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What's on in the Cape Town CBD

by Sharon Sorour-Morris 31 May 2024
Totalsports Women's Race Cape Town

Winter is Cape Town’s Secret Season. Time to throw on a few layers and explore the city centre. Here’s what you can look forward to.

Totalsports Women’s Race
9 August 2024

The Totalsports Women’s Race creates an unforgettable experience for women of all ages and backgrounds. The month of August will see close to 27 000 runners and walkers joining forces in solidarity to celebrate National Women’s Month by running or walking 5 km or 10 km. Get your race number and entry, lace up those takkies, and make your way to the start in Darling Street.
Where: Darling Street, Cape Town
When: 08h00
Cost: From R110; temporary licence costs R50
https://totalsportswomensrace.co.za/cape-town-event/

Cape Town Business Summit
31 July 2024

The Cape Town Business Summit brings together entrepreneurs and aspiring business leaders, convening annually to foster networking opportunities, discuss mutual business interests, and devise solutions to challenges. This year’s theme is “Re-building and marketing your business through challenging times” and promises to empower attendees to thrive in the face of adversity.
Where: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), 1 Lower Long St
When: 17h00-21h30
Cost: From R595
https://bit.ly/455evIR

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Decorex

Decorex
6-9 June 2024

Africa’s premier decor, design and lifestyle show is back to enthral décor enthusiasts with cutting-edge designs, exhibitions, product launches and installations. It showcases more than 230 companies and has become a space for exchanging ideas and finding inspiration. In 2023, over R170 million in trade deals were concluded at Decorex Cape Town.
Where: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), 1 Lower Long St 
When: Depends on booking
Cost: R140
www.decorex.co.za

St Cecilia Mass
8 June

The Philharmonia Choir of Cape Town presents a special evening featuring a rich selection of choral and orchestral masterpieces, led by conductor Damian Philander. The programme opens with selections from Hubert Parry and Franz Schubert, and culminates with Charles Gounod’s Messe Solennelle in G Major, known as the St Cecilia Mass. This work is a tribute to the patron saint of music, combining lyrical beauty and dramatic intensity in a profound liturgical expression.
Where: City Hall
When: 19h30
Cost: From R200
https://www.philharmoniachoir.capetown/

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Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra

Winter Symphonies 2024
6-27 June 2024

The Cape Philharmonic Orchestra has a wonderful season of concerts this winter, held in the atmospheric surrounds of the Cape Town City Hall. Each concert has its own theme and programme, ranging from Tchaikovsky, through to Dutch masters, and culminating in a tribute to the youth and a celebration of South Africa’s 30 years of democracy.
Where: City Hall
When: 19h30
Cost: Depends on booking
https://www.cpo.org.za/new/

Unbelievable – Family Magic Show
8-9 June 2024

Unbelievable is a mind-blowing spectacular that showcases the jaw dropping skills of talented youngsters and graduates of the College of Magic. From grand illusion, to comedy, juggling, daredevil feats and even sleight-of-hand, this unique production will excite and inspire young and old. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated modern magic, for the whole family.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 15h00, 19h00, 12h00
Cost: R135 – R150
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/unbelievable-family-magic-show/

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Lucia di Lammermoor

Lucia di Lammermoor
14-23 June 2024
In celebration of Cape Town Opera’s 25th Anniversary, the company is restaging its first ever production – Lucia di Lammermoor – under the direction of the celebrated founder of Cape Town Opera, Angelo Gobbato. Gaetano Donizetti’s masterful opera tells the heart-wrenching tale of a doomed love affair set against a backdrop of family feuds and political intrigue in 17th century Scotland. With Cape Town Opera’s Fleur du Cap-winning star singer Brittany Smith in the title role.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking 
Cost: R215 – R625
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/lucia-di-lammermoor/

The Whimsical Beanstalk
20-29 June 2024

“The Whimsical Beanstalk” transports audiences on a mesmerising journey, reimagining the timeless tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. With magical moments, compelling
storytelling, and unforgettable characters, this theatrical spectacle guarantees an immersive experience for audiences of all ages.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking 
Cost: R150
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/the-whimsical-beanstalk/

Zolani Mahola as The One Who Sings and The Feminine Force
21 June 2024
The incomparable Zolani Mahola as The One Who Sings will lead a concert with The Feminine Force on one night only. Embark on a journey of musical exploration guided by Mahola’s visionary spirit and the magnetic allure of The Feminine Force. Let the rich tapestry of folk guitars and traditional Xhosa instruments weave stories of resilience, hope and solidarity, echoing Mahola’s vision of a safe haven for women to gather and share their voices.
Where: Gorgeous George Hotel
When: 7pm
Cost: R200
https://www.theonewhosings.com/about-3

CTL Queer Book Club
22 June

There is no need to read specific books, or to even be a member of the library. Come join us for some coffee and cookies and connect with your fellow queer book-lovers.
Where: Cape Town Central Library
When: 09h45-11h45
Cost: Free
https://www.quicket.co.za/events/262229-ctl-queer-book-club/?ref=events-list#/

