It’s May! And what a glorious time of year it is indeed, especially in Cape Town! While the Mother City’s weather may start to cool down a little, her events scene is heating up and bringing with it tons of excitement, fun and fabulous parties, festivals and festivities you absolutely don’t want to miss out on. Just to ensure you make the very best of your month of May in the Mother City, here are 12 fabulous things to do in Cape Town this May 2019:
1. AfrikaBurn 2019: 29 April – 5 May 2019
Every year keen travellers, wanderlust wanderers, free spirits and creative souls travel from all corners of the globe to attend the glorious and excitement-fuelled festivities of AfrikaBurn. Once a year people gather together in the ultimate creative expression in order to form a temporary city of art, theme camps, costume, music and performance right in the heart of the Tankwa Karoo. AfrikaBurn’s aim is to be radically inclusive and accessible to anyone and therefore invite people from all walks of life to join in on all the Burn action.
This year’s theme is Ephemeropolis and is all about the concept of things being transitory, existing only briefly. In the spirit of this truly unique event, you can never really prepare for what this transformative and enriching experience has in store for you, but you can certainly expect a week of outrageous costumes, viby communal bonfires, uplifting music, cashless and free-spirit living and a true spirit of togetherness. So, let your spirit run wild and free and soak up every glorious second of the AfrikaBurn 2019 experience!
2. Decorex Cape Town 2019: 1 – 5 May 2019
Calling all lovers of interior design and all things creative and artistic, this one’s for you! Decorex is the ultimate mecca for interior designers, home makers, architects and home living shoppers, and it therefore comes as no surprise that Decorex Cape Town is an event that all design and creative enthusiasts look forward to each year. In recent years the African continent has certainly positioned itself as an interior design trend-setter and global style icon, perfectly and creatively fusing international influences with the unique colour and vibrant energy of our people and cultures, and Decorex Cape Town takes the incredible opportunity of celebrating all of that.
This 5-day event taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre is dedicated to showcasing the finest concepts and products from a collection of expertly curated designers and manufacturers. Besides beautiful interior design and home living displays showcased in the most spectacular way, you can expect all the latest in quality design trends and home-décor inspirations all while interacting with the leaders in the field of décor and design and sampling the latest in lifestyle products. So, if you’re looking to renovate, re-furbish and re-imagine your home and lifestyle, Decorex Cape Town 2019 is where it’s all happening and exactly where you need to be.
3. Whiskey & Gin Live Cape Town: 2 – 4 May 2019
If you consider yourself to be a die-hard whiskey enthusiast AND a lover of gin, this is the perfect Cape Town May event for you! The Whisky Live Festival event has a booming reputation for being the largest, liveliest and most exciting whisky tasting lifestyle show of its kind in Africa. But this year it promises to bigger and bolder than ever before as whisky joins forces with gin to form the ultimate power duo, and although that’s a pretty hefty claim to make, it certainly promises to live up to every second of the hype. Whisky & Gin Live is a bold new concept that’s taking Cape Town by storm this month of May for the ULTIMATE whisky and gin celebration taking place at The Lookout in the V&A Waterfront.
In order to make sure the Whisky & Gin Live festivities stays on the cusp of what is hip, happening and all the rage, it invites whisky lovers from all walks of life to join in on all the whisky action. So, whether you’re an old-school cool die-hard whisky fanatic that’s had a love affair with this amber-coloured liquid for many years or a new whisky loving cool-kid on the block looking to explore your newly found liquid love interest, the Whisky & Gin Live is the place to be! But to add an EXTRA cool twist to the mix, they’ve added the new liquid power player to the festivities – GIN! This 3-day celebration therefore promises to be the whisky and gin tasting event of the year, but besides all of the gin and whisky love, you can also look forward to enjoying tons of live entertainment from a variety of incredible performers, trendy and delicious food truck offerings, cool chill out social zones and of course an exciting range of premium and popular whisky and gin exhibitors making a strong appearance.
4. Riebeek Valley Olive Festival: 4 – 5 May 2019
The annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival is back and ready to steal your olive-loving-heart all over again! This is the ultimate celebration of a good olive harvest where Swartland towns Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West, nestled snuggly at the foot of the Kasteelberg mountain, come together to host a festival you wont soon forget. Every year the annual Riebeek Valley Olive Festival opens its doors to the rest of Cape Town and the world to showcase the labour of a great harvest in the form of delicious and indulgent olive goodies ranging from jams, pickles, preserves, tapenades, extra-virgin olive oil and delicious olive breads.
