Dance the night away at these summer festivals across SA

Things were just warming up with spring, but it's time to dust off your party shoes as we roll on into summer. 

After many complaints about the "confused" weather, it is now safe to say we have escaped the tight clutches of winter.

Welcome, summer with an array of events. It's time to get merry with the many beer and wine festivals set to kick-off as we slide towards the new decade. 

Western Cape


Robertson Wine on the river

Robertson winery and Nedbank have partnered to bring you a showcase of some of the finest wines, the festival offers unique wine and food tasting experiences. Get lost in the different stalls that showcase local produce and beautiful keepsakes, while listening to live music.

A dedicated children’s area will offer activities for all ages and the popular boat cruise will be on hand with leisurely river trips or book a wine safari ride to take you to nearby farms. A glamping package is available inclusive of tickets, transport, wine and more.

When: 11 - 13 October 2019

Where: Goudmyn Farm, Robertson

Cost: R150 – R350 tickets available from Howler.

Full Moon Picnic-Taal Monument

You don’t need to cry for the moon to make a perfect evening out possible. Simple join the Afrikaans Language Monument’s friendly staff on a beautiful spring evening on the picturesque Paarl Mountain to celebrate the first Full Moon Picnic of the summer season.

Guests are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets or pre-order one (R300 for two people, or R400 with a basket included) at the Volksmond Coffee Shop. Volksmond will be open for coffee, light refreshments and pizza. Be sure to dress warmly and bring a torch.

When: 12 October 2019

Where: Taalmonument

Cost: Adults: R40 / SA Students: R10 / Children: R5

taalmonument, summer events, festivals, travel

                       (Photo: Supplied)

Stellenbosch Craft Beer Festival

Unknown locations are the best venues for festivals and the Stellenbosch Craft Beer Festival proves this to be true, enjoy the best of local craft beer and live music on a hot summer's day with friends. The incredible scenery adds a wow factor to the picnic - style festival. You won't have to drink on an empty stomach because food trucks will be lined up ready to present you with proudly South African treats.

When: 12 October 2019

Where: Jan Marais Nature Reserve, Stellenbosch

Cost: Adults: R105, includes branded 500ml glass or R90 includes plastic 500ml cup / Children 12 – 17 years: R65 / children 0 – 12 years: Free

Galileo Open Air Cinema

Picture yourself lying under the stars, a picturesque backdrop and watching your favorite movie. Sounds great? Check out Galileo Open Air Cinema and relive moments from movies such as Grease and The Devil Wears Prada. Arrive before the movie starts to secure your spot on the lawn, blankets and backrests are available for hire and food vendors will be scattered all around the location you’re also welcome to bring your picnic basket.

Check out the movie line up so you can book your ticket before it sells out!

When: 16 October 2019

Where: Wednesday - Thursday: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens / Friday - Saturday: rotating venues.

Cost: R109 - R195 

Mindful Drinking Festival 

Have you ever wanted to attend a beer festival but you don't well, drink? Mindful Drinking festival is the first of its kind and it will feature a wide variety of new and exciting alcohol-free drinks, and some established favorites, including beers, wines and botanical spirits, natural juices, kombuchas, coffees and other concoctions.

There will be free samples, a variety of healthy food stalls, a blind-tasting event for the public and live music including Zolani Mahola of Freshlyground fame.

When: 20 October 2019

Where: Kirstenbosch Stone Cottages 

Cost: R100

summer events, festivals, travel, lifestyle

                       (Photo: Supplied)

Festival of Art in Franschhoek

Franschhoek is opening up its doors once again to art lovers for a weekend of exquisite exhibitions from local talent. Browse the galleries situated along the village’s main road, and within comfortable walking distance from each other. Alternatively choose to view the artworks on display at some of the wine farms, which include Grande Provence and La Motte purchase a bottle of wine and add an extra touch to your cultural outing.

When: 25 - 27 October 2019

Where: Franschhoek

Cost: Free

International Tequila Festival

Cape Town gets to play host to the amazing festival featuring food, drinks, music & masterclasses! Welcome summer with some Mexican flair and enjoy the First Tequila, Mezcal and other tequila infused cocktails. The city's finest food trucks will be available at the festival, if you are not big on tequila you can always eat the day away and enjoy the live music.

