Top (20)10 events in the Mother City
In Travel+Leisure Magazine’s 14th annual World’s Best survey, Cape Town was voted second in the 2009 Top Cities of the World poll; one up from its 2008 spot. In the breathless build-up to 2010, the Mother City has been placed even more intensively under the international spotlight. Yet, along with four world class universities, the CTICC’s advanced conferencing facilities, unrivalled tourist attractions and English as the local business language, there are many other benchmark events luring global investment and tourism to Cape Town, besides 2010’s month of soccer mania. To pick out some of the hottest annual event tickets...
J & B Met
Since taking off with its present sponsors in 1978, this summer racing spectacular has become a popular betting, socialising and networking opportunity. So popular, in fact, that in 2002 the gates of Kenilworth Racecourse were closed midway through the day - 50 000 people had crammed into the venue. Year on year, a similar number of fashionistas, business moguls and socialites continue to arrive in style, to see and be seen. The 2010 J & B Met takes place on 30 January.* www.jbmet.co.za
Inspiring “A better world through creativity”, the Design Indaba Expo is South Africa’s premier showcase for local design in advertising, architecture, craft, decor, film, fashion, graphic design, interior, jewellery, new media, publishing, product design and visual media. It’s an opportunity to show the world authentically South African design; and in turn it allows local visionaries to learn from, and interact with, the world’s most innovative pioneers in design.
Running since 2004, the Indaba promotes, markets and also enriches the work of local designers. Expect to be humbled, intrigued and sometimes, awestruck. The 2010 Design Indaba Expo takes place from 26 - 28 February at the iconic Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). www.designindaba.co.za
Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour
The world's largest individually timed cycle race - and the first outside Europe to be added to the International Cycling Union's prestigious Golden Bike Series – the “Argus” sees over 35 000 cyclists – a good 2-3 000 of them foreign - tackling a scenic 109 kilometer route around the Cape Peninsula (in the 2009 race, they also had to brave one of the windiest days on recent record). The event is viewed increasingly as a business and tourism catalyst for the Western Cape, as entrants traditionally make a long weekend of it and explore tourism and leisure options far beyond the race route. The 2010 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour takes place on 14 March. www.cycletour.co.za
Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
Since 1970, this 56km marathon has following a beautiful route around the Cape Peninsula and attracts entrants young and old, again including competitors from overseas. The 40th anniversary of the event in 2009 saw more than 20 000 entries received for the first time. The week-long festival around the marathon includes a host of sporting and entertainment events, and turns numerous entrants into consumers within the local economy. Consistently voted “the world’s most beautiful marathon”, the 2010 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon takes place on 3 April. www.twooceansmarathon.org.za
Cape Town International Jazz Festival
Cape Town knows how to host a party with verve, and this is one of the biggest. Featuring 40 international and African acts performing on five stages, to an audience of anything from 15 000 to 35 000, the Festival is a muso’s delight. It also caters for art and photography aficionados. Top events get their timing right, and placing the jazz fest over Easter is one factor that helped last year’s event create 2 750 jobs, contribute R761-million to the national gross domestic product (GDP) and R572-million to the Western Cape provincial GDP. The 2010 Cape Town International Jazz Festival takes place from 3 – 4 April. www.capetownjazzfest.com
Good Food & Wine Show
True gastronomes might follow this touring show across three cities; otherwise you can take in the rich repast at the Mother City’s table. Featuring culinary stars such as Gordon Ramsay, the CTICC-hosted show presents an annual line-up of international celeb chefs alongside top local names, working in nine state-of-the-art kitchen theatres. Bring a healthy appetite. In a related aside, Cape Town and environs dominated the 2009 Eat Out restaurant awards. Top of the menu: La Colombe in Constantia. The Good Food & Wine Show takes place from 13-16 May 2010. www.gourmetsa.co.za
Bastille Festival in Franschhoek
Along with the Hermanus Whale Festival (last week of September) this is one of the year’s most enjoyable out-of-town experiences, and a natural gateway event to the famous attractions of the winelands. A weekend rich in wine, gourmet food and celebration, it celebrates the centuries-old French Huguenot heritage of the Western Cape. It’s always best to arrive early and make for the village marquee, the centerpiece of this celebration of freedom. The 2010 Bastille Festival takes place from 17-18 July. www.franschhoek.org.za
Cape Town Book Fair
The numbers for 2009’s event, held as usual at the CTICC, make for enticing reading: 187 authors in attendance; 31 countries represented; 43 583 visitors.
The event has a weighting towards trade networking, with authors and publishers vying to retain the fickle spotlight, and numerous impromptu business meetings occurring over take-away coffees. Yet general readers will also find a lot to interest them, and readings by authors (e.g. John van de Ruit in 2009) are a rare pleasure. To sidestep the Fifa World Cup, the 2010 Cape Town Book Fair has been bumped out a few weeks, and is set to run from July 30 to August 2.
Arise Cape Town Fashion Week
The Arise Cape Town Fashion Week is billed as the continent’s premier fashion event, showcasing proudly African designer collections, clothing, textiles and footwear. In partnership with Arise magazine – the world’s first magazine covering global African style and culture – sub-Saharan Africa’s largest fashion showcase honours heavyweights and promotes emerging talent. Expect to rub shoulders with numerous celebrities at the after-parties. Adding colour to the Cape’s blustery winter, the 2010 Cape Town Fashion Week provisionally takes place from 20-22 August. www.africanfashionint.com
FNB Whisky Live Festival
Now in its 8th year, this two-city festival (Johannesburg and Cape Town) is arguably the largest whisky festival in the world, and one of the most vibrant; lending whisky a sexy cachet it didn’t really have locally before – in 2008, 36% of visitors were female and 71% were below 45. Blenders, authors and experts give thousands of visitors a tour of the world’s best whiskies, as well as in-depth knowledge about the complexities behind it. For big spenders there’s the Lexus Connoisseur’s Experience – a chauffeur-driven, personalised tour with exclusive tastings of rare blends. The 2010 FNB Whisky Live Festival provisionally runs from 3 - 5 November (Cape Town) and 10 -13 November (Johannesburg). www.whiskylivefestival.co.za
* Take dates as provisional - check before booking.