Apart from the abundance of olive-goodness you’ll get to experience, you can also expect to enjoy an exceptional range of wine, craft beer and really good food. Being one of the biggest olive festivals in the country it’s certainly no surprise that it has fast become one of the most popular lifestyle festivals in the Western Cape and only growing more and more each year. If you’re an olive lover there is definitely no other place to be on the first weekend in May than at the Riebeek Valley Olive Festival.
5. Kirstenbosch Plant Fair: 4 – 5 May 2019
It’s no secret that the Western Cape is home to some of the most beautiful and unique fauna and flora, not only in South Africa, but the world. Boasting a variety of glorious natural wonders, it truly is any nature lover’s dream come true! The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is without a doubt one of the most glorious displays of Mother Nature at work, so it only seems fitting to be the perfect destination for the Kirstenbosch Plant Fair. Boasting the biggest range of indigenous plants in one place showcasing thousands of plants carefully selected from a variety of local growers, including Kirstenbosch, it’s enough to make any plant enthusiast, landscaper, gardening fanatic or nature lover at heart go WILD.
With over 10, 000 indigenous plant on sale, knowledgeable Kirstenbosch horts to give advice and important tips on what they know best, an extensive and exciting range of plant and garden related products and plenty of food stalls and fun kiddie’s activities to keep every member of the family entertained and loving life. Thereby making the Kirstenbosch Pant Fair the perfect fun-filled family day out this May.
6. Hop & Vine Festival: 4 May 2019
The Western Cape is home to the largest and most unique wine producing region in Africa, it therefore only makes sense that we celebrate our authentic wine culture and glorious Cape Winelands region every chance we get, and that’s exactly what the Hop & Vine Festival is all about. This bi-annual festival hosted by Simon’s Restaurant on Groot Constantia Wine Estate is all about enjoying a fun day out in Cape Town perfectly paired with plenty of great wine, craft beer and live music all under one roof.
Showcasing over 70 local wines and craft beers, all available for tasting and purchase, you better know you’re in for a truly incredible time! There will also be a Hop & Vine food stand where you can enjoy all the delicious food on offer, that combined with all the local wine and craft beer your heart desires all enjoyed to the fabulous live entertainment by The Bootleggers Blues Band makes for the perfect day out in the beautiful and charismatic Cape Winelands.
7. NUY Valley Feast 2019: 11 May 2019
You are invited to join in on all the festivities as they celebrate their 11th annual NUY Valley Feast hosted by Nuy, Willow Creek, Conradie Penhill and Leipzig Country House and Winery. This outdoor family festivals is all about celebrating the end of harvest in true Cape Town style with award-winning wines and delicious country food, exactly the way it should be. Located approximately 13km from Worcester on the Robertson road, the NUY Valley is widely regarded as one of the most magnificent hidden gems of the Western Cape, and with good reason too.
The annual NUY Valley Festival therefore gives you the perfect opportunity to experience its beauty and charm in the most fun-filled and glorious ways. Besides it’s beautiful surroundings the NUY Valley Festival is jam-packed with all the festival goodness you could ever need, from wine tasting, wine sales, olive oil tasting, craft beers and delicious country-style food to live music from a variety of well-known artists, tons of fun activities for the kiddies, a craft market, a trail run and so much more, there is something for EVERY member of the family to enjoy.
8. Franschhoek Literary Festival 2019: 17 – 19 May 2019
For 3 days in May Franschhoek becomes a vibrant bustling hub of publishers, writers, readers and booksellers as they get-together to celebrate the Franschhoek Literary Festival! Established in 2007 as a non-profit organization, the Franschhoek Literary Festival’s aim is to bring together a broad cross-section of mostly South African writers and a few popular international authors. They are dedicated to not only raise funds for their local community and a variety of school libraries as well as facilitate valuable training initiatives through their FLF Library fund by placing assistant school librarians, but also aim to inspire, enlighten, inform and spark conversation among audiences and the literary world.
The event aims to bring together book and literary lovers from all walks of life, and it takes place in a variety of village venues within a few minutes’ walk of each other, thereby creating a vibrant ambiance and energy-enthused atmosphere of buzzing book lovers. There are also fringe events that include writing workshops and discussion groups, the Poetry for Life finals, theater performances and contemporary and classical music concerts, thereby really offering something for everyone to enjoy.
