Annual Music Festivals in Cape Town

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Annual Music Festivals in Cape Town

Whatever your taste in music, the Mother City's got it covered

Love lekker local line-ups, feel-good jams, and big-night boogies with your mates? Cape Town's annual music festivals are legendary and happen throughout the year, featuring local and international artists and the best emerging talent in the country! Although some of the fests need no introduction, there are some hidden gems you won’t want to miss – thus, this calendar brings you a full line-up of the city’s annual musical extravaganzas, whether you’re into blues, jazz, rock, classical or dance music.

If you like to dance to trance, then we have a separate overview just for you. Check out our outdoor trance music festival calendar – it’s the most ex-psy-ting thing you’ll see all year!

If trance isn't really your vibe, but you do love being outdoors, check out our Kirstenbosch Summer Concert calendar, which we update throughout the season. Everyone loves a little Goldfish with a glass of wine and a view of the mountain, right?

Cape Town is the epicentre of some of the of the most exciting melodic events across our beloved country, and we at love keeping you up-to-date on all the juicy details so subscribe to our newsletter to be well and truly in-the-know. And without further ado, here’s a list of all the magical, mad, music festivals for the year.


See what else is happening around Cape Town in January with our list of annual events

Origin Music Festival: Cape Town’s glorious summer outdoor party, which gives you a weekend of psychedelic visual experiences. This three-day arts and music festival is filled with alternative fashion, artworks, and top-notch trance music from all over the world. | @OriginFest

Oude Libertas Summer Season Concerts: Take a picnic basket and bottles of wine to the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre in Stellenbosch and enjoy melodious entertainment under the stars. This concert series runs from January to March every year and is one of the highlights of the outdoor concert season. | [email protected]

Up the Creek Music Festival: Three days featuring the best of South African music within a fantastic setting on the banks of the Breede River. Bring your inflatables, your sun brolly, your funkiest swimming costumes and plenty of gees. The next edition is on 26 – 29 January 2017. | +27 (0) 21 510 0547 @UpTheCreek.MusicFestival


See what else is happening around Cape Town in February with our list of annual events

Ultra South Africa: In 2016, we saw Ultra take over Cape Town, the weekend-long music festival hosted Galantis, Skrillex, Tiesto, Zedd, Dash Berlin, Robin Schulz, Black Coffee and more, making it one of the best line-ups ever to come to South Africa. In 2017, this EDM festival becomes an epic concert, lasting only one night and being hosted at the Cape Town Stadium. While the fun won’t last as long as last year, the line-up is almost guaranteed to be just as amazing. Don’t be sad Ultranauts, there is still a mind-blowing party waiting for you! | @UltraSouthAfrica

Alien Safari Masqued Ball: The Masqued Ball is a weekend of enchantment created annually as a celebration of our inherent inspiration, divinity and fantasy. This trance fest returns to the same sea-side venue every year and the party is always pumping. Enjoy the sounds of international trance artists while the waves gently lap against the shore. | [email protected] | @aliensafari


See what else is happening around Cape Town in April with our list of annual events

Cape Town International Jazz Festival: World-renowned musicians provide a star-studded line-up at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for the continent’s most prestigious jazz festival. It doesn't get much better than this folks; jazz musicians from around the world will converge on the Mother City to spread a little bass-line magic. | +27 21 671 0506 | [email protected]

The Barleycorn Music Festival: Barleycorn’s principal function is to promote the city’s best local, original musicians. The members of the Barleycorn Music Club take centre stage at this annual festival that celebrates all things home-grown and happiness inducing. | +27 (0)82 373 8877

RAMfest:  Celebrating years of Rock ‘n Roll, the festival delivers the hardcore hits that you all love as well as breaking into some new genres that deserve showcasing. Although the 2016 edition was postponed due to the international value of the rand, here’s hoping that RAMfest will return in 2017! | [email protected] | @ramfest


See what else is happening around Cape Town in April with our list of annual events

Easter Vortex: The trance calendar in Cape Town is one of the best in the southern hemisphere and it doesn't get much better than Vortex. | [email protected] | +27 (0)71 468 8339

Nederburg Concerts: The annual Nederburg Concert Series once again features top local and international classical musicians in intimate recitals in the gracious music room at the Nederburg Manor House. The concerts start in April, usually, and run until November with a mix of various talented musicians. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 877 5123 |


See what else is happening around Cape Town in May with our list of annual events

Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival: This community outreach programme supports musical education for school and university students. If you love big bands and big music then this is the event for you. With various concerts featuring extra talented young performers, this festival is made for the jazz appreciator in you. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 794 8193


See what else is happening around Cape Town in June with our list of annual events

Cape Town Marimba Festival: This vibrant festival features some of Cape Town's best marimba bands and culminates in a mass performance with over 120 players on stage. Think Big Band Festival, but with marimba music instead. This funky genre will inject a dose of fun directly into your ears. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 794 8193


See what else is happening around Cape Town in July with our list of annual events

Chamber Music Festival: A selection of international institutions sends student representatives to the festival, who perform in a wide variety of chamber music and orchestral concerts. This musical extravaganza is an annual beacon of audio perfection hosted at Stellenbosch University. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 808 2343  


See what else is happening around Cape Town in August with our list of annual events

Youth Music Festival: Talented young singers and classical musicians are given the chance to perform with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra at the Artscape Theatre. This golden opportunity to see the most promising of musical talents comes round only once a year, so don't miss out. |  [email protected] | +27 21 410 9800

Rock The River: "Build it, and they will come," they said. It was built, the party faithfully followed, and a legend was born! This annual festival has become an institution for lovers of rock music since its inception. | [email protected] | +27 (0)306 975-3175

