October Events in Cape Town and Surrounds

An overview of the month’s festivals, celebrations and annual affairs.

We’re ten months into 2014, and spring is in full force. The sun is out, summer is practically knocking on our doors and the party season is already off to a roaring start.

Unsurprisingly then, this month’s social calendar is jam-packed with a ton of annual family-friendly food and wine festivals, outdoor live music parties, celebrations and so much more.


Murder Mysteries Dinner Parties in Cape Town (April – October) 
If an evening meal and a good whodunit get you going, then listen up. The Mother City’s much-loved series of Murder Mystery Dinners is back to blow away the winter blues with new storylines, suspects and victims. Hosted at a number of venues, including Moyo Kirstenbosch, La Mouette and more, the dress-up suppers are scheduled to take place on the last Friday of each month from April to October. So, whether you’re looking to indulge your love of real-life Cluedo or simply want to have a bloody good time with friends, check out our overview of these thrilling events. 
COST: Cost varies according to event and prices range from R300p/p to R435p/p; price includes dinner, mystery to solve and, where applicable, a welcome drink. Click through to the event for more information.

Whale Watching (June – November)
Wedged between the mountains and sea, Hermanus is a bustling little fishing village and a prime land-based whale watching destination. Aside from granting awe-stricken visitors countless opportunities to watch the mammoth mammals, the town also has a host of restaurants, art galleries, shops and a very popular craft market on Saturdays. Whale season starts in June and continues until November, so to take your winter woollies and get down to Hermanus to watch these majestic creatures frolic in the coves of Walker Bay – it makes for an easy day trip or an ideal weekend getaway.
COST: While access to see the whales is FREE, certain activities are individually priced. Click through to the event for more information.

Cape Town Fringe Festival (25 September – 5 October)
The first-ever Cape Town Fringe Festival is set to make a splash on the Mother City arts scene from 25 September to 5 October 2014 thanks to the good folks behind the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. The event is set to showcase over 89 (mostly local) acts across the dance, theatre, performance art and music genres. Although the performances will be taking place in various venues around the Mother City, the Cape Town City Hall will act as hub for the main events.
COST: Tickets for the 2014 Cape Town Fringe Festival cost between R70p/p and R90p/p per performance. To book, visit Capetownfringe.co.za or else contact the 2014 Cape Town Fringe Festival box office on +27 (0) 86 233 2022 or via boxoffice@capetownfringe.co.za. Click through to the event for more information.

Rocking the Daisies (2 – 5 October)
Cape Town’s answer to Woodstock is back. The Western Cape’s most iconic outdoor festival,  Rocking the Daisies (#RTD2014), is billed to transform the Cloof Wine Estate in Darling into a musical mecca from Thursday, 2 to Sunday, 5 October 2014. Set to, once again, import top international acts to perform alongside Mzansi’s very own amazing artists, the festival has something for everyone; there’s an out-of-this-world food court, a comedy stage, art exhibitions and so much more.
COST: Tickets for Rocking the Daisies are priced between R200p/p and R750p/p. Click through to the event for more information.

Pinotage on Tap (11 October)
It’s October and do you know what that means? It’s time for the 2014 Pinotage on Tap wine festival! This annual Cape Town Pinotage pilgrimage gets underway on Saturday, 11 October 2014 and heads to the Diemersfontein Wine Estate in Wellington to celebrate its tenth birthday and, of course, the farm’s legendary coffee-flavoured varietal. Whether you’re a POT devotee or virgin, you’re in for a delightful time on this picturesque winelands property. With no less than eight bottomless barrels of Pinotage - that’s right, bottomless - and a line-up of top-notch musicians booked for guests’ entertainment, it’s bound to be yet another unforgettable day. All-you-can-drink consumption is included in the ticket price, along with canapés, lunch, sweet treats and live music acts; Darling Brewery beer and fare from food stalls are also available at extra costs.
COST: Tickets are available via Computicket.com and Computicket outlets and cost R370p/p for general access (no kiddie tickets are available) and R840p/p for general access and a case of wine (six bottles). Click through to the event for more information.

