#FindYourEscape: Summer festivals across SA

2017-11-14 21:00 - Unathi Nkanjeni
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Cape Town - In South Africa, summer calls for endless fun, parties and thing that inspire us to get out and about - and the end of 2017 is no different.

Summer is also festival season. Music festivals, wine festivals, summer festivals - you name it and there will be a fest in celebration of it. 

So if you find yourself along Mzansi's shores, get ready to experience the best local talent and flair. 

A good place to start would be these summer festivals across SA! Where will you find your escape?

Cape Town 

  • NovemBEER Festival

Make your way to the Ultimate Craft Beer experience where the awesome selection of Craft Breweries will tickle the taste buds of any beer enthusiast. A fun weekend of live entertainment and scrumptious foods to accompany these amazing brews is guaranteed.

Where: Blue Moon Bar 

When: 25 - 26 November 

Cost: R100 

  • Waterfront Ocean  festival  

The V&A Waterfront has announced the launch of its annual Ocean Life Festival, a new endeavour which focuses on fostering an appreciation and understanding of South Africa's ocean assets.

Where: V&A Waterfront

When:  27 November - 10 December  

Cost: Free to R60 (some events)

  • Open cinema movie festival - Galileo

The Galileo has kick-started the season with its annual movie festival that will be taking up until April at different venues.

Where: Various locations

When: 11 November 2017 - 27 April 2018

Cost: R89 - R175

  • Good Music Festival 

Good Music Festival is not just a festival, it's the festival of the year. A fusion of genres, good people and the best vibe from international acts and best of local music. 


When: 01 December 

Cost: Tickets range from R200 - R1000

  • Cape Town Festival of Beer
If you missed the Oktoberfest, without a single sip of amber nectar to your lips, then this festival is for you. From Friday, 1 December to Sunday, 3 December 2017, Cape Town Festival of Beer (CTFOB) brings brewers and drinkers together for a weekend of sipping, sampling and savouring some of the best in the world.

When: Hamiltons Rugby Club

When: 01 December - 03 December

Cost: Tickets range from R60 to anything between R6 400 via webtickets

  • The Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

Dust off your most striking outfit and get ready for the social calendar event of 2017. Stand out in the crowd as you sip on some of SA’s finest Méthode Cap Classiques (MCC) at this year’s Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, ‘The Magic of Bubbles’, presented by MasterCard.

Where: Franschhoek

When: 02 - 03 December

Cost: Tickets cost R375 per person and include access to the festival

  • Synergy Live

The well-known music festival is back with a bang and hundreds of music-lovers from all walks of life will gravitate to the Mother City’s premier three-day jol for mayhem, mischief and, of course, great music.

Aside from the return of awesome features from past events, this year, the organisers will take things to the next level.

Where: Anura Wine Estate in Franschhoek

When: 01 December - 03 December 2017

Cost: Tickets range from R160 to R459

  • Whale, Wine and Wors Tours

Running every Tuesday and Thursday in December, the tour whisks guests off to three popular destinations just outside Cape Town - Stellenbosch, Grabouw and Hermanus – in a bid to afford locals and tourists the opportunity to discover the hidden gems of the Winelands in a laidback and offbeat manner.

Where: Cape Winelands

When: Every Tuesday and Thursday

Cost: R850

Mother City Queer Project 

MCQP started in 1994 as a highlight of the Cape Town gay calendar and has gathered a cult following of fun-loving creatures in South Africa.

Taking place on 16 December 2017, Africa’s biggest and longest-running costume party will be presented for the 24th time, attracting thousands from across the country and even globally.

Where: Castle of Good Hope

When: 16 December

Cost: Ranges from R260 to 380

  • Mykonos Festival
The highly-anticipated annual Mykonos Festival has been confirmed for December. The Mykonos Festival caters for everyone, as a result, it always aims to have an exciting line-up to cater to all musical palates.
Where:  Mykonos Casino  

When: 15  - 16 December

Cost:  Friday: Adults - R100 per person; kids (14 years and younger) - R50 per person. Saturday: Adults - R150 per person; kids - (14 years and younger) - R50

  • Cape Minstrel Carnival  

The city of Cape Town will come alive to celebrate new year in a raucous carnival the likes of which are not seen elsewhere in the world.

Where: Cape Town City

When: 2 January 2018

Cost: Free 

Sun Met Horse Race 2018

The biggest race of the summer sees South Africa’s top racehorses compete for a purse of R5 million. While tradition and equestrian pageantry may be central to the historic horse race, The Sun Met (formerly the J&B Met) has become synonymous with decadent glamour.

Here, fashion, celebrities, and high-stakes betting meet in a sophisticated and exhilarating spectacle to celebrate the grace and speed of South Africa’s top racehorses.

Where: Kenilworth Racecourse

When: 27 Jan 2018

Cost: From R4 195 per person 


  • Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup

The Gauteng Sansui Summer Cup is Johannesburg's longest-running and most respected first-grade horse races. The annually-held event makes its return to its old stomping ground, Turffontein racecourse on the 25th November.

Spectators and horse enthusiasts can look forward to twelve races that will run throughout the course of the day and well into the evening.

Where: Turffontein Racecourse

When: 25 November 

Cost: Tickets ranges from R20 - R395

  • The Social - Music & Food Festival

The Social is a boutique music & food festival showcasing the best in electronic dance music as well as trendy food trucks the idyllic setting of Val Bonne Country Estate in Modderfontein, Johannesburg. 

