10 Music Festivals Not to Miss in South Africa

The Camp site at All Out Africa next door to the festival. This was the best spot to camp out in the campsite, under the shady trees with green grass.

Camping at music festivals

South Africa is a great country for outdoor music festivals due mainly to the excellent weather and the abundant local talent on offer. Camping is easy and fun, and the festivals are colourful, sociable, safe, and enjoyable. The variety of music too is very broad, from indie to metal, trance to reggae, and folk to rock. A weekend away to a music festival is always a memorable occasion in South Africa.

Splashy Fen in the Underberg area of the Drakensberg is a regular attraction. Founded in 1990, it has grown from a small hippie folk festival to a very large and colourful multi-day event hosting some of the country’s leading musicians. There are several stages, the facilities and ablutions are great, and the food is excellent too. Camping is the norm, although matters can get cold and wet if there is a lot of rain. The festival, which is the country’s longest running, is usually held over Easter and greatly geared towards the family with an amazing array of non-musical entertainment on offer too.

Vortex at Riviersonderend in the Western Cape is a psychedelic trance festival held in December over three days and features back-to-back DJs pushing out the trance beats. It is a festival for true trance fans, held in a secluded forest with the mountains nearby, and camping is the norm. Prices are reasonable, and the experience is really spellbinding.

On the trance theme, Earthdance Cape Town is a colourful trance festival held simultaneously in many countries around the globe to celebrate peace and goodwill during spring equinox in September. There are over 50 Earthdance events each year, and theme songs are time-coordinated to celebrate the universal brotherhood of man. This is a sober trance festival that is recommended for the newcomers to the genre.

Synergy Live in the Western Cape is one of South Africa’s fasting-growing live concerts with good overseas acts. The vibe is a rock and electro cross, and there are two stages vying for the fans’ attention. It takes place in Johannesburg and Cape Town simultaneously, and prices are reasonable. Oppikoppi at Northam in the Limpopo province is one of South Africa’s oldest pure rock concerts and hosts great local and international acts. It takes place around August and is a little pricey, but it’s a legendary festival.

AfrikaBurn in Tankwa, Karoo in the Western Cape is a very unique music venue focusing heavily on art too with loads of tents and sub stages, artists, and more. It is a really unique event. Ramfest, which is held around March in both Johannesburg and Cape Town simultaneously, is a great rock and indie venue. Up the Creek in Swellendam is a relatively small venue along the riverbank, and floating on the water is a great spot to see and hear the music.

Rocking the Daisies in Darling is one of Cape Town’s bigger festivals with around 15 000 fans listening to indie, folk, and rock. It takes place towards the end of the year, around October, while the Cape Town Jazz Festival is a world-class event taking place around March with around 30 000 fans attending each year.

These festivals are all really popular, and can often sell out before the festival starts. If you don’t manage to get your tickets in time, you can always try buy tickets from people selling them online. One such place is Gumtree, look here. Please just always make sure that you are buying from a legit person!


This is a guest blog post from Gumtree.

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