Grab your lilo and float away with the sweet summer festival vibes
March Events in Cape Town & Surrounds
Get into the party spirit and celebrate the last rays of the summer sun at the biggest annual events, festivals and fairs the Mother City has to offer
Get into the party spirit and celebrate the last rays of the summer sun at the biggest annual events, festivals and fairs the Mother City has to offer
Summer may be starting to simmer down, but based on March’s smoking hot list of big annual events in Cape Town, you wouldn’t be the wiser.
From weekend-long music festivals and fine wining and dining to the city’s biggest sporting events, including naked (yes, you read correctly!) bikers cycling the streets, there’s a barrage of high-profile calendar highlights to look forward to!
So, whether you’re as mad as the March hare about important dates or just searching for unforgettable things to do, look no further: we have all there is to see, do and experience in Cape Town during March.
2016 MARCH EVENTS IN CAPE TOWN & BEYOND
GALILEO OPEN AIR CINEMA (OCT 2015 – APR 2016)
If the idea of cuddling up under the stars whilst watching a movie, munching popcorn and intermittently gazing at gorgeous surrounds appeals, then best you book to watch your favourite movie with the Galileo Open Air Cinema. Bringing the best of the outdoor movie experience to the Mother City, the company has extended its days this year to include regular Friday and Saturday screenings. Every week cinephiles can grab some popcorn (or other tasty gourmet treats from the exhibiting vendors), settle down on the lush lawns at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the V&A Waterfront, Hillcrest Quarry and various venues in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands and see firm favourites, cult classics and many others.
- The Galileo Open Air Cinema at Hillcrest Quarry (Tuesday)
- The Galileo Open Air Cinema at Kirstenbosch (Wednesday)
- The Galileo Open Air Cinema at the V&A Waterfront (Thursday)
- The Galileo Open Air Cinema in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands (Friday & Saturday)
COST: Tickets are available via Webtickets.co.za and costs vary according to the package selected; concessions do apply. Click through to the event for more information on the line-up and costs.
HORSE RACES AT THE KENILWORTH RACE COURSE (NOV 2015 – FEB 2016)
Much like strawberries, watermelon and beach days at Clifton, horse racing in Cape Town is synonymous with the summer season, and what better way to celebrate than with a day of fun in the sun at the track. Kenilworth Racecourse, one of only two racecourses in Cape Town, is home to some of the Western Cape’s (and South Africa’s) most prestigious equestrian events, and believe it or not, the horse racing happenings also make great afternoons of entertainment for the entire family. We’ve got the lowdown on what to do and where to be seen at the races this summer in Cape Town.
COST: Entry fees to the events vary. Click through to the events for more information.
HOPE@PAULCLUVER SUMMER FESTIVAL (NOV 2015 – MAR 2016)
Support the Thembalitsha Foundation and enjoy top tunes, theatre, comedy and cinema at the Hope@PaulCluver Summer Festival in the Elgin Valley wine estate’s magical forest amphitheatre from November 2015 to March 2016. This season’s line-up will no doubt keep patrons enthralled and is set to feature first-rate musical acts, including Freshlyground, Bobby van Jaarsveld, Karen Zoid and Francois van Coke, and the Parlotones, as well as alternative entertainment, like comedian Chester Missing, a special Valentine’s Day movie and an enthralling performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Bring along a picnic, some cushions and blankets and make yourself comfortable for an outdoor experience like no other. All profits from the tickets sales will be donated to the Thembalitsha Foundation, a non-profit organisation that uplifts impoverished communities in the area.
COST: Tickets are available via Computicket.com and Computicket outlets, and costs range from R100p/p to R300p/p. Click through to the article for more information.
KIRSTENBOSCH SUMMER CONCERTS (NOV 2015 – APR 2016)
The Kirstenbosch hills liven up with the sound of music every Sunday from November 2015 to April 2016 for the annual summer sunset concerts. Each year, hordes of music lovers pack picnic baskets and blankets for the chilled out live music sessions on the historic botanical garden’s sprawling greens. This year, the exciting bill includes some seriously big names and local lekker acts such as Freshlyground, Jimmy Nevis, Grassy Spark, Jeremy Loops, Mi Casa, Al Bairre, The Plastics and more. Additionally, some concerts will have childcare facilities, so moms and pops can rest assured that their kiddies are in good hands.
COST: Tickets are available via Webtickets.co.za and costs vary according to the performer; concessions do apply. Click through to the event for more information on the line-up and costs.
