Music Festivals in South Africa

by Travelbag on 28 May 2015, 10:05AM

The “Rainbow Nation” has as diverse a range of music festivals as its name suggests, with both established events that attract the masses to more niche celebrations of specific genres and sounds favoured by music fans in South Africa.

SA Fest

Cape Town Jazz Festival is the country’s most prestigious festival, attracting over 30,000 people every year to a world-class line-up of local and international artists, spread out across five stages over two days. The event takes place every March and is preceded by a free outdoor concert in Cape Town.

On the other end of the spectrum is a rather more left-field option that can be found in late-April at Stonehenge Farm in the Karoo desert. AkrikaBurn brings together art, music, food other cultural interests in what is considered by some to be Africa’s answer to Burning Man.

Rocking The Daisies has become one of South Africa’s fastest-growing festivals and is geared more towards the rock music crowd, taking place every October near Darling. With its scenic setting, surrounded by mountains, there’s even a pre-festival “Walking the Daisies” event for those wishing to travel to the party on foot, although it's not a journey for the faint-hearted. Oppikoppi in Northam, Limpopo is an even larger (some say the largest festival in South Africa) and even more rock-dedicated annual event, taking place every August, and blends world-renowned rock, metal and punk bands with local and emerging acts. Want something heavier still? Ramfest is the country’s premier metal festival, and takes place every March in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

A mountainous locale also hosts Splashy Fen every April on Splashy Fen Farm, Underberg in KwaZulu-Natal. As a festival popular with families, it unites the usually divergent genres of folk, rap, rock and more to create a truly eclectic and inclusive mix of artists every summer and is South Africa’s longest-running music festival.

If you want to take a load off as well as enjoy some great live music then Up The Creek could be your perfect music festival. Taking place in late-January, this far more small-scale chilled-out event offers attendees the chance to laze about on an inflatable as they float on a lake with drink in-hand while watching performers at this unique festival in Swellendam, Western Cape.

Dance music fans in South Africa should head to Vortex at Circle of Dreams, Riveriersonderend, Western Cape where trance music is king in a three day extravaganza of back-to-back DJ sets every December.

Click here to read more about South Africa.

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