Where: Val Bonne Country Estate

When: 24 November

Cost: Tickets ranges from R100 - R2000

Magusto Festival 

All weekend you can taste the delights of Portugal, including traditional food, dancing and more.

Where: Lar Rainha Santa Isabel

When: 25 - 26 November 

Cost: Free entrance 

  • Alex Craft Beer & Music Festival

In an effort to awaken the “sleeping giant of the north”, Alex Mall and partners would like to improve the Alex Social Scene by hosting a number of key events in the area. 

Where: Alex Mall

When: 25 November

Cost:  Free entry

  • Portobello Festival

Portobello Festival is back for yet another mouth-watering festival. A festival of everything food from homemade, homegrown and homebrewed to the latest in food trends and sweet sensations. There will also be a variety of artisanal artists displaying their arts, crafts, decor, and designs. Perfect gifting just in time for Christmas. And of course great music from the very best in the industry.

Where:  Design Quarter

When: 25 November

Cost: Ranges from R100 - R500

  • Gin & Tonic Festival JHB 2017

It's Johannesburg’s turn to taste, swirl and celebrate the most exciting, fastest growing spirit category in the world. South Africa’s pioneering Gin & Tonic Festival, featuring prolific local gin distilleries and a selection of international stalwarts.

Where: Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein

When: 26 November 

Cost: Tickets ranges from R160 - R250

  • African Punk Festival 2017

The is a showcase of everything that has to do with the culture, fashion, music, and art as well as a fusion of street culture and urban trendsetters. 

It's all about showcase your creativity and this a platform for all. From food markets to pop up fashion stands. Street and gourmet food with the latest music from the upcoming talent in hood to well know acts in the industry. 

Where:  MI6 - Maskandi Intelligence level -6

When: 26 November and 30 December

Cost: Tickets cost R600 for one day, R900 for a weekend pass 

  • Street Colour Festival 

Do the most this summer with the coolest street festival in SA brings you nothing but the best atmospheric turn-up ever to hit your neighborhood. Fashion, Food and Lifestyle is the motto of the day as you ska ba fa chance with your A Game in fashion and style 

Where: Orange farm Extension 8A 

When: 09 December

Cost: Tickets range from R30 -  R70

  • Black Coffee Block Party 

This one day premiere Urban Music Festival has become one of South Africa’s most enjoyed dance events. The third annual Block Party promises to be the best yet, featuring a mix of top local Hip Hop, Gqom, and Deep House music.

Where: FNB Stadium

When: 16 December

Cost: Tickets ranges from   R200 - R20 000 


  • The Legends of R&B Brian McKnight and Brandy

The Legends of R&B, are returning to South Africa in December for another unforgettable experience with Brian McKnight and Brandy.

Where:  C C Arena

When: 10 December

Cost: Range between R480 - R2 995

  • The Durban Wellness Festival

This event which began way back in 2011 and was formerly the Global Diabetes Walk, will now take place on a Saturday Afternoon 11th November and will include Live Music and a 5km Run, the traditional 5km Walk will take place as well as the important Wellness Expo, a day of good fun and education on overall wellness and Diabetes is in store, this event runs in conjunction with the World Diabetes Day Awareness campaign and is a Diabetes South Africa sanctioned event.

Where: Golden Mile

When: 11 November

Cost:  Entry Fee for the event and R60 per person (Run or Walk)

  • Umhlanga Summer Festival

Umhlanga Summer Festival has been staged for 12 years and attracts over 600 000 visitors to the beach over the event duration. In 2017 it hopes to exceed all records.

The event comprises a number of interactive and spectator events designed to appeal to the diverse market attending the event. The event provides the perfect opportunity to communicate to tens of thousands of locals and holidaymakers.

Where: Umhlanga

When: 14 – 23 December 

Cost: Tickets range from R100 - R400

Port Elizabeth

  • Slipperfields Gin, Beer & Spirits Festival

Slipperfields is excited to host Port Elizabeth’s first Gin, Beer and Spirits Festival this Summer. Join locals and enjoy the finest local craft gins, beers and spirits as well as PE’s favourite food trucks. 

Where: Slipperfields

When: 18 - 19 December

Cost:  R175 - R 200

  • BSB Summer Music Festival 2017

Can you taste it? Summer is here and PE is going to celebrate in style with a cracker of a line-up and promises you a bigger and better party than ever before. 

Where: Bridge Street Brewery

When: 02 December 

Cost: R120 pre-booked or R140 at the door

Garden Route

  • River Republic 2017

It’s that time of the year again when residents take advantage of the Summer sun through an array of outdoor festivals. While many a reveller enjoys one-day festivals out by the riverside, for city dwellers, the fun stops there.

If you’re looking for a non-stop weekend of sun-basking and music this is for you.

Where: Breede River, Swellendam

When: 24 - 26 November 

Cost: Ranges between R150 - 500

  • Annual Garden Route Beach Festival

The annual Beach Festival at Buffalo Bay is supported and sponsored by Knysna Tourism and the Knysna Municipality, and promises to be bigger and even more exciting this year. As is custom each year, the festival aims to grow and add more events to the festival's repertoire – this year is no different. 

Where: Buffalo Bay

When: 16 - 29  December 2017

Cost: Ranges between R100 - R400

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