LOVE AND LIGHT TRANCE PARTY IN PAARL (5 MAR)
Sometimes all you need is one great day of hitting slick groovies and thunderous beats. Thus, the 12-hour Love and Light trance party in Paarl is the perfect occasion to get a dose of summertime stomping fun. Sounding off at the Nelson’s Creek Wine Estate on Saturday, 5 March 2016, this mini trance fiesta makes for a great day out in the Cape Winelands without revellers having to worry about dragging along gear and camping in the sweltering heat. The one-day stomp-fest will also have food and drink stalls to keep the energy going.
COST: Tickets for the Love and Light trance party cost R350p/p and are available online. Click through to the event for more information.
PAARL OMMIBERG ‘ROUND THE ROCK’ FESTIVAL (5 MAR)
The Paarl OmmiBerg ‘Round the Rock’ Festival invites wine and food lovers to come celebrate the harvest season on Saturday, 5 March 2016. The day will be jam-packed with wine tastings that feature the region’s 2016 young wines before they’ve been filtered (an exclusive treat as cellars in Paarl are usually closed during this time). Festival-goers can cruise from one venue to another (there are 14 in total) and not only sample these fledgling vinos but also take in a myriad of grape-themed activities, live entertainment, the vibey atmosphere and more. The decentralised food and wine fiesta also offers a wide range of culinary delights (each farm will have a different offering) as well as exciting things to do for little ones and teens.
COST: Tickets are available online via Webtickets.co.za and cost R120p/p; a limited number of tickets will also be available at participating estates on the day, and these cost R150p/p. Children under the age of 18 enter for free. Click through to the event for more information on pre-booked events and the full programme.
WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE - CAPE TOWN (5 MAR)
Bare it all on Saturday, 5 March 2016 and join cyclists in the World Naked Bike Ride - Cape Town. Setting off from the Sea Point Library car park at around 10am, the peaceful, imaginative and somewhat insane cycling race seeks to create awareness around environmental issues, like harmful carbon emissions and oil dependency, and to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists on South African roads. This year, participants are invited to take part on any human-powered vehicles, like unicycles, rollerblades or skates, scooters, wheelchairs, prams and more.
COST: Entry to the nude cycling challenge is FREE of charge. Click through to the event for more information.
VEUVE CLICQUOT MASTERS POLO TOURNAMENT (5 MAR)
The sexy and sophisticated Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo tournament gallops onto Val de Vie Estate in the Cape Winelands on Saturday, 5 March 2016 for a glitzy afternoon of fashion and French Champagne (and a bit of sport too). Just like its cousin events, the J&B Met and the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, the daytime soiree is a haute couture affair that’s more concerned about who you’re wearing than who you’re cheering for. So, be sure to turn up in your chic and glamorous best. The Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo is one of only a few international polo tournaments sponsored by the premier French Champagne house, and it’s the only one of its kind on the African continent. As such, guests can expect nothing but exclusivity and extravagance at this glam affair.
COST: Tickets are available via Computicket.com and at Computicket outlets. Picnic tickets cost R200p/p, Garden access costs R950p/p and VIP tickets cost R4000p/p; picnic tickets will also be available at the gate on the day. Click through to the event for more information.
CAPE TOWN CYCLE TOUR (6 MAR)
What started out as a peaceful protest to raise awareness about the need for bicycle lanes in South Africa in 1977 has evolved into the largest individually timed cycling event in the world. Now in its 39th year, the Cape Town Cycle Tour (formerly The Argus) takes place on Sunday, 6 March 2016 and sees more than 30, 000 riders traverse a gruelling 109-km circular stretch that includes a scenic leg over the thrilling Chapman’s Peak Drive.
COST: Entries for the tour CLOSED in September 2015; click through to the event for information on fees and race pack collection. Spectators are welcome to support the cyclists at pre-determined points.
EIKENDAL WEINTAUFE HARVEST CELEBRATION (6 MARCH)
Enjoy a grape-stomping good time in Stellenbosch at the 2016 Eikendal Weintaufe Harvest Celebration on Sunday, 6 March 2016. This annual family-friendly Cape Winelands fiesta invites visitors to witness the decades-old tradition of the baptism of the farm’s flagship Chardonnay and to taste the vintage straight from the barrel. What’s more, the wine estate has a slew of family-friendly activities on offer throughout the day, including grape stomping, tractor rides, cheetah viewing, vineyard walks and much more. Not to mention, the vino-themed to-do will also feature mouth-watering market fare from the Cucina di Giovanni restaurant, which has made its home at the Eikendal Wine Estate.
COST: Tickets can be booked or bought at the gate on the day for only R50p/p, and kiddies under 12 enter for free. The price includes a glass for wine tasting as well as a free sample of the 2016 Chardonnay. Click through to the event for more information.
