Best of the Fests

2006-09-18 16:56
And the music, of course. The chance to see a whole lot of top SA bands live in one night. No matter what happens, it's always unforgettable.

Win: tickets to some of the festivals

Download: MP3s by many SA bands

So you're going, then? Good! Here are some of SA's top music festivals coming up soon. Take your pick and get yourself there.

Details below of Arts Alive, Southern Cross Music Festival, Woodstock Music Festival, Rocking the Daisies and a few smaller fests too.

White Mountain Music Festival
When :: 22-25 September 2006
Where :: White Mountain lodge, KwaZulu Natal
This Music Festival runs concurrently with the Southern Cross Music festival and offers day tickets for R100 too. It's an accoustic music fest, on the grounds of a lodge, where you can camp and party too. Get details here.

Southern Cross Music Festival
When :: 22-25 September 2006
Where :: Mooi Rivier, KwaZulu Natal
The Southern Cross Music Festival is one of the newer music festivals. The opposite of massive student fests like Oppikoppi and Woodstock, it's still quite small and involves as much communing with nature as it does jolling and camping. This year's festival is themed "Everything is One" and takes place as before in the exquisite Riverine Thornveld on the banks of the Mooi River, Kwa-Zulu Natal. There will be food, fun, beer and of course, music.
- Ticket giveaway CLOSED Vuvuzela Arts/Kunstefees
When :: 18 - 25 September
Where :: Eersterust
An arts fest with music and other activities, in aid of an organisation called YDO (Youth Development Outreach) who help children get off the streets. On the music side, Malaika (onstage with dancers from the communities that the project has helped. And Jamali headline - don't miss that. Week-long tickets are available from the NYDO offices in Eersterust (012) 806 8876 or

Rocking the Daisies Music Festival
Held during the awesome explosion of wild flowers that carpet the ground in September every year, Rocking the Daisies music festival entertains the younger flower and fun lovers. Twenty one of South Africa’s best are invited to fill a cross-cultural lineup performing on a Darling farm with views over the ocean and all the way to Table Mountain. The usual camping, stalls, bars and so on plus a great lineup of music.
- Get all the info, and win tickets here

When :: 26th to the 30th September
Where :: Potchefstroom, NW Province
Blending a mix of cultures and a mix of the arts, Aardklop ("earthbeat") brings together art, drama, jazz, cabaret, with the culimination the Oppieaarde rock concert right at the end. Organised in collaboration with Oppikoppi Productions, the lineup includes Cassette, Chris Chameleon, Fokofpolisiekar, Gyroscope (AUS), Hellphones, Johnny Clegg, Love Jones, Lukraaketaar, Parlotones, Rokkeloos, and The Narrow. The Jazz festival, called the Medumo Jazz Fountain features With names like Don Laka, the legendary Hugh Masekela, Mafikizolo, Mccoy Mrubata, The Medumo jazz band, Thami & Friends Quartet and Zim Ngqawana.
More info at

Rustler's Valley Equinox
Where :: Fouriesburg, Free State
When :: 22 - 24th September
These guys are Serious Hippies. Seriously. Think teepees, hempwear and long long hair. Expect to be kept awake all night by drumming, and the lost and loving who want to stroke your face. Try an African Sweat Hut if you dare. But the mountain setting is beautiful, the food is divine, the music is suited (African, world, and trance) and this intimate spring event is really different to the usually boozed up festival jols that, fun as they are, are really very ordinary. "The community of Rustlers Valley invites you to our annual Spring Equinox Festival. Celebrating the seasonal cycle with music, dance, organic living and partying!" There's also a new year's party that tends to be a bit wilder, hotter (though there are rivers and a pool) and more crowded. We'd recommend the Spring one over that. - More info here, bru.

Where :: Hartbeeshoek, North West When :: 28 September - 1st October Since 1999, Woodstock has been one of the largest young music and lifestyle festivals in South Africa. In addition to mainstream music and top overseas bands, the festival offers a market of crafters and alternative lifestyle products over four days. It is held at Hartbeeshoek Holiday resort near Hartbeespoort Dam in North West and pulls the "Last Party" crowd from Tuks and further afield.
- More info on the official site

Awesome Africa Music Festival Where: Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
When: 1 - 2 October
The Standard Bank Awesome Africa Music Festival, which has been running for 7 years now, is held in Durban's Playhouse Complex. Featuring three stages, and non-stop music from 200 artists gathering from more than 20 countries. The focus is on collaboration with musicians from Africa and beyond. Unfortunately you can't camp and you can't hang out outside - the fstival used to be held in Albert Park but has decided to move... still worth it though
- More info on the official site

*For less intensive but festival-like musical experiences, try concerts like the Kirstenbosch Sunset concerts, Bot Gardens events, and other public concerts (fees are payable but they're reasonable, and kids come in free or cheaply) or the Spier festival, which run throughout spring and summer.

So, now it's your turn to talk. Which of these festivals is your personal favourite? And which of those coming up in the next few months are missing from this page? Post your comments and we'll include what qualifies in the story.

- Jean Barker

It's Summer! It's music festival season! And perhaps you've forgotten just how amazing a good music festival - hell, any music festival - can be. There're the fires at night. The wine at the braai. The smell of your tent. The girls' messy hair. The bands wandering around with babalaas. The swimming naked in the river. The hot shower just before the water runs out... publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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