When: 2 - 3 November 2019

Where: Greenpoint Stadium

Cost: R150 - R235 / Three day pass: R399, get your tickets to avoid the FOMO.

Stellenberg Gardens Open Day

The internationally acclaimed open gardens have returned and are opening their doors to the public to enjoy beautiful landscapes. The gardens have matured over the years but the heritage climbing roses that cover the white walls and lush lawns help create the whimsical scenery making the gardens a sight to behold even after 30 years.

When: 9-10 November 2019

Where: Kenilworth

Cost: Adults: R50 / Children under 12: Free / Garden Tea: R30, tickets available at the gate, cash only.

Agulhas Triangle Wine Festival

Once a year – for one day only – the wineries from Africa’s southernmost corner around Cape Agulhas come together to deliver a feast of flavours distinctive of this extreme wine-growing area. Acquaint yourself with wine makers and proudly South African flavors.

When: 9 November 2019

Where: Elim, Cape Agulhas

Cost: R160

Stellenbosch Street Soirées: November Edition

Stellenbosch comes alive on selected Wednesdays with food and wine pop-ups around town. Enjoy warm nights restaurant hopping and tasting gourmet meals with friends but if you want to stick true to the street festival theme enjoy produce from stalls lined along the route.

Each Stellenbosch Street Soiree features a different selection of cellars and street fare caterers, entry fee gets you a glass and 12 wine tasting tokens. Food dishes are priced individually by vendors. The street party is open to children, just don't keep them past their bedtime. 

When: 13 November - 27 November 2019

Where: Stellenbosch

Cost: R150

Liefde by die Dam

The popular annual Liefde by die Dam concert at Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg is slowly invading the Cape Town shores and stealing the hearts of residents. The concert named after Valiant Swart's famous hit song with the same name, strives to serve as a platform to showcase the best local music. The program features music for young and old, making it an ideal day out with your family or friends. 

Eight top South African artists and bands will be performing on an amazing stage in a picnic-style setting. The stellar line- up includes Die Heuwels Fantasties, Francois van Coke, Early B, Arno Carstens, Majozi, Karlien van Jaarsveld, Snotkop and Loki Rothman.

When: 16 November 2019

Where: Meerendal, Durbanville

Cost: General: R195 / Children 3-12: R75 / Children under 3: Free

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts

The summer concerts are back and the weather is obliging. What could be better than an afternoon spent at Kirstenbosch gardens singing along to your favorite tunes, bring along a blanket and enjoy the festivities picnic-style.

When: 17 November 2019 – March 2020

Where: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

Cost: TBC

Mullineux Food & Wine Dinner

Join Twelve Apostles at their final wine evening dinner, treat your taste buds to a minimal and natural taste of the Mullineux wines. It is like luxury in a glass.

When: 29 November 2019

Where: Azure Restaurant, Twelve Apostles Hotel

Cost: R695 (includes food, wine, water)

Cape Town Festival of beer 

The Cape Town Festival of Beer is in its tenth year and once again takes place at Hamilton’s Rugby Club in Green Point. The Festival delivers the ultimate beer experience and is the largest festival of commercially available beer in the southern hemisphere. For the beer lovers, the beer aficionados and the newbies, the range of cider and beers available is unparalleled in South Africa.

When: 29 November 2019 - 1 December 2019

Where: Hamilton's Rugby Club, Green Point

Cost: R150 per person (standard entrance ticket and 10 taster tokens)

Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival

Experience the "magic of bubbles" at the two-day champagne festival. Some of the finest MCC and French champagne will be available for sampling, you get to mingle with the producers as you sip on their best creations and feast on the treats on offer.

The festival is an experience from start to finish, the theme for this year is Black and White, with a prize awarded to the best dressed couple on each day.

When: 30 November - 1 December 2019

Where: Huguenot Monument, Franschhoek

Cost: Saturday pass: R395 / Weekend pass: R495

Sundowner Gin & Jazz event

Start the evening with a welcome drink and light snacks, before settling down to a spectacular sunset and live Jazz in this magnificent setting. Bring along your own blankets and cushions, if you are having too much fun extend your stay and book for dinner afterwards.