Cape Town Gun Run (12 October)
The Mother City gears up to host hordes of runners and walkers who will lace up their running shoes for the 2014 Gun Run. Kicking off at Cape Town Stadium in Green Point on Sunday, 12 October 2014. Now in its 22nd year, the annual athletic event offers runners a choice of participating in either the 21-km half-marathon, 10-km race or 5-km fun run. Depending on the route, attendees will get to experience Cape Town from a different point-of-view. After the competition, participants can cool down on the Sea Point Promenade at the KFM music stage; a lucky draw and prize-giving will take place after the races.
COST: Entry fees vary according the route. Click through to the event for more information about entries and registration.

Color Run South Africa in Cape Town (18 October)
After a successful inaugural event in 2013, the Cape Town leg of the Color Run South Africa is back for another paint-fuelled 5-km trot through the Mother City. Billed as the world’s “Happiest 5k on the Planet”, this jolly jog is perfect for all levels of fitness and calls on participants to be pelted with a different coloured powder at every kilometre mark as they make their way from start to finish. From mall-walkers to serious athletes, this fun untimed race makes for a great family-friendly or team-building day out in Cape Town. After the run, attendees can enjoy music by the HeartFM DJs and live local acts and paint the skyline a rainbow of colours at the end festival.
COST: Tickets to the run are available via TheColorRunSouthAfrica.NuTickets.co.za/CPT2014 and cost R220p/p for individual entries and R200p/p for teams of four or more; kids under 10 get in for free. Click through to the event for more information.

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on this overview. Alternatively, have a look at what went took place in 2013 for an idea of what to expect this year. 

The shnit International Short Film Festival (2 – 6 October)
The 2013 shnit International Short Film Festival flickers on to screens for the fourth year at various cinemas in Cape Town and surrounds from Wednesday, 2 to Sunday, 6 October 2013. Devoted to featuring both local and international shorts, shnit affords screen time to a genre of film often over overlooked and undervalued. Aside from just showings, the festival also includes interactive workshops and more. Get ready for a jam-packed programme of intellectually stimulating films and creative supporting events.
Tickets: Click through to the event for more information.

Miss Gay Western Cape (5 October)
The mother of all pageants, Miss Gay Western Cape, will see some of Cape Town’s most glamorous drag queens strut their stuff at the Baxter Theatre on Saturday, 5 October 2013 in competition for the crown and truckloads of prizes. The theme for this year’s event is Arabian nights, and contestants will be competing in three rounds – swimwear, evening wear and themed wear – before the top five are chosen for a question and answers round. The fabulous Shangela from RuPaul’s Drag Race is set to co-host and perform at the glitz and glam affair, and other performers include Durban singer Mario Ogle and the divalicious Manila von Teez.
Tickets:Tickets for Miss Gay Western Cape cost R120p/p and are available via Computicket.com and at Computicket outlets.

Durbanville Wine Valley’s Season of Sauvignon (5 – 6 October)
Celebrate the warmer weather and the arrival of the white wine-drinking months at the annual Season of Sauvignon in the Durbanville Wine Valley from Saturday, 5 to Sunday, 6 October 2013. All 11 of the area’s wine farms band together to create one intoxicating festivalground, and vino lovers can look forward to bumping from winery to winery to enjoy a range of delicious wine-themed events in honour of the zesty varietal. With live music, hearty fare, gourmet cuisine, vineyard bike tours and more, the selection of activities on at this year’s shindig offers something tantalising for all tastes and ages. Get ready for pop-up garden parties, traditional snoek braais, petting zoos, oyster bars, comparative tastings and more.
Tickets: The festival has a range of free and fee-based events, and patrons are advised to book with the individual wine farms in advance. Click through to the event for more information.

