Cotton Fest Cape Town: 'Still high energy, still great music'

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The stage at the Cotton Fest Johannesburg edition earlier this year.
The stage at the Cotton Fest Johannesburg edition earlier this year.
Photo supplied: Cotton Fest Team
  • The first edition of Cotton Fest Cape Town will be held on 10 December at Paarden Eiland Park.
  • It will be "a little bit more laid-back, a little bit more relaxed. Still high fashion, still high energy, still great music," says director Alain Ferrier.
  • A special moment will be held in honour of Riky Rick on the main stage.


The first edition of Cotton Fest Cape Town is set to take place on 10 December. Audiences can expect all the elements of the Johannesburg version of the festival, "with just a little bit of that Cape-Town feeling and vibe".

This is according to Alain Ferrier, the festival's director.

Compared to the Johannesburg version, the Cape Town edition will be "a little bit more laid-back, a little bit more relaxed. Still high fashion, still high energy, still great music," says Ferrier.

Ferrier launched Cotton Fest with the late rapper Riky Rick. The first edition took place in 2019, he says.

Riky and I have always wanted to expand the festival from a Joburg-only event into a wider-reaching concept. We didn't have a clear idea of when we would do it or exactly how. But we knew we wanted to do it well.


"We always wanted to do two other cities, and Cape Town and Durban were the cities that made the most sense to us," he adds.

Cape Town was one of the main choices for the festival's expansion because Ferrier is originally from Cape Town and has a strong network in the area.

He adds that the expansion to Durban will take place next year. Ferrier and his team are also looking to expand the Cotton Fest brand further by focusing on retail, supporting artists and developing the festival's physical presence.

'A beautiful oasis'

The festival will be held at Paarden Eiland Park. The venue was chosen because it is a space that has "a juxtaposition between a harsh industrial urban environment and a beautiful oasis in the middle," says Ferrier.

He adds that it has a similar atmosphere to the one used in Johannesburg, which is also why it was chosen.

Honouring Riky Rick

In light of Riky Rick's passing earlier this year, Cotton Fest is "putting together a special moment on the main stage for the Cape Town show," says Ferrier.

Riky Rick's wife, Bianca Naidoo, stepped in as festival co-director alongside Ferrier. His brothers were also part of the festival's team, says Ferrier.

According to Ferrier, expanding the festival has had some personal challenges since he was close to Riky Rick.

"Riky and I, we always felt like brothers," says Ferrier. He says that organising the festival's expansion has been hard because he constantly feels faced with self-doubt.

"Are you doing the right thing? Are you doing it the way [Riky] would have liked it? And for me, that is something that I am trying to get right," he says. However, with the wide support the festival's expansion has received, he feels confident that the event will be a success.

READ MORE | Cape Town's inaugural Cotton Fest line-up announced


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