GREENPOP REFOREST FEST (11 – 20 MAR)
Join the treevolution and head down to the Platbos forest near Gansbaai for a rocking weekend of camping, great tunes, good food and loads of tree planting. Over two weekends in March, the lovely people from Greenpop and the Platbos Conservation Trust invite eager volunteers to help plant over 8000 trees in these ancient woodlands in an effort to reforest a natural wonder. The first event runs from Friday, 11 to Sunday 13 March 2016, and a Friend's Fest that takes place from Friday, 18 to Sunday, 20 March 2016; in both cases though, limited spots are available, so book yours now!
COST: Tree-planters can book tickets via Quicket.co,za: they cost R360p/p for adults and R300p/p for kids between the ages of 5 and 12.
CAPE TOWN CARNIVAL (12 MAR)
Cape Town comes alive with that carnival buzz with the sixth annual Cape Town Carnival dances into town on Saturday, 12 March 2016. For this year, the theme for the extravagant shindig is “Street Life” and celebrates the city’s unique energy and vibe. This exceptionally popular fiesta highlights the diversity of the Western Cape with elaborate dance routines, costumes and floats that turn Greenpoint into a colourful spectating paradise. The festivities start warming up from 4pm to culminate into the cultural explosion that is the parade. So grab some mates or head out with the family for a fun-filled Saturday celebrating the vivid beauty of the Mother City!
COST: Access to the family-friendly festival and end-party is absolutely free!
HOUT BAY SANDCASTLE COMPETITION (12 MAR)
If getting your hands down ‘n dirty while creating wondrous sandy masterpieces for a good cause sounds ideal then the 20th annual Hout Bay Sandcastle Competition is right up your alley. Heading to Hout Bay on Saturday, 12 March 2016, the yearly competition is a family-centric event that aims to raise money for Valley Pre Primary School in the surrounding area. With different categories and plenty of sand, the competition has a jolly atmosphere whether you opt to build a castle or simply to be a supportive spectator. Choose to grab something tasty from the various food and refreshment stalls or watch the popping ‘n locking going down with a breakdance performance. The competition starts from 9am and contestants need to down their tools at 11am for judging to commence.
COST: Entry to this competition ranges from R30p/p for kids, R50p/p for adults and R2000p/p for corporate teams. For more information click through to the event.
ABSA CAPE EPIC MTB STAGE RACE (13 – 20 MAR)
Adrenaline junkies and mountain biking (MTB) enthusiasts, listen up! The 2016 Absa Cape Epic MTB Stage Race is set kick up the dust from Sunday, 13 to Sunday, 20 March 2016. The stage race sees 1200 professional and amateur riders traverse 647km of gruelling Western Cape trail, including 14 950m of climbing, as they make their way from the University of Cape Town (UCT) to Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville.
COST: Entries for the 2015 race are closed, but eager participants can take advantage of the early-bird entries for the 2016 race, which open at 3pm on Monday, 23 March 2015. Entry to the Prologue and Grand Finale are free for spectators; click through to the events for more information.
RAGE EXPO (18 – 20 MAR)
Calling all gamers, geeks and cosplay fans, this is your chance to show off your skills and LAN in style. The ‘really Awesome geek experience’ (rAge) is coming to GrandWest Casino from Friday, 18 to Sunday, 20 March 2016, alongside the NAG Local Area Network event (LAN), which is the biggest of its kind in Southern Africa, with more than 2500 gamers participating. With 52 solid multiplayer gaming hours awaiting participants, the NAG starts at 8am on Friday, 18, and ends at 3pm on Sunday, 20 March 2016. From games to gadgets, this lifestyle event is ideal for all manner of geekery, whether you just want to meet your local comic book artist or transform into your favourite fantasy hero.
COST:Tickets to the 2016 rAge Cape Town Expo and the NAG LAN in Cape Town are on sale now from Computicket.com, and range between R100p/p and R250p/p in price. For more information phone +27 (0)11 704 2679 or click through to the event.
ATKV OESFEES (19 MAR)
The 2016 ATKV Oesfees (formerly the Franschhoek Oesfees) dances its way onto the March calendar to, once again, celebrate the end of the grape harvest, local music, the culture of the Boland and good ol’ fashioned Kaapsekos at the Solms-Delta Wine Estate on Saturday, 19 March 2016. This 12-hour soiree also pays homage to the farm workers who made the harvest possible, and appropriately, there’s something on the bill for everyone. With myriad acts billed to perform on the day, there will be very little reason to keep those feet from tapping. Headline acts include Chris Chameleon, Emo Adams, Valiant Swart, Hannes Coetzee, Radio Kalahari Band, Hot Water and many more.