Breedekloof Outdoor and Wine Festival (11 – 13 October)
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head down to the annual Breedekloof Outdoor and Wine Festival from Friday, 11 to Sunday, 13 October 2013. Hosted just 90km from Cape Town, this family-friendly food and wine fiesta makes for a perfect day trip. A decentralised event, the yearly affair treats visitors to the region to a wide selection of the area’s finest vintages and hearty cuisine as well as a chock-full line-up of activities for all ages. Fitness fanatics can take part in the annual Mountain to Mountain MTB challenge as well as crazy competitions, sumo suit wrestling and for those who prefer to sit back and relax, there’s even a chauffeured 4x4 trip through the gorgeous Goudmyn route.
Tickets: Festival-goers must purchase a pass to gain entry to the various venues. Click through to the event for more information. 

The Tri-Robben Island Triathlon (12 October)
Now, in its second year, the Tri-Robben Island Triathlon swims, cycles and dashes onto the Mother City’s social calendar with a bigger event than before. On Saturday, 12 October 2013, participants in this gruelling competition will not only get a chance to test their mettle in three disciples, but also experience the historic island from unique perspectives not usually featured in regular island tours. Spectators are welcome to support the contenders, and food and drink vendors will be on site.
Tickets: Entries for the event and spectator tickets are sold out.

The Village: The Gathering Trance Party (12 – 13 October)
Hit slick groovies and stomp the night away at The Village’s annual jol, The Gathering: this year’s shindig heads to the Wildekrans Wine Estate in the Bot River region from Saturday, 12 to Sunday, 13 October 2013. A yearly October opskop, this psytrance music festival features first-rate local and international beat-makers and promises to be bigger and better than before! This year, party-goers can get down to the progressive beats of Israeli-born Lior Yosha (aka DJ Josh from Outer Signal). What’s more, local legend and top-notch DJ Headroom is billed to make an appearance after a three-year hiatus.
Tickets: Tickets are available at select stores as well as at the gate on the day and range between R200p/p and R250p/p in price. Click through to the event for more information.

Cape Town Gun Run (13 October)
Lace up your running shoes for the annual Gun Run and get to the starting line at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday, 13 October 2013. Now in its 21st year, the annual athletic event offers runners the chance to participate in the 21-km half-marathon, a 10-km race or a 5-km fun run. After the competition, participants can cool down on the Sea Point Promenade at the Kfm music stage; a lucky draw and prize-giving will take place after the races.|
Tickets: Click through to the event for more information about entries.

Colour Cape Town
October seems to be the most colourful month of the year. After a successful Holi One Cape Town Colour Festival at the end of the last summer season, other rainbow-themed events are popping up all around the Mother City. Prepare to be pelted with coloured powders in two scheduled runs and an outdoor music festival this month.

  • Holi Festival of Colours (12 October)
  • Color Run South Africa (19 October)
  • Colour Me Crazy Run (26 October)

Tickets: Click through to the events for their respective ticket prices.

The Pink Lunch 
Since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, do you bit and support the annual Pink Lunch, which aims to raise funds for the Reach for Recovery programme. To celebrate a decade of doing good, this year’s get-together is themed “10 Shades of Pink –Gatsby Style”, and guests are encouraged to dress up in their 1920s flapper finest. Actress and TV personality Natalie Becker will emcee the day’s events, which include performances by top local acts, like Sterling EQ and the Waterfront Theatre Company, and an auction hosted by Ariella Kuper.
Tickets: Tickets cost R500p/p or R5000 per table and are available for booking either by calling Nina Monda at +27 (0) 72 822 5518 or emailing info@ninamonda.com.

BOS Earthwave Beach Festival (19 – 20 October) 
Surf dudes and dudettes gather in Muizenberg this October for the annual BOS Earthwave Beach Festival, which features a smorgasbord of seaside activities and competitions for the whole family, plus not one but two attempts at breaking Guinness World Records. The first bid for greatness looks  to unseat the 2009 festival as record-holder for the most surfers scaling one wave at one time (it was 110), and the second aims to beat the current Australian record for the longest touch rugby game. Aside from these thrills and spills, visitors to the Cape Town beach community can take part in or support longboarding and stand-up paddling races, skateboarding contests and tandem surfing competitions. Not to mention, there are treasure hunts for the little ones, informative stalls from the likes of Greenpop and AfriOcean and a sweet after party to end off the weekend in the waves. 
TicketsEntry into the festival and the after party is free; however, participation in various competitions and events comes with different entry fees.  

