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May events in Cape Town and surrounds
Your ultimate list of things to do in May
Your ultimate list of things to do in May
The mercury is dropping (slowly but surely), and winter is pushing its way through the door this May in Cape Town. And while hibernation is sure to lure locals into their caves, don’t disappear under a heap of blankets just yet because the Mother City refuses to sleep.
Enjoy everything from creative celebrations in the Karoo and lip-licking foodie fiestas in and around Cape Town to tricked out trance jols and musical film festivals. Long story short, there’s plenty of scintillating events to keep the cold at bay!
Also, don’t forget, it’s Worker’s Day (1 May 2013) so, check out our events calendar for great things to do on this mid-week holiday. Not to mention, Mother’s Day is happening on the second Sunday of May (12 May); check out our seven yummy Mom’s Day lunches or our guide to Mother’s Day ideas to pamper your maternal role model.
MAY EVENTS IN CAPE TOWN AND BEYOND
Sound on Screen Film Festival (26 April – 2 May)
Grab your popcorn for the annual 2013 Sound on Screen Film Festival, the fandango set to screen at the historic Labia Theatre in Cape Town from Friday, 26 April to Thursday, 2 May 2013. Currently in its fourth year, the independent film fiesta features movies and documentaries related to music. What’s more, Makabra Ensemble is set to perform live and provide the soundtrack to the 1922 Swedish flick Häxan (aka Heksen/The Witch).
Tickets: Tickets are available via Quicket.co.za and at the Labia Theatre ticket office and cost R35p/p for each screening (the screening of Häxan costs R50p/p).
Safari Half Marathon (1 May)
Run one of the most scenic half marathons in the Western Cape. Starting in Wellington, this charity race has consistently been among the top five half marathons in South Africa. This year, the prestigious competition celebrates its 26th year and continues to be a highlight on the sporting calendar.
Tickets: Entries to the race are now closed.
Knysna Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival (1 – 5 May)
The Garden Route’s queen city gears up for another five fabulous days of festivities from Wednesday, 1 May to Sunday, 5 May 2013. The theme for this year’s Knysna Pink Loerie Mardis Gras and Arts Festival is ‘Wicked Wonderland’, and things are bound to get wickedly fun with drag shows, beauty pageants, art exhibitions and mini-markets taking over the tranquil town. The LGBTQ fiesta culminates in a spectacular parade with elaborate floats and outrageous costumes, and after that, a mother of an after party takes off at Zanzibar Night Club.
Tickets: Tickets are available for different events on the day, and accommodation specials are available for out of town visitors.
Afrikaburn (1 – 6 May)
South Africa’s answer to the Burning Man Festival in America, Afrikaburn returns to the Tankwa Karoo National Park for six days of radical art, music, performance and creative expression from 1 to 6 May 2013. Organised as a makeshift community (called Tankwa Town) in the middle of the desert, this calendar highlight challenges festival-goers to survive in a commodity-less environment and to focus on self-expression. This year, the theme is ‘Archetypes’, and if you can imagine it, you can do it. It’s completely up to participants to help this self–sustaining festival function, whether it be through the medium of an elaborate costume, a mutant vehicle, a theme camp or an art installation. Pretty much anything goes. Do note, nothing is for sale (except ice) at the shindig, so make sure you come well equipped with supplies and a good attitude to last the entire duration of this other-worldly festival.
Tickets: Tickets for this year’s event are already sold out (the limit was 6 500!), but don’t dspair, there may be a chance to grab some tickets that are re-sold on the event’s Facebook page. Alternatively, keep an ear to the ground for private sellers looking to offload a surplus, or peruse Gumtree.co.za and social media for leads. If all else fails, visit Afrikaburn.com to get a head start on AfrikaBurn 2014.
Riebeek Valley Olive Festival (3 – 5 May)
A mere hour’s drive from Cape Town, the lush Riebeek Valley provides the magical location for the Western Cape’s largest annual olive festival. From Friday, 3 to Sunday, 5 May 2013, visitors can experience a weekend of olive and wine tasting, art and a variety of cuisine all accompanied by a number of live entertainment acts at various venues. Get a feel for the rich heritage and history of the valley, its decadent culinary flair and delectable produce at this yearly food and wine festival.
Tickets: Weekend passes for the food and wine festival are available via Webtickets.co.za and cost R100p/p for visitors, R80p/p for locals and R50p/p for pensioners; the weekend pass allows guests access to all eight venues and includes a complimentary wine tasting glass, wine and olive tastings and live entertainment at each venue as well as a FREE shuttle service.
Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival (4 May)
Enjoy sterling vintages and gourmet fare at this inaugural food and wine fiesta in the Overberg region. The first of its kind, the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival boasts a unique format, never before seen in South Africa. The day is split into three sessions (morning, noon and afternoon), and patrons must choose three venues – one for each session – from a list of 15 to create a one-of-a-kind experience.
Tickets: Tickets are available via Elginwine.co.za and cost R100p/p; tickets include entry into the three wineries of choice as well as a free wine glass, a wine tasting voucher, a festival lanyard (it must be worn to gain access to the wineries) and a festival leaflet. Do note that food and wine are for patrons own account, and wine will be sold by the glass or the bottle at each venue.
Fine Brandy Fusion Cape Town (9 – 10 May)
Brandy enthusiasts and connoisseurs can finally attend the Fine Brandy Fusion festival; the intoxicating event touches down in Cape Town for the first time on Thursday, 9 May and Friday, 10 May 2013 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. With the theme “Celebrate Liquid Gold”, the glam gathering showcases South Africa’s internationally acclaimed brandies through a host of tastings, cocktails, master classes and brand interactions. Hosted by media personality and brandy fan Proverb, the sophisticated soiree sheds light on the caramel-coloured spirit and will leave even the most discerning of drinkers with a new appreciation and admiration.
