HEAT Festival

HEAT Festival in Cape Town

Cape Town's latest arts festival that
champions up-and-coming artists.
Happening 11 - 21 July 2024.
Cape Town City Centre

HEAT Festival in Cape Town

Art, comedy, theatre & more (some for free) in the city centre

Last updated: 1 July 2024 

Celebrating young creatives is the focus of this new winter arts festival. The fiery programme has everything from stand up comedy with Yaaseen Barnes, to UCT Opera performances, theatre headlined by Rob van Vuuren, and an extensive line of art exhibitions at venues like the Iziko SA National Art Gallery.

HEAT is happening from 11 to 21 July 2024. 


HEAT was created to address low visitor numbers to art galleries, and an absence of opportunities for young artists and performers, during the low tourist season. 

"We often wait for young artists and performers to succeed on an international stage before we celebrate their work. Why not give them support at the beginning of their careers and use this opportunity to inject some cultural life into Cape Town during its low tourist season," says HEAT founder Mary Corrigall. She’s an award-winning arts journalist who has curated numerous multi-disciplinary art events. 

Feni Chulumanco showing at EBONY/CURATED. Image: HEAT Festival


There’ll be plenty of up-and-coming artists to take note of. Vela Projects, a new art space established by young art dealer Jonathan Goschen, will feature Songezo Zantsi, who captures  Xhosa wedding ceremonies on horses in his paintings. 

Another young trailblazer featured at HEAT is Lebo Kekana, who curated RESERVOIR Project's exhibition, iSenzo Sak'dala. Also at RESERVOIR Projects, Treasure Mlima’s work recalls the historical role of sculpture in African communities.  

There’ll also be a stand up night (headlined by comedian Yaaseen Barnes), three performances from UCT Opera, jazz shows, and a theatre programme headlined by Rob Van Vuuren (who will present two works at HEAT). 

Drag artist Pichi Keane. Image: HEAT Festival 


There will be various events that are free to attend, like a talk between artists Xhanti Zwelendaba and Ben Stanwix at RESERVOIR, or Luvoyo Equiano's eBish book launch at Under the Aegis. And all 15 art exhibitions across the city are free to attend. 

Others, like Operation Khataza’s performance, a seven-piece jazz band with a captivating  blend of sonics from across Africa, start from R150. The play all my ex-lovers are dead, which delves into love, desire, and heartbreak, is R180. Or join a Kizomba workshop for R100.

You can view the different events and book tickets via Quicket

Rentia Retief, showing at EBONY/CURATED. Image: HEAT Festival 


HEAT Festival is happening: 11 to 21 July 2024
Find it: 14 venues across Cape Town CBD
Book: Via Quicket
Find out more: HEAT Festival website, hello@heatfestival.org

By Julia Rowley



See what else you can get up to in Cape Town with our weekend guide.  

Plan for a rainy (or cold) day with these 25+ things to do indoors.  

Into the arts? Also read about The International Public Art Festival


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