9. Craft Brewers – Powwow: 17 – 19 May 2019
Calling all craft beer lovers, Cape Town has the perfect beer loving event for you! An event aimed at all the craft brewers, bomebrewers and beer enthusiasts, the Craft Brewers Powwow is all about growing the South African craft beer industry and offers both a conference and an exhibition. Aimed at creating a unified platform for quality, consistency and comradery in the craft beer industry the conference includes presentations from local and international speakers, educational workshops, brewery tours, delicious food and good fun.
While the conference focusses on sharing knowledge, the exhibition tent at the Powwow gives suppliers to the craft beer industry the opportunity to showcase their products on a grandeur scale. Attendees of the event then have the cool opportunity and chance to see who’s doing what in the Cape Town craft beer world and discover the latest trends in beer technology, packaging, logistics and more. The Craft Brewers Powwow taking place at the Hotel Verde, Africa’s greenest hotel, really is one incredible beer celebration you don’t want to miss out on, especially of you consider yourself to be a true craft beer lover at heart.
10. Cabernet Franc Carnival 2019: 18 May 2019
The Cabernet Franc Carnival is an exciting and exclusive affair for all wine lovers and one you certainly don’t want to miss out on. Dedicated to celebrating Cabernet Franc in the most glorious way, the Cabernet Franc Carnival is the ultimate get-together of some of the best Cabernet Franc producers, and for the fifth year in a row they’re inviting all wine lovers to join them in the festivities. Taking place at Avontuur Estate in Stellenbosch, this niche event is the perfect place to taste, buy and enjoy some of the country’s best examples of the Bordeaux varietal, Cabernet Franc, that has certainly grown in popularity and status over the years.
With more and more winemakers trying their hand at producing the perfect Cabernet Franc it can become hard to determine who the best of the best is, but the annual Cabernet Franc event makes sure it isn’t. By featuring 19 wineries hand showcasing their Cabernet Franc, blends and even a few cab franc rosés, it provides you with the perfect opportunity to sip and taste your way through in order to crown your own personal Cabernet Franc favourite. But besides all the incredible wine festivities, all festival goers can also look forward to enjoying a range of incredible food options from a variety of food trucks as well as amazing dining experiences from Avontuur Estate’s popular restaurant.
11. FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN: 19 May 2019
The annual Cape Town 12 ONERUN is back and calling on EVERYONE to join in on all the ONERUN action! So, whether you want to power walk it, slow walk it, sprint it, run it right through or add some extra spice to it, it’s completely up to you. The FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN is all about running the city YOUR way and enjoying EVERY single second of it in the process. Easily known as one of South Africa’s most loved, and certainly the most fun, road races, the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN is not only celebrated for its vibrant spirit and energy but it’s unconventional, yet beautiful route too.
Encouraging mass participation from runners from all walk of life, while still featuring an elite race element, this 12km run follows a route from Milnerton and continues along the charismatic Cape coastline, passing some spectacular and beloved Mother City landmarks along the way, and ends at the FNB Portside Building in the heart of Cape Town. Here you’ll not only get to enjoy the triumphant feeling of finishing the race and running it your way but celebrate in true Mother City style with live performances from some of Cape Town’s leading performing arts groups. This is one incredible run you’re guaranteed to remember for many years to come, and for all the right reasons too.
12. Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival: 29 May – 1 June 2019
The Mother City isn’t known as a world-renowned jazz hotspot for nothing, taking the opportunity to celebrate it’s thriving jazz community and love of the genre every chance it gets, and the Cape Town Big Band Jazz festival 2019 is certainly no exception! Celebrating its 21st anniversary, this incredible jazz celebration event taking place in the Baxter Theatre Centre is dedicated to showcasing schools, universities and community big bands. All the money raised from the festival is utilised to fund and drive various initiatives, especially in disadvantaged communities.
Focusing on supporting music education in the big band jazz format for school and college students in the community, providing scholarships in the jazz studies programme at SA College of Music and musical instrument donations are just a few of their vital and powerful initiatives. The Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival truly aims to create the opportunity for young musicians to display their talents to a knowledgeable and appreciative audience at a prestigious event in a glorious jazz celebration for people of all ages and from all around the world.
From festivals, Cape Winelands festivities, fun runs, fun family days out and fabulous events with a purpose, there really is a Cape Town May event for everyone! So, make the most of your month of May in the Mother City and take advantage of all the fabulous things to do, see and experience, it promises to be worth every second! What are you waiting for, have a fantastic May Cape Town!
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