Events in the city

Cape Town hosts a wide range of local and international events – from concerts and community-based events to business conferences and international sports tournaments. Discover some of these below and join us as we celebrate all our city has to offer.

 

Tweede Nuwejaar celebrations

Culture and creativity

  •  Cape Town Fringe Festival (Sept/Oct): a platform for young, independent artists and independent arts companies to make their voices heard. The Fringe Festival will use both formal and non-traditional performance space and host a range of productions that will move, excite, enthral and captivate the audiences.
  • Cape Town International Jazz Festival (Mar): the continent’s biggest jazz event with around 35 000 people from across Africa and the world attending the event. The festival offers a blend of national and international jazz artists and takes place over two nights on five stages.
  • Cape Town Biennial (Feb/Mar): GRID is an international photography biennial celebrating contemporary visual culture and offers a wide range of exhibitions by renowned artists and new talents. The biennial creates a platform for photographers, curators, creatives, educational projects and the public with the goal to stimulate an international dialogue about current developments in society and visual art.
  • Infecting the City (Mar): Cape Town’s public spaces are transformed into a vibrant backdrop for ‘Infecting the City’, a citywide arts festival, with residents playing a central role in some productions. Infecting the City brings together artists from across the world, telling stories using dance, music and photography. Some of the works are based on audience participation which really allows city residents to get involved in, and even influence the final product. 
  • Open Design Cape Town (Aug): workshops, talks, exhibitions, tours, networking events, and parties are all on offer. The aims of the festival are: to teach; inspire strong design thinking; and encourage people from all walks of life with an interest in design to share their ideas or take part.
  • Suidoosterfees (Apr): a variety of performances, musical shows, historical tours and art exhibitions which take place at three main venues: Cape Town City Hall, The Fugard Theatre, and the Artscape Theatre.
  • Tweede Nuwejaar (Jan): Minstrels, Malay Choirs and Christmas Bands … The day traditionally sees entire communities taking part in the colourful celebrations. The iconic Grand Parade features a stage and screen in front of City Hall, grandstand seating, a food court, a prayer room and vendors. On-stage entertainers, selected by the minstrels to represent Cape Town’s rich cultural diversity, entertain the crowds.
Cape Town Cycle Tour

Sports

  • Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (Apr): The event, known as the world’s most beautiful marathon, takes place in Cape Town over the Easter weekend every year. Runners are able to take part in the 56km ultra marathon, the popular 21km half marathon and the 5km or 2.5km fun runs.
  • Cape Town Cycle Tour (Mar): The world’s largest timed cycle race, the Cape Town Cycle Tour, takes place in March annually. Around 30 000 riders set out on a route of close to 109kms winding around the Cape Peninsula.
  • ABSA Cape Epic (Mar): referred to as the “Tour de France” of mountain biking, it takes place annually in mid-March. The eight-day event includes approximately 698km of biking and takes riders along the Western Cape’s breath-taking mountain passes.
  • Cape 2 Rio (Jan): This yacht race was started 45 years ago, and runs from Cape Town to various destinations in South America. It is the longest continent-to-continent yacht race in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Triathlon South Africa: The Cape Town leg of the race will serve as a stop on the eight-city tour, which starts in Auckland, New Zealand. The heart of the event takes place at the Race Village at the V&A Waterfront’s Look Out venue, which features a lifestyle exhibition and grandstands from where the public will have a clear view of the finish line. 
  • Lion of Africa Cape Town Open (Nov): The inaugural event was played in 2012, bringing big-time professional golf back to the Mother City after an absence of over a decade. Cape Town boasts some of the country’s top golf courses with more than 10 clubs within a 20-minute drive of the CBD.

Business and innovation

  • Africa Travel Week (Apr): three co-located shows -the World Travel Market Africa; the International Luxury Travel Market Africa; and the Incentives, Business Travel and Meetings Africa event. 
  • Design Indaba (Feb/Mar): driven by a passion for innovative work with a strong local flavour. This annual design festival has been credited with helping build Cape Town as an international design destination. It consists of the Design Indaba Conference, the Design Indaba Expo, FilmFest and Music Circuit. The Design Indaba Festival showcases and supports worldwide design talent from all creative sectors. 
  • Mining Indaba (Feb): attracts roughly 7,800 professionals, including top economists, mining analysts and financiers, representing more than 1,500 international companies from over 100 countries. Established over twenty years ago, it is the world’s largest mining investment conference. 
  • SA Innovation Summit (Aug): spans all aspects of innovation; 32-45 speakers participate in the conference and their concepts are echoed in the Market on the Edge. The market functions as an exhibition area and takes the participant into a space where innovation is in action; where the pitchers in the Pitching Den pitch for support, the Inventors Garage showcase prototypes and new traders sell their innovative products.

Community-driven events

  • Cape Town Carnival (Mar): Cape Town streets are set to explode with colour, floats and dancers when the Cape Town Carnival takes place in March. The carnival is a colourful expression of our diverse communities. It is a celebration of the way in which residents and the City can work and come together to experience and celebrate the cultural diversity of our city.
  • Community Chest fair (Mar/Apr): This annual charity fair takes place over four days. The event features foods from around the world and top-notch entertainment including a pop-up cinema, live music, big school bands, and more.
  • Community Chest fun run (Dec): Families and friends join forces to enter teams as do schools, NGOs, municipal departments, large corporates and small businesses. The money raised is worked back into communities across the Western Cape. Citizens and visitors are encouraged to support the event by entering the run or cheering on participants as they make their way through the CBD. The Twilight Team Run is one of the city’s most colourful fun runs.
  • St Luke’s Hospice (Nov): This fundraising event consists of two 8km and a 15km trail run. The trail run’s ultimate aim is to raise money for St Luke’s Hospice so they can keep caring for the terminally ill.

Source: City of Cape Town