Upcoming Events and Festivals in South Africa (2020)
The festive season may have come to an abrupt end, but that does not mean the festivities have to end here. There is a whole year to plan for and we’re here to help you do it. South Africa has some amazing social activities happening all year round in each province. From music festivals and markets to sports tournaments and celebrations.
We’ve curated a list of events and festivals month by month to help you make the most of your long weekends
The Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts| Cape Town | 12 January-5 April 2020
Pack your picnic bag and a blanket, the Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are perfect for the whole family or a group of friends looking to enjoy some good music by some of South Africa’s finest musicians and artists. The concerts are also hosted in one of the world’s greatest botanic gardens, nestled along the eastern slopes of one of the 7 Wonders of the World. Couple this with great company and great music and you’ll be making memories to last a lifetime.
The Pinor Celebration| Hermanus| 24-25 January 2020
If you’re a wine lover or maker, the Pinor Celebration in Hermanus is the perfect festival for you. The festival celebrates South Africa’s beloved premium export wine and offers bespoke tastings, network opportunities and seminars. If you’re interested in learning about wine while celebrating South Africa’s finest winemakers, then you should make your way to Hermanus on the 24th January 2020.
The Cricket Test Series| Johannesburg| 24 January 2020
The cricket test series takes place at the Wanderers Stadium in Illovo Johannesburg. South Africa vs England Cricket Test Series takes place on the 24th of January. You may buy tickets for as little as R100 to attend.
Sun Met Horse Race| 1 February | Kenilworth Race Course
Photo by: Daniel Coetzee
The Sun Met Horse Race is the most glamorous event of the year. This is the ideal time to trade in your jeans, sneakers and slops for a day filled with ball gowns, three-piece tailored suits and over the top hats. The Sun Met Horse Race gives all the fashionistas a chance to shine. Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment. If you’re travelling in for this event, make sure you book your car rental or transfer well in advance.
Get Ready For Up the Creek| Swellendam| 6-9th February
Up The Creek is South Africa’s second-longest-running outdoor music fest, running for 30 years and counting. At the fest, you will enjoy four days of excellent music and camping or glamping, whichever you prefer. If you’re a lover of music and an adventure enthusiast, Up The Creek, won’t fail to disappoint you.
It’s a Love Thing| Cape Town| 14 February
Are you in Cape Town during the month of love and contemplating what you can do in the city? We have a pretty good idea, for just over a hundred rand you can treat your partner to enjoy a night of music and revelry. Annually, Robin Pieter’s hosts “It’s a Love Thing” and bring together a surprise act of musicians, such as Paxton, Nur Abrahams, Lira and Belinda Davids. Make sure you book your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment.
Clarens Craft Beer Festival| Clarens Village Square| 21-22 February
This one is for the music and beer lovers. Head to the cosy Clarens for a fun family day trip or with a group of friends. This year, the Clarens Craft Beer Festival celebrates its 10 years anniversary, you can book a weekend pass for just R255.
Design Indaba|Cape Town| 26 February
The Design Indaba has been acclaimed as the best design conference in the world. Every year creatives, designers, writers and artists. If you’re interested in networking and meeting other creatives and industry leaders, you should make your way to the Design Indaba in February.
Ultra South Africa| Ostrich Farm (CPT) AND Nasrec (JHB)| 28-29 February 2019
Ultra needs no introduction. It is one of the biggest electronic music festivals to grace our shores. The star-studded line-up includes the likes of DJ Black Coffee, Steve Aoki, Dash Berlin, Afrojack and a host of other artists.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour| Cape Town | 8 March
The Cape Town stadium will once again become the focal point for local and international cyclist. This year the 42nd Cape Town Cycle Tour race takes place on the 8th of March 2020 and kicks off in the shadow of the 7th Wonder of the World, Table Mountain. The cyclist will then make their way through Constantia, Glencairn, Noordhoek, Kalk Bay, Simonstown and more. Entry fee starts at 470.
Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK)| Oudtshoorn| 24-29 March
Once a year, theatre students, artist, creatives and theatre lovers, gather in the charming Klein Karoo for a fun-filled celebration of music, arts and culture. Book your accommodation and rent a car as early as possible to avoid disappointments.
Cape Town Internation Jazz Festival | Cape Town| 27-28 March
The Cape Town International Jazz Fest is back at the Convention Centre this year. There will also be a free concert in Green Markert Square. This year’s line-up includes Abdullah Ibrahim, Lira, Ndlovu Youth Choir, Lady Zamar and many other internationally acclaimed artists.
Splashy Fen Music Festival | Pietermaritzburg|9-13th April
If you’re up for a bit of adventure, head to the Splashy Fen Farm in PMB to experience South Africa’s oldest and longest-running music festival. You will choose from five different stages and family activities like food stalls and camping. Secure your weekend pass ahead of time. Tickets start at R740.
The Two Oceans Marathon| Cape Town| 10-11 April
The Two Oceans Marathon around one of the world’s most scenic drives is back. Over 30 000 runners locally and internationally gather in Cape Town to take part in the biggest race in South Africa. You can choose to take part in the ultra-marathon or the half-marathon. You also have the option to run for charity on race day.
