their own festival, which nowadays is globally famous.

A Fringe Festival is characterised by staging small productions, mostly by independent artists and usually in smaller, unusual venues.

There are often between six and eight performances a day per venue, making it more affordable for everyone who participates.

Open Streets Main Road (1 October)

On Sunday 1 October, this popular event will, for the first time in its Cape Town history, link numerous suburbs together along an entire 5km stretch of Main Road. 

Starting in the Cape Town CBD and running through to Woodstock, the roadway will ban all cars for the day to become an open space for pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders, wheelchair users and people using any other conceivable form of non-motorised transport.

Open Streets is a free event and people are encouraged to participate and help plan the day. The NPO is inviting food vendors, volunteers and activity organisers to get involved ahead of time, and for all Capetonians to come out on the day and enjoy the many events that will be happening in the car-free zone.

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