Cape Town’s Most Wanted
27-29 June 2024

The Best of Cape Town’s Street Dance in one night.
This will be the 13th production of Cape Town’s Most Wanted. It has grown extensively in popularity each year, constantly bringing new audiences to Artscape every year with sold out performances. Produced by The Dance Project & Triple C, it provides a platform for audiences to get to see the best of Cape Town’s Hip Hop dancers, choreographers and dance crews - from right across Cape Town and beyond, in one performance. This is no competition but a “co-creation” where the whole of Cape Town works together to bring out its best. It is a unique opportunity to experience live and raw, on one stage, in a performance that will blow you away!
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on booking 
Cost: R140
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/cape-towns-most-wanted-4/

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Artscape Youth Jazz

Artscape Youth Jazz Series 2024
20-22 June 2024

This event was launched in 2003 as the Youth Jazz Festival. The project has grown extensively over the years to accommodate the enormous interest and exceptional talent of young jazz musicians. As the project continues to evolve it is now known as the Youth Jazz Series. The project includes Masterclass programmes where the young musicians will learn from those experienced in the industry and then they will take to the stage across three days: All Star Alumni Jazz Concert on Thursday 20th June 2024, Youth Jazz Soloists showcase their talent after being mentored by Youth Jazz Alumni on Friday 21st June 2024 and the School Jazz Bands will perform on Saturday 22nd June 2024 at Artscape Theatre.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Depends on individual events
Cost: R50-R90
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/artscape-youth-jazz-series-2024/

Mother City Fashion Experience
29 June 2024

The purpose of the Khayelitsha Fashion Week is to prepare, develop, and establish a platform for local brands to showcase their latest offerings and new designs to the community and surroundings of Khayelitsha. In June 2024, local brands will be launching their winter collection theme, grounded in nature, at the Mother City Fashion Experience.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 13h00
Cost: R120 – R200
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/mother-city-fashion-experience/

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Cape Town Ballet

South African International Ballet Competition
14-17 July 2024

The largest ballet competition in Africa returns to the Artscape. The SAIBC attracts dancers of the highest calibre from South Africa and across the globe and this year sees jury members from China, Canada, South Korea, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, and America. Dancers as young as nine years are eligible to compete in both classical ballet and contemporary.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Varies depending on event
Cost: R150 – R285
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/11th-south-african-international-ballet-competition/

Hamlet
18-26 July 2024

Direct from their acclaimed season at Europe’s largest and most prestigious Shakespeare Festival, Abrahamse & Meyer return to Artscape to present their thrilling take on Shakespeare’s greatest play, Hamlet. The award-winning duo bring their trademark innovation and finesse to this most haunting of plays. With spectacular designs, this breath-taking production promises to be a must see for learners, educators, and lovers of Shakespeare alike.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: Varies
Cost: R100
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/11th-south-african-international-ballet-competition/

Thandiswa – Sankofa in Cape Town
20 July 2024

Award winning musician Thandiswa returns to Artscape after her sold-out show in 2023 with music from her new album Sankofa (to be launched in May 2024). Sankofa is a Twi word from the Akan people of Ghana. It means to “go back and fetch what has been left behind.” In our journeys we may lose our sense of self, our history, our will to fight. We may lose language or ways of being. Sankofa invites us to go back and fetch what has been lost so that we can return whole. Recorded in Johannesburg, Dakar, and New York, Sankofa combines archival Xhosa music, jazz and west African music. Largely developed with co-composer Tendai Shoko, it includes tracks produced by Meshell Ndegeocello and Nduduzo Makhatini. The Sankofa Live show will present this music alongside Thandiswa’s old classics. Her first solo album, Zabalaza, celebrates 20 years in 2024.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan St
When: 20h00
Cost: R350 – R600
https://www.artscape.co.za/event/thandiswa-live-sankofa/

EXHIBITIONS

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The Old Granery

Truth to Power: Desmond Tutu and the Churches
Ongoing

This is a new and exciting permanent exhibition celebrating key aspects of the legacy of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, housed at the Old Granary building. The exhibition is hosted at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Foundation’s headquarters and was curated by the Apartheid Museum. Come and experience the journey of one of South Africa’s greatest sons.
Where: The Old Granary, now Desmond & Leah Tutu House, Cnr Longmarket and Harrington Sts 
When: 09h30 – 15h30 (Tuesday to Saturday)
Cost: Free for children under 18; standard cost R100 with concessions available
www.tutu.org.za

Peter Clarke and Robert Hodgins
17 May – 7 June

Vela Projects presents an exhibition of paintings by two legends of South African art in the twentieth century: Peter Clarke and Robert Hodgins. Both were born in the 1920s and passed away in the 2010s, and both lived and worked in South Africa for most of their lives. They are known principally for paintings, but also served as printmakers, writers and educators. Both were passionate observers of society.
Where: Vela Projects, 66 Plein St
When: 11h00 – 17h00 (Wednesday to Friday), 11h00 – 14h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free
www.velaprojects.co.za

