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TTo be in South Africa is to be part of a story that goes back to the start of all humanity. Today, South Africa has evolved into an amazing mix of modern cultures, inspiring history and incredible heroes. It really is a melting pot with roots that run deeper than you think.
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As beautiful as the Free State is, it’s equally interesting and dynamic. It’s centred around traditional African cultures, as well as influences of the early European settlers.
The Photo & Film Expo is the largest photography event in Africa, with over 400 brands under one roof. It is the perfect platform to interact with your favourite camera brands or bring your camera in for repairs. There are also workshops throughout the expo, where speakers get to share their knowledge of the field. Taking place in Johannesburg, expect great deals on a wide variety of products ranging from professional to the enthusiast. The expo is extremely focused and serves as a platform where photographers and enthusiasts can network and learn. With well over a hundred workshops running during the four-day event, the expo is time well invested. See the latest technologies and a wide range brands related to the imaging industry, and pick up some amazing ideas and bargains as well.
The Turbine Fair is an annual art fair that seeks to promote new work and talent all while establishing an art audience and collector base. Exhibitors – whether galleries, collectors or dealers – are invited to exhibit contemporary artwork priced below R40 000. The Turbine Art Fair takes place at the iconic Turbine Hall in Newtown. It attracts a diverse crowd of visitors ranging from established collectors to guests who have never purchased art but are interested in finding out more and starting a collection. The fair is a lifestyle event with live music performances, delicious food and drinks as well as entertainment for the whole family. Attendees of this exciting art fair have the opportunity to fulfil both their art-viewing and art-buying needs, while the pop-up cafe and bar caters for their discerning taste buds.
The International Jazz Extravaganza is a platform that showcases all the greats of jazz music. The line-up is usually filled with a combination of international acts and local jazz legends. The International Jazz Extravaganza will be held in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, along the lush eastern seaboard of South Africa, and of course will also once again be wowing jazz fans with inspiring star performances and unmatched hospitality when it returns to the Durban ICC Arena. So far three acts for the night have been announced – the edgy US jazz vocalist, Kurt Elling; well-known local artist, Nduduzo Makhatini; and highly-acclaimed vocalist and pianist, Thandi Ntuli. The first IJE offered something that no other jazz event in South Africa catered for – entertainment for the pure jazz lover. This, along with a luxurious hospitality experience that combines music, food, and travel is what makes IJE so unique.
The Bierfest is the closest representation of the German beer culture. Break out the lederhosen and dirndls and get ready for a “top Klaus bier festival” when the Newlands Brewery Village Green transforms into a Bavarian-style beer hall. Bring your mates for a wunderbar celebration as you clink together massive beer steins, and gorge on Schmidt-hot snacks such as wursts, cheeses and massive pretzels. It tours four cities around the country – Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Durban and CapeTown. Besides the delectable eats, drinks and music, there will be plenty of entertainment. Bierfestarians can look forward to participating in a range of traditional Oktoberfest-inspired games between beers (when last did you put your cow-milking skills to the test?), competitions (hint: dress-up on theme as best you can – there are trips to the actual Oktoberfest in the offering), and other fun-filled events. Dates: Durban: 1 – 2 SeptemberPretoria: 6 – 7 OctoberCape Town: 3 – 4 November
Macufe is a cultural-based festival that showcases a wide range of African arts and culture to the world. It is held in Bloemfontein every year. Macufe, the ten-day Mangaung African Cultural Festival, showcases the cream of African and international talent. It features jazz, gospel, kwaito, hip-hop, R&B, rock and classical music, as well as dance, drama, cabaret, musical theatre, poetry, fine art and traditional arts and crafts. First held in 1997 before an audience of 30 000, Macufe now attracts over 140 000 people from South Africa, Africa and the world. The festival is presented in late September and early October by the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State.
The Free State Flower Festival – scheduled to take place in Parys, a small, vibrant town on the banks of the Vaal River – will be the flower event of the year. The event is a joint venture between the governments of the Free State and Madeira in Portugal, who host the world’s largest flower festival. Included in this extravaganza are 500 dancers, five massive floats and giant flower puppets performing around a spectacular flower precinct in a Disney-like flower story. It is the first time a fully-fledged, massive flower parade takes to the streets, anywhere in South Africa. The Flower Precinct is the area where several floral exhibits will be located. These will include regional exhibitors, wholesalers, retailers and delicious food and drink vendors. Various activities and fun-themed events will be staged over the two days of the festival, and will provide entertainment for the entire family. Among the highlights will be a fully-flower production narrated by the renowned Gina Hlope, musical performances, kid shows and various floral competitions.
The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar, and the biggest annual celebration of the arts on the African continent. It has become the home for artists from different corners of the creative world. Whether you are a dancer, musician, painter or a mere art lover, the Grahamstown National Arts Festival is where you belong. From theatre to dance, opera to cabaret, fine art to craft art, classical music to jazz, poetry readings to lectures, every art form imaginable is represented in one of the most diverse festivals in the world. For 11 days every year, the Eastern Cape town of Grahamstown transforms from a sleepy haven of academics, students and entrepreneurs into the heart of South Africa’s arts scene.
The Bakone, a sub-group of the Northern Sotho people, will happily introduce you to their contemporary customs and traditional way of life.