When: 11 December 2019

Where: 12 Apostles Hotel

Cost: R295

Twelve apostles, summer events, festivals, travel

Bubbly and Gin Summer Festival

Charcuterie, cheese platters, tapas, pizzas and of course gin, gin and more gin! The gin and bubbly festival combines South Africa's top MCC's and craft beer to bring you an experience that will leave your tastebuds tingling even days after the event. It would not be a great festival without live entertainment and food galore, enjoy authentic gin and a star studded line-up with your family and friends. 

When: 14 December 2019

Where: Atlantic Beach Country Club, Melkbosstrand

Cost: R165 - R195 

Gabriëlskloof’s Favourite Things Market

This stylish annual pop-up affair at the Overberg's wine estate-on-the-hill offers just that: multiple unique, creative and contemporary exhibitors offering all things handmade, homemade, delicious, fresh and beautiful. A tastefully curated Christmas time treat, this market is the spot to be seen at, while stocking up on some rare, must-have finds.

When: 13 - 15 December 2019

Where: Gabriëlskloof Estate 

Cost: Friday: R100 per person / Saturday and Sunday: Free

festivals, summer events, travel

                                            (Photo: Supplied)                     


TOPS at SPAR Wine Show

The TOPS at SPAR wine show tour is continuing and this time it is in Pretoria, the show offers wine lovers in attendance an opportunity to learn about wine varietals, wine-making processes, wine pairings and delicacies to go along with the excellent range of drinks.

When: 3 - 5 October 2019

Where: Pretoria

Cost: General access: R185 (R200 at the door) / Couples Combo – R385 / Weekend Pass – R280 (for Friday and Saturday session

CAN DO! In The City

Head out to Joburg's hottest inner city festival featuring an equally hot line-up of live performances. The drop and go services offered leave little to no room for excuses. Enjoy the great weather and good company, food and drinks will be sold at the venue.

When: 6 October 2019

Where: Ellis Park

Cost: R495 - R595

Platteland Oktoberfest

The first Oktober Fest kicks off in Gauteng, there will be beer stands galore but you don't just have to drink and walk around, you can participate in the fun drinking games too. The festival caters for wine lovers and foodies of note.

When: 12 October 2019

Where: Centurion

Cost: R120 - R160 

RMB WineX Festival

Join the rest of Joburg's wine enthusiasts at this year's edition of the popular wine show, experience a wine selection from the big brands to boutique wineries with deli goodies suitable for wine pairing. If you love the exhibited products so much you get the opportunity to order your favorites for home delivery.

When: 30 October - 1 November 2019

Where: Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton

Cost: R180 - R240

Nappy Run Fun Run

Join the Nappy Run campaign and help raise money for 55 000 nappies to donate to children with disabilities. The fun run is a triple threat event, you help charity by attending, you keep fit and healthy and you have the best time doing all of them.

When: 2 November 2019

Where: Johannesburg Zoo

Cost: Adults: R100 / Children: R60

fun run, summer events, travel, lifestyle

                       (Photo: Supplied)

The Gin and Tonic Festival

Different venue, same great festival, the Gin and Tonic festival is making a reappearance in Johannesburg, old craft gins as well as the more new brands will be available purely for your enjoyment. Artisan food stalls and live music will be part of the experience to tantalize all of your senses.

When: 30 November 2019

Where: Victoria Yards

Cost: Early Bird tickets: R135 per person / General Admission tickets: R165 per person

Soweto Ink Tattoo Convention

The Soweto Ink Crew, will be hosting the fourth annual Convention African tattoo culture and lifestyle event. The convention includes entertainment and seminars aimed at empowering tattoo artists. Alternative lifestyle culture, entertainment, art stalls, food trucks, kiddie area, live bands, performance’s, you can even get a tattoo done by local and international artists.

