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South Africa is the vibrant host of hundreds of events every year ranging from international sports events and music concerts to local wine tastings and urban markets.

 Many of these events and festivals are perfect for the whole family, while others are a little more exclusive. This is the ideal destination for such a range of events because the climate is temperate, the cities and towns are unique and full of character, and the infrastructure is equipped to handle the influx of visitors that love supporting the festivities.

South Africa is also a country of massive cultural diversity and, to celebrate this, there are many fun and inspiring events. The National Art Festival  in Grahams town is touted as being the largest annual arts festival in Africa, while the Design Indaba in Cape Town is a massive testimony to the incredibly progressive world of international design in all of its multifaceted genres. Other very popular cultural events include the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and Afrikaburn.

 

  • The National Art festival

The festival runs for 11 days, from the last week of June to the first week of July every year. It takes place in the small university city of Grahams town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

The NAF comprises of a Main program and a Fringe festival, both administered by the National Arts Festival Office, a nonprofit  Section 21 Company. The Festival programme includes performing arts like theatre, dance, stand-up comedy  live music, visual art exhibitions, films, talks and workshops, a large food and craft fair and historical tours of the city. 

The NAF runs a children’s arts festival over the same period and a number of other festivals take place in Makhanda over the period of the NAF, such as the National Youth Jazz Festival .

Performances take place across the city in approximately 60 venues such as theatre’s, churches, schools as well as in various outdoor locations for the street performances.

The Festival attracts significant numbers of local and international visitors and is one of the biggest contributors to the economy of the region.

A committee of curators in the various disciplines selects the content of the main program. The planning process takes into account what is available locally and from outside South Africa. Three considerations that influence decisions are the artistic merits of any submission, the creation of a varied and balanced program, and the costs involved. The Committee strives for excellence in all aspects of the program, an approach that has assisted in bringing in sponsorship money for world class shows from a number of foreign governments and large multinational corporations.

 The Fringe is  another of activity which is  equally footing with the Main Festival. Seasoned performers and famous directors can just as easily be found on either program, and a slot on the main program one year does not preclude a return to the Fringe the next. The distinguishing feature of the Fringe is that it is open to all and exempt from the selection process that applies to the main program. Fringe participants are responsible for their own costs and 85% of their box office sales accrue to them directly. They are liable for certain payments for venue hire and registration fees.

 

  • The Cape Town Jazz Festival 

Another festival celebrated in South Africa.

The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is an annual music festival  held in Cape Town , South Africa . The first one was held in 2000 to 2005 and is recognized as the fourth largest jazz festival in the world and the largest jazz festival on the African continent . The festival was called the Cape Town North Sea Jazz Festival due to its association with the North Sea Jazz Festival  in the Netherlands.

The festival has grown since it first started in 2000, and as a result, attendance has also grown from 14,000 concert goers in 2000 to 34,000 concert goers in 2013.From its inception to 2003, the event was held at the Good Hope Centre but it outgrew the venue, so from 2004, the festival has since been hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Center.

 

  • Knysna Oyster Festival 

The Knysna Oyster Festival is the perfect combination of sport, food and family time. It consists of fun sports challenges, live entertainment, food and wine stalls. The festival offers a diverse program of sport, gourmet offerings and family activities, and attracts more than 50 000 visitors to Knysna every year. 

The varied program caters for all ages and interests. The BIG5 Sport Challenge is most certainly one of South Africa’s most scenic multi disciplinary competitions, and it includes cycling, running, trail running, swimming and paddling. The Momentum Weekend Argus Knysna Cycle Tour, as well as the Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon are two of the most popular events on the cycle and running calendars. Combine these with the iconic Featherbed Trail Run, the Momentum Health Oatwell, as well as a multiple events featuring oysters, wine and great food, and this is definitely one of the best options for your midyear break.

 

  • Splashy Fen Music Festival 

This festival was established in 199. It is South Africa’s longest running music festival which every Easter attracts thousands of people to a farm near Underberg Kwazulu Natal for a unique outdoor music experience.

 Also present are arts and crafts stalls, food and drink outlets, crèche and children’s entertainment program as well as various camping and accommodation options. The most recent festival took place from the 18th to 22th April 2019.

 

  • Cape Town Minstrel Carnival Festival

Popularly known as Kaapse Klopse is a Cape colored  minstrel festival that takes place annually on 2 January in Cape Town , South Africa. It is also referred to as Tweede Nuwe jaar  the Second New Year. As many as 13,000 minstrels take to the streets garbed in bright colors, either carrying colorful umbrellas or playing an array of musical instruments. 

The minstrels are self organized into  Kaapse Afrikaans but more accurately translated as troupes in English. The custom has been preserved since the mid 19th century till now.

People consider the festival a rite of renewal that has been shaped by the Cape’s history. The events that are associated with Klopse in the festive season include competitions for the Christmas Choirs, Cape Malay Choirs and Cape minstrel choirs.

 

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