Suidoosterfees| Cape Town| 27 April
If you’re big on theatre, music and captivating conversations, then the Suidoosterfees is ideal for you. Here, you will witness the best of Cape Town talent and authentic Cape Town stories through performance art and music. This event also provides a platform for a local artist to showcase their talents.
AfrikaBurn|Tankwa Karoo National Park| 27 April-3 May
AfrikaBurn is one of the biggest highlights of the creative calendar. Local and international travellers flock to the Tankwa Karoo National Park to pitch their tents among mammoth sculptures beneath the Karoo sky and watch as fire meets art in a dazzling display. This year’s theme is Afroboratory. Tickets start at R1985.
Comic-Con Cape Town| Cape Town| 1-3 May
The Comin Con is coming to Cape Town. If you’re a big fan of pop culture, comic book culture, gaming merchandise and coming book, we suggest you book your ticket well in advance. Day and weekend passes are available too.
Huawei Joburg Day in the Park | Johannesburg Botanical Garden|16 May
Much like the Kirstenbosch summer concerts, the Huawei Joburg Day in the park is about enjoying the best of South Africa’s local talent and a picnic basket. Tickets are R250 and it is worth every cent.
Grahamstown National Arts Festival| Grahamstown|25 June
The world-renowned Grahamstown National Arts Festival is back for the 45th year. This festival draws huge crowds to the charming town of Grahamstown. Over 200 000 attendees flock the witness the sheer creative artistry of theatre and music heavyweights. If you’re travelling in from other provinces you can book your flight to Port Elizebeth or East London and book a car rental from the airport to start your scening drive up to Grahamstown.
Knysna Oyster Festival | Knysna| 26 June-15th July
Are you a seafood lover? Then the Knysna Oyster Festival is the ideal event for you. Located along the picturesque Garden Route, is the seaside village of Knysna, hosting a 10-day long Oyster Festival that includes some amazing competitions and seafood taste explosions.
Vodacom Durban July| Durban| 6 July
The annual Vodacom Durban July will take place on the 6th of July 2019. It is a staple event on the social calendar of locals and internationals. It is also a great event for glitz and glamour. If you’re travelling in from other provinces, we recommend renting a car upon your arrival on the airport.
The Bastille Festival| Cape Town| 31st July-1st August
Locals and visitors flock to the Franschhoek valley to celebrate the century-old French Huguenot heritage at the Bastille Festival on 13 & July 2020. Come dressed up in your red, white and blue regalia and indulge in a feast of delectable food, fine wines and a range of activities.
Klein Karoo Klassique| Oudtshoorn| August
Nestled on the slopes of the Outeniqua Mountains, the Klein Karoo Klassique is a spectacular showcase of live music, art exhibitions, delicious food and a great selection of wines. Take the scenic road trip along Route 62 and you may even find more hidden gems on your way.
Hilton Arts Festival| Durban| 22-27 September
The Hilton College in Durban hosts a spectacular theatre in KwaZulu-Natal. This arts festival encompasses a cascade of colour as thespians and art students, perform dance, drama, music, culture and cuisine. If you’re flying in for the festival, try renting a car in Durban to accommodate your travel plans.
Aardklop| Potchefstroom| 22-27 September
The Aardklop is an annual South African arts festival held in Potchefstroom. The Aardklop festival is much like the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival.
Comic-Con Africa| Johannesburg| 24-27 September
ComicCon Africa is guaranteed to be a bonafide adventure. This four-day festival is the largest of its kind in South Africa. It brings the best of the world’s pop culture to visitors from around the country. The Comic Con showcases the latest and greatest in entertainment, comics and gaming.
Hermanus Whale Festival| Hermanus| 24-27 September
The seaside village of Hermanus opens its doors to local and international travellers for the annual Hermanus Whale Festival. Whale-watching in South Africa is a big deal and should be the highlight of every visitor’s social calendar.
Rocking the Daisies| Cape Town| 2-4 October 2020
Rocking the Daisies is one of South Africa’s biggest outdoor music festivals. It has been dubbed the African Coachella and has been wowing festival-goers for the last 15 years. Tickets start at R595.
Cape Town International Film Market & Festival| Cape Town| 12-21 October
If you’re a creative film student, photographer, videographer, drama student or actor, the CTIMF is a must to attend and offers a great opportunity to learn about the trade, attend masterclasses, screenings and cutting-edge film and drama workshops.
Cherry Picking Festival| Free State| November
The date of this festival is still to be confirmed, but make sure you leave your calendar open for the Cherry-Picking Jazz Festival in the Free State. You will can enjoy cherry mampoer, craft beer, live shows and great food at the festivals.
Afropunk|Constitution Hill Johannesburg| 30-31 December
Afropunk is known as the ultimate celebration of Africanism and ringing in a new year while you’re having a blast. World-class artist, colourful fashionistas and the most beautiful displays of African pride and culture.
Need a little help with your Itinerary trip?
It can be a little overwhelming planning your itinerary around all these great events. We suggest you start by mapping out your favourites on your 2020 calendar then start planning ahead by booking your accommodation, flights and securing a car rental or transfer service where needed.
Drive South Africa offers the best car hire rates in Southern Africa. We compare the most affordable rates and make sure you have the best offer for your trip to South Africa.