Robertson Wine on the River (18 – 20 October) 
The family-friendly Robertson Wine on the River festival is back at the Goudmyn farm for another year of vino-themed events and more from Friday, 18 to Sunday, 20 October 2013. Park on the banks of the Breede River, sip and swirl more than 300 top-notch vintages from over 40 wine estates in the region and sample the wares of the country food stalls and the Robertson’s Farmers’ Market. Kids under 18 enter free, and activities, of which there are many, will be charged on a pay-as-you-play basis.
Tickets: Click through to the event for details on ticket prices.

Organik Gaian Dream Trance Party (19 – 20 October) 
The Organik Gaian Dream trance party offers stompers the perfect opportunity to let their bodies and minds run free within the enchanting surroundings of The Wood between the Worlds, an idyllic little valley near Caledon and about 90 minutes from Cape Town. The dance fiesta aims to reconnect revellers with Mother Earth amidst the bumping, thumping progressive and psytrance beats of international acts Berg (Israel) and Shane Gobi (UK) and a number of local mixmasters, like Headroom, Stereotype and Silo. Bring spare blankets and clothing for the less fortunate as there will be a collection box at the gate.   
Tickets: Pre-sale tickets are available at selected outlets at a cost of R240p/p; otherwise, they can be bought online via Organik.co.za and Quicket.co.za at R245p/p or at the gate on the day at R270p/p. 

International Oriental Dance Festival (24 – 27 October) 
Get ready to be hypnotized by belly dancers shimmying and shaking at the eighth annual International Oriental Dance Festival from Thursday, 24 to Sunday, 27 October 2013 at various venues in Cape Town. The festival, which is also a charity event in aid of the Saartjie Baartman Centre for (abused) Women and Children, kicks off with a gala evening on Thursday at the Ratanga Junction UV Theatre, where professionals and novices will showcase the majestic forms of classical Egyptian, Middle Eastern and tribal fusion style belly dancing. There will also be workshops on Friday and Saturday for those who want to have a go at the ancient art form themselves; plus, dance enthusiasts can enjoy free performances at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday and Sunday as well as shop for accessories, jewellery and costumes at the festival bazaar.
Tickets:  Tickets for the opening gala event are available via Computicket.com and at Computicket outlets. Click through to the event for more information.

The Secret Food and Wine Festival and Conference (25 – 26 October)
Master chefs and food and wine experts plan to bare it all and discuss the latest in gastronomy trends at the Secret Food and Wine Festival Conference at the Spier wine estate on Friday, 25 and Saturday, 26 October 2013. Prepare for a series of talks lead by renowned local and international experts, a host of secret and themed dinners helmed by well-known foodies, a lecture with a pioneering French biodynamic farmer and an extensive (and FREE) market with decadent treats.
Tickets: Click through to the event for ticket details. Entry to the market is free! 

Look & Feel Good Expo (25 – 27 October)
The much-loved Look & Feel Good Expo is back on the events calendar and promises to be bigger and better than before. Hosted at the Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch alongside the Outdoor Eco Adventure and Travel Expo from Friday, 25 until Sunday, 27 October 2013, the health, fitness, beauty and wellness exhibition offers visitors the latest in healthy lifestyle trends as well as info on environmentally friendly products aimed at making sure you look and feel great. No to mention, visitors have the opportunity to check out 2013 Masterchef South Africa contestant and owner of the healthy eatery Pure Good Shannon Smuts demonstrate how to make delicious and good-for-you dishes in the Pouyoukas Look & Feel Good Kitchen. What’s more, expo-goers can catch a range of feel-good workshops, talks, lectures and more at this health and wellness show.
Tickets: Tickets are available via Itickets.com. Click through to the event for more information.