COST: Tickets can be pre-booked at the Solms-Delta Wine Estate office or online via Plankton.mobi; they will also be sold at the gate on the day. The price ranges from R45p/p to R160p/p and varies according to ticket type – little ones younger than the age of 2 years enter for free. Click through to the event for more information.
EARTH HOUR IN CAPE TOWN (19 MAR)
Do your part this March and participate in the 2016 Earth Hour in Cape Town on Saturday, 19 March 2016. This global environmental initiative calls on ordinary people to take a stand against climate change by turning off all non-essential lights between 8:30pm and 9:30pm. The grassroots movement was started by World Wildlife Fund in 2007 in Australia, where 2.2 million residents in Sydney turned off their lights for an hour. To date, more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide have taken part in this worthy cause.
COST: Participation is gratis, mahala and for free!
KKNK FESTIVAL (24 – 30 MAR)
The sleepy town of Oudsthoorn comes alive when the 22nd annual ABSA KKNK Festival lands on the arts calendar from Thursday, 24 to Wednesday, 30 March 2016. Festival-goers can look forward to listening to plenty of live entertainment with South Africa's finest musicians. Top-notch comedians will have you in stitches when favourites like Marc Lottering and Neels van Jaarsveld get behind the mic. Enjoy a burst of arts and culture in the Karoo with this much loved family- friendly festival!
COST: Each act, concert, exhibition or activity at 2016 Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees is priced separately, and entry fees range depending on each event, so please consult Computicket and the programme for specifics.
OLD MUTUAL TWO OCEANS MARATHON IN CAPE TOWN (26 MAR)
Said to be the most beautiful marathon in the world, the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon sees local and international competitors push their bodies to the limit while negotiating Cape Town’s scenic routes on Saturday, 26 March 2016; subsidiary events will take place on Friday, 25 March 2016. Started in 1970, the contest has become one of the biggest road races in South Africa, with 11, 000 runners participating in the 56-km ultra marathon and 16, 000 runners taking part in the 21-km half marathon. For those still working on their endurance, there are also fun runs and trail runs taking place the day prior to the big events.
COST: Eager participants can enter via Twooceansmarathon.org.za. Entry fees vary according to event and supporters are most welcome to attend. Click through for more information and for a list of prime places from which to watch all the action.
EASTER VORTEX: PARALLEL UNIVERSE (26 – 28 MAR)
Polish your trusty stomping boots for the epic Easter Vortex: Parallel Universe trance party going down over the long Easter weekend at a magical cosmos near Caledon. The good-time gurus at Vortex are celebrating 21 years of bringing the best psychedelic trance parties to the Mother City with a line-up of international beatmakers and local mixmasters. As always, revelers can expect to marvel at the breathtaking scenery and trippy visuals, so bring that stomp gear out and get ready for a psychedelic jol!
COST: Presale tickets are available online via Quicket.co.za and at the gate. Click through to the event for more information
CAPE FIGHT LEAGUE (26 MAR)
Adrenaline and fitness combine with a kick when this inaugural professional, fully sanctioned K1 (kickboxing) fighting event leaps into the Mother City. Heating up the Sunningdale Sports Complex in Table View on Saturday, 26 March 2016, the evening will feature ten fights, with one professional versus amateur fight and an additional three South African Kickboxing Association sanctioned title fights. Watch all the blood, sweat and action live as the fighters go head-to-head, trying their best to emerge victorious.
COST: Tickets are available via Computicket.com, Computicket outlets as well as at the door on the day. Entry ranges between R100p/p and R250p/p (VIP ring side seats). Click through to the event for more information.
FREE CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL CONCERT (30 MAR)
If you weren’t able to secure tickets for the 2016 Cape Town International Jazz Festival or you just want to catch a glimpse of what’s in store at the annual musical calendar highlight, then don’t miss out on the FREE Cape Town Jazz Concert at Greenmarket Square on Wednesday, 30 March 2016. The mahala Mother City show features a heady line-up of some of the best acts set to perform at the weekend-long event.
COST: Access to this event is FREE!
CAPE TOWN TATTOO CONVENTION
Due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, the 2016 Cape Town Tattoo Convention will not take place this year. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on this event.
RARE PLANT FAIR
Due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, the 2016 Rare Plant Fair will not take place this year. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on this event.
RAMFEST CAPE TOWN
Due to unforeseen and unfortunate circumstances, the 2016 RAMfest Cape Town will not take place this year. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on this event.
SPIRITFEST YOGA, DANCE AND MUSIC FESTIVAL
The next Spiritfest event will happen in March 2017. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.
PLEASE NOTE: All dates are subject to change.
These are only a few of the happenings in Cape Town and surrounds for the month of March, so be sure to check out our use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smart phone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!
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