Monday, 9 June 2014

Arts scene in Cape Town

Design fairs, jazz bars, salsa dancing ~ these are just some of the fantastic artsy delights that the World Design Capital of 2014 has in store.

Design fairs

Cape Town's castle hosted its first Kamers Vol Geskenke fair this past weekend and drew crowds of nearly 13000. Against the backdrop of the distinctive castle architecture and the gorgeous Table Mountain, the fair had a lovely bustling atmosphere. The highly successful popup retail event has been held in Stellenbosch in previous years and will be hosted in the Cape Winelands again at the end of the year. 

Kamers 2014

Earlier in the year, the annual Design Indaba, held at the CTICC, was a big affair due to Cape Town's Design Capital status. Hundreds of designers and craftsmen from the full range of the arts were represented. Everything from textiles, ceramics, jewellery, graphics designs and other decor was on display and up for purchase.

Salsa dancing

Cape Town has a lively Salsa dance scene, and 2014 will see our city play host to the second annual Mzansi Salsa Festival in November. There are several dance schools around town, like Just Dancing Salsa and the Salsa Studio. Every weekend the local salsa social scene is bustling and you may even be lucky enough to catch some bachata and kizomba. On Friday nights head to Grand Daddy Hotel, Saturdays to Arriba and Sunday nights Buena Vista.

Live music
The Crypt at St George's
If you enjoy live music, Cape Town is the place for you. The Crypt at St George's Cathedral plays jazz every day (except Sundays) in a cool gothic setting. Another jazz joint with daily performances in various styles is the Piano Bar in De Waterkant. The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra hosts several shows throughout the year. During the summer months, Kirstenbosch botanical gardens and De Waal park host concerts. While the De Waal Park concerts are free, you can find the Kirstenbosch concert tickets on webtickets.

All things artsy
First Thursdays at Michaelis, Lutge, 1000 drawings and New Heritage Gallery

Every first Thursday of the month, the Cape Town CBD entices large crowds to wander the streets from galleries to vintage clothing markets, from art shows and doodle sessions to antique furniture shops. First Thursdays started in November 2012 and is an initiative to draw locals and tourists into the heart of the Mother City to discover her artistic side. Custom maps can be found at most venues and are updated every few months. Third Thursdays takes place (every third Thursday) in the East city. The best part: almost all venues have free wine! Follow First Thursdays on Facebook to get all the updates.

At the beginning of the year, the annual Cape Town Art Fair takes place at the Waterfront. It draws exhibitors and art lovers from across the country.

Film festivals

The Labia theatre, the oldest independent art-repertory cinema in South Africa, runs various film festivals throughout the year, including a documentary film festival this month and a Halloween Horror film festival in October.

Rocky Horror
The Artscape and Baxter theaters host several shows throughout the year, including ballet, opera, musicals and drama. The Baxter is owned and run by the University of Cape Town. Rocky Horror Picture Show is set to run again in 2014 at the Fugard theatre in town. The Maynardville open air theatre puts on shows when the weather permits (mostly during summer months). See also Theatre on the Bay for some local talent. A fantastic theatre dinner experience can be found at Madame Zingara's Theatre of Dreams (in Johannesburg for the autumn/winter months).

Literary things

On the corner of Buitenkant and Roeland Streets you can find the Book Lounge. Curl up with a book on one of the comfy couches nestled between shelves of books and enjoy a cup of good coffee. The Open Book Festival takes place towards the second half of the year and draws some great authors.

Whether you're in town for a few days or you're a local, whether you're into being socially arty or something more refined and dignified, there's something for everyone.

* Note: all photos taken by me and belong to me.

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