Tickets: Tickets cost R175p/p, including a brandy glass and Nespresso vouchers, and are available at Computicket.com and Computicket outlets or at the door.
Greenpop Reforest Fest (10 – 12 May) (17 – 19 May)
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. For two weekends in May, the lovely people from Greenpop and the Platbos Conservation Trust invite eager volunteers to help plant a whopping 4000 trees in this ancient woodlands in an effort to reforest a natural wonder. Only 300 spots are available per weekend, so book your spot now!
Tickets: Tree-planters can book tickets via Greenpop.org: they cost R550p/p for adults and R350p/p for kids under the age of 12. Access to the camping area, entertainment, activities and all meals are included in the ticket price. If you’d like to sponsor a tree, it costs R100p/tree, and if you sponsor 10 trees, you don’t have to pay for a ticket. Alternatively, festival-goers can set up their own Tree Raising Activists account and participate in Trees for Fees programme (if you do so, Greenpop will send you a free ticket to the do).
Nuy Valley Wine Feast (10 – 11 May)
Roughly 1.5 hour’s drive from Cape Town, the Nuy Valley Feast, now in its fifth year, features a series of fantastic events at four different venues in and around the Worcester Wine Route area. Visitors can look forward to live music, bottomless barrels of cabernet sauvignon and sauvignon blanc, motorbike racing, televised rugby and more. Guests get transported from one venue to the next via tractor, and the rest is history.
Tickets: Tickets are available at all four estates before and on the day, costs R40p/p per day (excluding live performances) and kids under 18 enter for free; wine glasses are for sale at R20 per glass. Cyclists’ entry fees include entrance to the festival.
Organik Love Project Trance Party (11 – 12 May)
What better way to say goodbye to the trance season than with Organik Love Project, a legendary outdoor jol happening at Utopia, a lush, grassy venue just 100km from Cape Town. This epic festival – it runs from Saturday, 11 May to Sunday, 12 May 2013 - offers a little slice of trance heaven, and international artists, including Vertical Mode and Xerox, and home-grown DJs, like Headroom and Stereotype, bang out bass lines and beats from start to finish while stompers get their groove on. Revellers can also take it easy with some shopping at stalls selling food, crafts and clothing. With dams for swimming and a relaxing camping site to complete the scene, it might just be too hard to leave on Sunday.
Tickets: Pre-sale tickets for the festival are available at selected outlets at a cost of R220p/p. Tickets at the gate cost R250p/p.
Franschhoek Literary Festival (17 – 19 May)
Booklovers can get their fill at the Franschhoek Literary Festival from Friday, 17 May to Sunday, 19 May 2013. The annual celebration of stories boasts a programme packed with discussions, readings, workshops and some favourite local and international authors. Fiction writers, like Alexander McCall Smith, will regale audiences with tales from the world of words, while non-fiction authors take a look at and debate the contentious issues worthy of investigation. Young and old readers will have a field day at the festival, as will aspiring writers; the fair’s sessions include helpful hints on how to pen the next great South African novel and interesting insights from those who’ve mastered the tricks of the trade. And of, course, there will be mountains of books that festival-goers can take home.
Tickets:Tickets for individual events cost R60p/p unless otherwise indicated, and they are available via Webtickets.co.za. Buy ten tickets get one complimentary. A limited number of R20p/p student tickets are available.
Good Food and Wine Show Cape Town (23 – 26 May)
As South Africa’s largest and longest running interactive food and wine show, this gourmand affair is known for showcasing quality produce, innovative appliances and a series of food theatres that feature both local and international celebrity chefs (Gordon Ramsay is on the bill for 2013). The event attracts thousands of visitors eager to taste a wide variety of top-notch fare and wine, watch renowned chefs in action, participate in a number of hands-on workshops and catch the very latest lifestyle and food trends.
Tickets: Tickets are available via Computicket.com and Computicket outlets, and cost R110p/p for adults and R55p/p for kids between the ages of 2 and 12. Festival-goers need to purchase separate tickets to see exclusive demos and enter specific areas at the Good Food and Wine Show; VIP packages are also available.
TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival (24 – 25 May)
Back for a third year, the 2013 TOPS Gugulethu Wine Festival returns to the rooftop of the Gugulethu Square Mall from Friday, 24 to Saturday, 25 May 2013. This ground-breaking festival brings together some of the Mother City’s finest wine estates for a food and wine extravaganza in this bustling township. Aside from wine tasting, audiences can look forward to rubbing shoulders with local celebrities as well as celebrating Africa Day (25 May) at this multicultural affair.
Tickets: Tickets are available via Webtickets.co.za or at the door and cost R90p/p for a Friday or Saturday pass.
Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival (29 May – 1 June)
The Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival celebrates its 15th year at the Baxter Theatre with another round of swinging talent from Mother City’s future music stars. Founded in 1999 by the late Dennis Barr, the jazz jam provides young, aspiring musicians a platform to play to an appreciating audience and encourages development and education leading to careers in the field. High school, university and community bands will play over four nights at the Rondebosch theatre and proceeds from the festival will go to schools and music academies with programmes that would benefit the children in the area by including them in Cape Town’s rich jazz heritage.
Tickets: Tickets for the festival cost R90p/p and R45p/p for senior citizens, students and scholars or R320p/p for all four performances. Tickets are available at Computicket.com or at Computicket outlets. The concert starts at 7:45pm.
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 May, so be sure to check out our Cape Town Events Calendar and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn and check out our Pinterest boards for updates on the latest and greatest events happening in the Mother City.