Sunflower Outdoor Music Festival: Sunflower marks the start of the outdoor trance season, and there is no better way to amp up your September. Sunflower appeals to both trance fans and techno lovers. Grab onto this opportunity to throw off your shoes and dance onside on the grass. A more liberating activity there never was! | [email protected] |+27 (0)82 562 2582

Klein Karoo Klassique: This classic music festival hosted in the Karoo is the highlight of the classical music calendar. It’s charming and lovely, and filled with music from eras gone by. Take a trip down ancient memory lane and listen to the sounds of talented musicians perform works for the world’s greatest musicians. Stay in a B&B and make it a weekend to remember with friends and loved ones. | [email protected] | +27 (0)4420 38640


See what else is happening around Cape Town in September with our list of annual events

Alien Safari Sprung: Sprung is one of the highlights of the trance calendar. This annual trance fest is filled with the joys of spring as it marks the true start of the season. Alien Safari, the reputable trance party organisers, are putting the fun back into funky! | [email protected] | +27 (0)82 741 8981

Earthdance: Earthdance is back in 2016 for its twentieth-anniversary party. This festival that fuses psy-trance and techno music happens on the same weekend all over the world. This event reverts to a three-day two-night in 2016, and let’s hope that they keep that format for yours to come. Peace, love and unity! | [email protected]

Ipotsoyi Spring Festival: South Africa's top dedicated hip-hop music brings in the new outdoor festival season, and it does it with a bang. ‘Ipotsoyi’ In 2015, the event moved to the Ostrich Ranch after being hosted on the streets of Cape Town CBD in the years before. IF hip-hop and R&B are your bests, then this is the devoted festival experience for you! | [email protected]

Wolfkop Weekender – Power Flower Picnic: The Spring edition of the hugely popular Wolfkop Weekender is half music festival and half weekend away. This relaxed musical experience allows you to design your own adventure while enjoying the stunning Wolfkop Camping Village in Citrusdal. | [email protected] | +27 (0) 83 775 0144


See what else is happening around Cape Town in October with our list of annual events

Musiek Oppie LandeThe Musiek-op-die-Land (MOLfees) is held on an annual basis traversing the wheat fields in and around the Swartland town of Malmesbury in the Western Cape. This festival is the place for you if you love the very best in Afrikaans music. | +27 (0)22 487 2000

Rocking the Daisies Music FestivalThis eco-friendly lifestyle festival attracts over 20, 000 people each year. There’s gourmet food and live entertainment galore. This festival really is the ‘it’ festival of the Cape Town calendar. Rocking the Daisies boasts some of the best international acts, and has previously featured The Kooks, Crystal Fighters, the Cat Empire, Rudimental, Milky Chance, MGMT and Alt-J. Don't miss out on the best of the best in October! | [email protected] | +27 (0) 21 461 9822

Franschhoek Classical Music Festival: Get your aural tickling at fine eateries as well as at the Dutch Reformed Church. Expect excellent musicians performing a variety of classics. With venues spanning all over the historic vineyard town of Franschhoek, this festival is for those who love a good glass of wine accompanied by some sensational music. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 876 2861


See what else is happening around Cape Town in November with our list of annual events

Backsberg Picnic Concert Series: Pack your umbrellas, picnic blankets and cooler boxes and enjoy sunset acoustic performances from South Africa's popular musicians. This series is hosted at the historic Backsburg Estate Cellars in Paarl and runs from November to June each year. | [email protected] | +27 21 875 5141

Synergy Live: More than 60 local bands, live acts and top DJs take to the stage at one of the best music festivals around. Play in the water during the day and dance in the moonlight during the night – that sounds like the perfect weekend to us. Check out Synergy for yourself in November this year. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 448 7017

Kirstenbosch Summer Concert Series: A fantastic way to spend a Sunday afternoon in Cape Town. These events are synonymous with the true Capetonian summer, and no concert is complete without a glass of wine. Pack a picnic (and the family) and head over to the stunning Kirstenbosch gardens for both local and international acts throughout the summer months. | [email protected] | +27 (0)12 843 5000 


See what else is happening around Cape Town in December with our list of annual events

Vortex: Every year this event is eagerly anticipated by many people; it’s a weekend to be free, to be wild and, most importantly, to be psychedelic. This annual jaunt in Riviersonderend is one of those festivals you have to see to believe. | [email protected]

River Republic:This weekend away for the young and adventurous is the poster child for summer music festivals in the Cape. It has it all; music, booze, sun, fun and a river. This festival is more intimate than the normal Cape Town summer music bash, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in personality. The organisers go to great lengths to ensure that everyone is happy and safe while they have a lekker time. Oh, a little piece of advice - do not forget your suncream. You will regret it. | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 510 0547

Rezonance New Year’s Eve Festival: Every New Year’s Eve, the people with party in their hearts all convene at an annual jol to welcome in the new-year. Why have you not heard of this before? Well, quite honestly, you must have been living under a rock because this one is big. Killer beats, amazing gees, drinks, friends, sun and all round good vibes – it’s the ideal way to spend NYE! | [email protected] | +27 (0)21 7944 032

Sizzled Summer Music: This little gem of a festival is not just about the music (although that is a big part) it’s also about food! Hosted within Cape Town city limits, this fest is perfectly located for a relaxing vibe event. Listening to some local bands while munching on something delicious sounds like a perfect afternoon, and it only gets better when you throw in an ice cold drink. Perfection. | [email protected] | +27 (0)72 174 9106

Cape Town Events Calendar
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