Music & Night-life in Cape Town & Hermanus
Many of these musicians like Tony Cox, Steve Newman (Tananas), Syd Kitchen, Madala Kuneni and the group Freshly Ground are rare gems indeed and have become very well received and critically acclaimed internationally and within South Africa.
The best part of your holiday is not just to taste a country’s food, or see the stunning scenery, but to hear it’s interesting original music that has been written by local artists with all their heart and soul.
South Africa’s outdoor venues like the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Summer Concerts in Cape Town, or perhaps a delightful wine farm, are perfect for you to just sit down, relax and listen to stunning African tunes! Outdoor Music and Art Festivals are very popular all over South Africa, with a combination of original Rock, African, Blues, Jazz, Folk and Contemporary music on the musical menu. Some festivals can last up to 3 days.
It’s so lovely to camp out under the stars next to a bonfire, whilst listening to a selection of top South African original artists performing. Mmmm…hallo Glastonbury! There are 2 monstrous festivals at Grahamstown Art Festival and the Klein Karoo National Art Festival, which both normally run for 8 to 10 days. These have a combination of arts, crafts, theatres, children’s stages, comedy and live music / dance performances.
The Cape Town International Jazz festival happens each year and is highly recommended if jazz is to your taste. Opera and ballet are also very well celebrated.
Typical Capetonian music ranges from Jazz, African and Township sounds like – Kwaito, which is a force for social change or a musical style reflecting the energy of South African youths - Kwaito is the sound of the new South Africa - an urban "mix masala" of South African music genres and Western house music and hip hop. It has come to define the generation that came of age after Apartheid, that essentially inherited this nation's young democracy.
The Kaapse Klopse (Cape Minstrels) play to celebrate the New Year and is a bright, colourful, vibrant, eclectic, warm and passionate event in which true Cape culture is represented. Thousands and thousands of Minstrels, drum bands and dancers congregate here from all regions of the Western Cape, making their way through Cape Town city centre, from the 2nd day of each New Year, for a week of celebration. Dressed in colourful outfits and brightly painted faces and umbrellas, this typical Capetonian musical event dates back to the 19th Century. It’s truly a wonderful experience, as they entertain all the streets they parade down, singing and dancing their happy tunes, with the air filled with laughter.
After a delicious dinner, you can treat yourself to a visit to a cigar bar / lounge, to find local musicians entertaining the crowds, while you sip on a local wine.
For those with a lot more energy, it’s time to visit a night club, where talented local DJ’s play dance tunes for you to bop to until the early hours of the morning! Immerging to watch the dawn sun appearing over the ocean.
There are also smaller theatres and restaurants in interesting suburban areas of Cape Town like Kalkbay, where you will definitely find performers strutting their stuff! Very often you get the chance to meet them, to have a good chat, share a drink and also to buy their autographed cds. Even posing for photos with you too!
Many international musical artists such as Sting, Robbie Williams, David Gray, Jamiroquai, U2, Coldplay, Metallica, Kylie Minogue and The Black Eye Peas have come over to South Africa to perform at large venues such as Green Point Stadium or just outside Cape Town at the Bellville Velodrome.
In Cape Town City itself you will find many a venue for great African performances. One which is a must on your visit to this exciting city is Mama Africa, where you will be entranced by the marimba / drum players and join in dancing and singing! Usually they are packed with visitors, so make a booking well in advance. Marco’s is another great place for African music if you do find Mama Africa is fully booked. Here you will also be able, like at Mama Africa, to enjoy great African food and drinks.
Hermanus has a small number of night spots to explore. Check out The Gecko bar at the New Harbour for live local bands; Shimmi cocktail bar, set high above the Old Harbour for some DJ dance action or Cocos for a slightly more laid-back lounging Latino and Mexican feel.
We at Percy Tours will lead you to the best places where you will have a great evening / day or weekend listening to truly original musicians that will put a smile on your dial and a song in your heart.
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