Competition time: During the convention, artists will be judged on their artworks by a panel of judges and 1 skilled artist will be announced the winners of the Soweto Ink Festival 2019

When: 30 November - 1 November 2019

Where: GOG Gardens, Soweto

Cost: R559


Every year South Africans gather to celebrate culture, music and fashion. Welcome the new year and summer dancing along to your favorite international and local artist's hits surrounded by people from all walks of life. Dress for the ocassion and celebrate what makes you unique at the annual festival.

When: 30 - 31 December

Where: Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

Cost: General Access two day pass: R1,100 / General access single day: R600 

Stanford Hills Summer Concert: Louise Carver and Ross Learmonth

With views of the mountains and valley, people can bring their camping chairs and blankets and chill out after the Christmas / New Year mania. There will be a gin and tonic bar, food trucks with a variety of options vegetarian and vegan included and Stanford Hills’ own exceptional wine selection.

Please bring old blankets to sit on, as there will be an Animal Welfare collection point on the day for you to drop them off after the show they will then be delivered to the shelter.

When: 3 January 2020

Where: Stanford Hilld Estate

Cost: Adults: R195 / Children under 12: R95

summer events, travel, concert

                       (Photo: Supplied)


Pietermaritzburg Food Festival

Spend the day with your family at the food festival and feast on a variety of local cuisine. The celebration of diversity is evident in the different meals prepared by local chefs, enjoy the good music and the dazzling arts and crafts showing the rich culture of the Zulu nation and South Africa as a whole.

When: 5 October 2019

Where: Golden Horse Casino, Pietermaritzburg

Cost: R40 - R120

Oyster and Bubbly Festival

Be a part of the first annual Oyster and Bubbly festival, if you like the finer things in life then this is for you but if you have not tasted oysters before do not feel left out, there is no better time to try the delicacy with over 25 of the best bubblies to pair with. This one-night extravaganza is sensory heaven.

When: 14 December 2019

Where: The Pearls of Umhlanga Mall, Durban.

Cost: R200

A platter of fresh organic raw oysters on ice at r

                        (Photo: iStock) 

Litchi Festival

This festival is about, family, fun and basking in the sun while enjoying the delicious flavors of litchi. Visitors can enjoy a tractor ride into the scenic orchards to pick the litchis, while sampling as many as they can possibly fit in, picking will end when there are no more fruits to pick so grab as much as you can. Food and refreshments will be sold at the venue and you are welcome to bring your own blankets for seating.

When: 15 - 31 December 2019

Where: Salt Rock

Cost: R150

Loskop Music Festival

Loskop music picnic is the best place to be for supporters of local music, the festival features some of the best South African acts and also brings light to some of the upcoming unknown musicians.

When: 29 December 2019

Where: Loskop Motel

Cost: R150


Macufe Festival

The Mangaung African Cultural Festival brings Bloemfontein alive every year with different sounds from hip-hop to jazz bringing the best of South African and international talent together. You do not have to worry about missing out, the concert lasts an impressive 10 days but you would need to know on which day your favorite is performing.

When: 4 - 13 October 2019

Where: Old Grey Sports Club,  Bloemfontein

Cost: R350

Mangaung Rose Festival

When: 18 - 20 October 2019

Where: Urth Garden Centre, Bloemfontein

Cost: TBC

Ficksburg Cherry Festival

The cherry capital of the world is inviting you to an unforgettable experience, the small town of Ficksburg springs to life every year with their renowned cherry festival, if you go to the event cherry picking is included. Take home a basket of the fruits and relive the festival fever right in your kitchen.

When: 21 - 23 November 2019

Where: Ficksburg

Cost: Adults: R40 - R70 / Children: R30 - R40

Free State Beach Party

Nothing beats spending a hot summer's day in cool water, join the Free State beach party. This year's gathering is called the Greek edition, take it up a notch and dress as a Greek god- a modern Greek god in a bikini dancing to house music.

When: 16 December 2019

Where: Kroonstad

Cost: R169


Oktober Fest Lowveld

If you would like to travel to Germany but your bank account is not agreeing with you the Oktober fest will scratch that itch with a variety of craft beer stalls and traditional German cuisine made by local celebrity chefs. Various artists will be performing their hot singles and even premiering new hits, head out there and enjoy the music of Heuwels Fantastie as you play beer pong.