The Amy Biehl Foundation Gala Dinner (26 October) 
Cape Town’s generous hearted are invited to get glitz and glam for the Amy Biehl Foundation Gala Dinner at GrandWest on Saturday, 26 October 2013. Actor, comedian and television personality Rob Van Vuuren will host the black tie auction event, which is in support of the non-profit organisation’s work to empower and develop local at-risk youth, and guests can expect entertainment from popular local performers, like Aviva Pelham, and the children from the Amy Biehl Foundation as well. The auction will be led by Joey Burke, who will no doubt have an easy time raising bids for items including Shimansky jewellery, game reserve breaks and a boutique European cruise all in the name of a good cause.
Tickets: Tickets for the gala dinner cost R1000p/p or R10 000 per table and are available either by calling +27 (0) 21 462 5052 or emailing kim@amybiehl.co.za

Maboneng Township Arts Experience (26 – 27 October)
Residents of Gugulethu convert their modest homes into art galleries and their streets into dance and theatre performance platforms for the second annual Maboneng Township Arts Experience on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 October 2013. Visitors are invited to tour 23 houses that feature works from local township artists as well as familiar faces, like Rayaan Cassiem, Faith 47 and Anwaar. Along the way, tour-goers can marvel at the bright and beautiful murals or take in a quick street show. This year’s event has been chosen as an official project for the 2014 World Design Capital programme, which highlights the township experience’s focus on making design accessible for all and showing its use as an inspiring and uplifting tool.
Tickets: Shuttles from the V&A Waterfront are available to and from Gugulethu for R200p/p. Book via Quicket.co.za. Alternatively, those who want to drive themselves can purchase tickets for R150p/p at iKhaya Le Langa, the tour starting point, on the day.   

South African Horrorfest (30 October – 8 November)
Cinephiles and lovers of thrillers, horrors and gory films are in for a treat this Halloween in Cape Town when the SA Horrorfest flickers onto screens at the iconic Labia Theatre in the Mother City. The curators delve deep into their coffers for the rarest, most terrifying and devastatingly gory flicks to put on a ten-day film festival that promises to leave your nerves shattered. Aside from the screenings, don’t miss out on the slew of awesome activities; there’s a Halloween costume contest, the ever-popular Rocky Horror Picture Show audience participation screening, a one-night live soundtrack performance with the Makabra Ensemble, a book launch and more!
Tickets: Tickets are available online via Quicket.co.za as well as at the Labia Theatre box office (depending on availability) and cost R35p/p for all films except the live performance, which costs R50p/p.

OktoBEERfest at Beerhouse on Long Street (31 October)
Beer lovers are in for a treat when the Long Street brauhaus (beer hall) Beerhouse imports Bavarian-style  brews and mouth-watering cuisine for its inaugural OktoBEERfest on Thursday, 31 October 2013. Patrons can choose from a vast array of German beers on tap (served in litre jugs) or simply order a 5-l beer keg to share with friends. What’s more, the inner-city bar’s beer-themed event will feature South Africa’s premier oompah band, an act set to thubthump the night away with traditional upbeat German tunes while lovely Fräulein serve time-honoured dishes, like pretzels, gingerbread hearts, currywurst and eisbein.
Tickets: A limited number of tickets are available via Webtickets.co.za and, depending on availability, at the door on the day. Click through to the event for more information on ticket prices.

Things to do for Halloween (31 October)
“Beware; the Pumpkin King will come for you!” That’s right trick-or-treaters, it’s Halloween time again, and we’ve taken the liberty of mapping out some outlandishly ghastly, super scary things to do in Cape Town this 31 October 2013. From horror film festivals to murder mystery dinners – there’s even a mystery ghost bus tour for extra measure - the Mother City is pulling out all the ghoulish stops for a horrifying Halloween!
Tickets: Tickets vary according to the event. 

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 October, 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 smartphone, add m.capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

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