Given Cape Town’s proximity to such an abundance of outdoor wonders—myriad wine estates, pristine beaches, and spectacular mountains—locals are hardly at a loss when hatching plans for their next move. Dull moments are rare, and that’s without the relentless line-up of events, parties, and assorted distractions dreamt up to keep the restless from resting. The end of January is traditionally a busy time for the serially sleep-deprived, and the upcoming weekend is particularly saturated with choice. Hg2 Cape Town author, Keith Bain, picks five cracker events for a well-rounded 48 hours.
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Get your brain blitzed at Origin
In Africa, parties don’t get more hedonistic than the outdoor trance festivals that transform idyllic pockets of countryside into playgrounds of excess, musical mayhem and epic dance sessions—perfect for grown-ups in need of a total let-loose. Origin is considered one of Cape Town’s finest—not too big, not too small, just right—and this year once again brings together a compelling line-up of electronic music producers and kick-ass DJs. Aside from the mesmeric scenery and throbbing human eye-candy, the night time psychedelic visual effects are traditionally sublime. Festivities and rhythmic earth-stomping continue over three days in a hidden valley 125km from the city; camping is recommended, as is sunblock, and a good attitude. Directions, ticketing details, and line-up at www.originfestival.com, and read Hg2’s full review of Cape Town’s outdoor trance scene here.
Get inked at Southern Ink Exposure
The Cape Town International Tattoo Convention is the biggest gathering of tattoo-minded individuals in the southern hemisphere and it’s happening all weekend at the V&A Waterfront’s Pavilion Conference Centre. Dozens of renowned skin artists from around the world will be in attendance, making this a special opportunity to get your flesh personalised with a cutting-edge tattoo. If you’re not into getting needled, there are several satellite parties to attend and some memorable people to rub shoulders with, so do check out the details at www.capetattooconvention.co.za, and read Hg2’s full write-up on the event here.
Get up close and personal to a rock star at Paul Cluver Forest Amphitheatre
Hot-blooded rocker Arno Carstens has for years wooed and wowed audiences at home and abroad in his role as frontman for the Springbok Nude Girls (the opening band for U2 in Cape Town and Johannesburg next month). The singer-songwriter-guitarist-heartthrob is widely considered the sexiest mic-swinging South African on the planet, and he’ll be performing at our favourite live music venue—the open-air wine estate amphitheatre in Elgin—on Saturday night. With space beneath the skyward-thrusting ghost gum trees for just 600 adoring fans, this is likely to be one of the most intimate and memorable concerts of the season. Arno’s fans may be a touch more mature these days, but that doesn’t mean this rocking legend doesn’t know how to sweep them off their feet—I’ve seen grown men cry when he performs, whilst women of all ages are hypnotised by his hips. For all the details, visit www.cluver.com, and read Hg2’s full review of the amphitheatre here.
Relive the World Cup at Cape Town Stadium
Local football team Ajax take on the Moroka Swallows at the eye-catching stadium in Green Point on Friday night. The Swallows may be languishing somewhere at the bottom of the league, but their supporters are nothing if not colourful and vocal, and you can expect plenty of spirited vuvuzela-blasting from Ajax Cape Town fans. To sweeten the deal, the match forms part of a double-header, so there’s an additional, earlier game between Vasco da Gama and Golden Arrows starting at 6pm. If you haven’t yet experienced the stadium that had the city abuzz all through 2010, here’s a chance to get a look inside. Tickets for the match can only be purchased though Computicket, www.computicket.com.
Have a high-brow epiphany at The Fugard Theatre
It’s not all hedonistic hippies and cult rockers in Cape Town this weekend; for intellectuals and culture vultures there’s shit-hot theatre happening, too. Don’t overlook the Afrikaans production of Athol Fugard’s play, The Captain’s Tiger—it’s a refreshing lesson in making good theatre from a potentially plodding text. Opera-style surtitles help make sense of the human drama in Die Kaptein se Tier, a translation of Fugard’s semi-autobiographical play by another leading literary figure, Antjie Krog. The play is one of Fugard’s most personal, a memoir of his youth that cuts briskly to the core of human relationships while letting you know where in the world you can get a “hot fish curry and a good fuck”. And while the original staging of the play in the late-1990s had critics clamouring for the exit, this version—starring some great young talent and directed by the prolific Janice Honeyman—presses all the right buttons. If you’re not familiar with his work, it’s worth knowing that Fugard is amongst South Africa’s most respected playwrights, responsible for many landmark anti-apartheid pieces; the eponymous theatre opened early last year in the rapidly developing East City precinct—it’s the ideal place to take in something high-brow and homegrown. Book seats online at www.thefugard.com, and read Hg2’s full review of the theatre here.