When: 11 - 12 October 2019

Where: Nelspruit

Cost: General admission: R150 - R170 / Weekend pass: R300

Emalahleni LGBTQ Color Festival

Join Emalahleni as they celebrate their first annual pride color festival and celebrate the beauty of diversity, come out in all of your brightest colors and mingle with like minded people. Enjoy great music, activities and sip on rainbow colored cocktails, it is a celebration of love and community!

When: 26 - 27 October 2019

Where: Witbank Klipfontein Dam, eMalahleni

Cost: R100 - R150

Rocking Down The Highway

Ultimate Rock Productions are back with another Rocking Down the Highway production. Country meets rock on this tribute production, you can sing and dance along to music from as early as the 60s to Lady Gaga. Josh Ansley (The Voice SA) will be part of the long list of live performers, the show has been known to sell out so you might want to hurry and purchase your tickets.

When: 2 November 2019

Where: The Barnyard, White River

Cost: R150

TOPS at SPAR Wine Show Nelspruit

The best wine show tour continues in the city near you, some of South Africa's best cellars take center stage and you get the front row seat, be prepared to be tantalized for two whole days.

When: 28 - 30 November 2019

Where: The Arena at Emnotweni Casino, Nelspruit

Cost: General access: R185 / Weekend pass: R280

Eastern Cape

Summerwood Outdoor Cinema & Picnic Under the Stars

Watching movies at the cinema has become incredibly expensive so why not trade it in for an open air cinema experience with your whole family, bring along blankets, sleeping bags or camp chairs, anything that you will be comfortable in and enjoy scrumptious movie meals. This will be one of the few times you can munch on a boerie roll at the cinema.

When: 4 October 2019

Where: Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth

Cost: Adult: R60 / Children 2 - 13 years: R30

Group of young friends watching a movie on a build

                       (Photo: iStock)

Annual Penguin Festival Port Elizabeth

The African penguin is an endangered species and you can help highlight the plight of the majestic birds when you attend the annual festival. Sit along the beach and watch as rehabilitated penguins are released back to the wild, your heart is bound to be warm as you watch them waddle into the ocean. The festival is jam packed with education and entertainment including a designated craft beer and wine area, fun rides for children, educational exhibits and amazing food prepared by honorary rangers.

When: 5 October 2019

Where: Cape Recife Nature Reserve, Port Elizabeth

Cost: Adults: R50 / Children under 12: R30 / Pensioners: R30

St Francis Bay Oktober Fest

The St Francis will be hosting beer lovers for this german-themed event, which is taking place over their Wildflower Festival Week-end, if you are lucky you can attend both festivals and make the most of your weekend. You might want to put a lot of effort into your outfit because prizes will be up for grabs for best dressed.

When: 12 October 2019

Where: Cape St Francis Resort, St Francis

Cost: R100 - R200

Bedford Garden Festival 2019

If you thought there was not much fun to be had in the midlands the Bedford Garden Festival is here to prove you wrong. For three days you and your nature-loving friends can meander through well manicured paths at the Olivewoods garden, explore country roads and other hidden gems in the small town. Light lunches will be served and you are welcome to picnic in one of the other open gardens throughout the village.

When: 18 - 20 October 2019

Where: Bedford

Cost: Free

TOPS at SPAR Wine Show East London

It is East London's turn to experience the summer "winederland", the show allows enthusiasts and new wine drinkers the opportunity to learn about the Cape winelands' influence in the growing industry from big brands and wine makers and to enjoy some homemade treats. Hopefully this will be the first of many tours to East London.

When: 7 - 9 November 2019

Where: East London

Cost: R135 - R185

Festival of Lights - Nieu Bethesda

End the year on a high note as you release lanterns into the sky at the festival of lights. The festival begins with a performance in the courtyard to get your energy levels up, from the centre's courtyard theatre right through the township where community members join in the fun.

You can make your own lantern or choose one that is already made at the centre, have the last braai of the year with your friends and family. Get enough rest before the festival because the dancing lasts until midnight.

When: 31 December 2019

Where: Nieu Bethesda

Cost: Free

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