AVA Gallery exhibitions
Now on until 7 June 2024

The Association For Visual Arts (AVA) Gallery is showing three exhibitions in its gallery spaces. They include Sohlangana emlanjeni nna? loosely translated as will we ever meet at the riverbanks though? and showcasing art by four African and African diaspora artists, Simnikiwe Buhlungu, Tessa Mars, Nolan Oswald Dennis (developed with Noa Mori), Rangaoto Hlasane, and The School of Mutants. It is curated by Amogelang Maledu. There is also a group exhibition, Community over Clout, as well as Portals into Domestic Worlds, showing work by Zenaeca Singh and Vida Madighi-Oghu which present a discourse into archival erasure.
Where: Association for Visual Arts, 35 Church St
When: 10h00 – 17h00 (Monday to Friday), 10h00 – 13h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free
www.ava.co.za

99 Loop Gallery exhibitions
1 June 2024

99 Loop Gallery will launch new shows by Chris Denovan, Richard Ketley, Laurinda Belcher and Michal Korycki.
Where: 99 Loop Gallery, 99 Loop St
When: 10h00 – 16h00 (Monday to Friday), 10h00 – 14h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free
www.99loop.co.za

The Light Between
11 May – 8 June

Embracing feminist discourse, 11 artists were tasked with presenting alternative narratives that defy societal expectations, whilst tackling themes such as threatened ecologies, identity, collective histories, cultural dislocation and urban mythology. Artists are from South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.
Where: Whatiftheworld, 16 Buiten Street
When: 09h00 – 17h00 (Monday to Thursday), 09h00-16h00 (Friday), 09h00 – 13h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free
https://www.whatiftheworld.com/

Talk Talk
6 May – 7 June

A group exhibition to mark South Africa’s national elections on 29 May. The media are buzzing with debate; promises are made for better service delivery, fewer power outages, better policing, free housing, health, education, youth employment, land restitution etc. What will be the vision of the ruling party and more importantly, will any transition be equitable and peaceful. How will the culturally diverse population of South Africa and the aspiration of the ordinary people be served? Artwork selected for this show aims, in part, to solicit empathy for the current conditions, as well as to accommodate the independent vision of individual artists who could influence the way South Africans perceive themselves in the future.
Where: The Cape Gallery, 60 Church Street
When: 9h30 – 17h00 (Monday to Friday), 10h00 – 14h00 (Saturday)
Cost: Free
www.capegallery.co.za

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Esther Mahlangu

Then I Knew I Was Good at Painting: Esther Mahlangu, A Retrospective
18 February until 11 August 2024

Celebrated and multi-award-winning South African artist Dr Esther Mahlangu is being honoured with a retrospective highlighting her career spanning 50 years and her meteoric rise as a contemporary artist. After being shown at Iziko, the show, curated by Nontobeko Ntombela, will embark on a global tour, stopping first at the Wits Art Museum in Johannesburg before moving to the United States in early 2026.
Where: Iziko South African National Gallery, Government Ave
When:  09h00 – 17h00 (Monday to Sunday)
Cost: R70 (adults), R40 (children, SA students and pensioners) and R100 for patrons who don’t have or can’t produce a South African ID or SADC passport.
www.iziko.org.za

Hidden Wonders of the Iziko South African Museum
Ongoing

Check out Hidden Wonders to view the Iziko South African Museum’s extraordinary and almost 200-year-old collections. Some of the unique objects featured are ostrich eggshells that were carved into jewellery and given as gifts as well as a real preserved specimen of the “Living fossil fish” discovered by JLB Smith.
Where: The Iziko South African Museum, 25 Queen Victoria St
When:  09h00 – 17h00 (Monday to Sunday)
Cost: R70 (adults), R40 (children, SA students and pensioners) and R100 for patrons who don’t have or can’t produce a South African ID or SADC passport.
www.iziko.org.za

REGULAR EVENTS

Knit & Natter Group
Every first Sunday of the month

Those who love knitting and crocheting will feel at home at the Knit & Natter Group. Members meet on the first Sunday of each month to knit and crochet while sharing wonderful stories. Women from all walks of life are welcome to join and bring yarn and needles, ideas, current projects as well as snacks.
Where: Artscape Theatre Centre (Isibaya Room), D.F. Malan St
When: 15h00 – 17h00
www.artscape.co.za 

Cape Town Craft Club
Every first and second Wednesday of the month

This bimonthly craft circle aims to get creative people together to make stuff in a laid-back, fun and judgment-free space. Absolutely everyone is welcome, from seasoned makers to those who haven’t picked up a crayon since childhood. Bring whatever you’re working on and join the circle whenever you feel like it.
Where: The Ladder on Bree
When: 18h00
https://capetowncraftclub.wordpress.com/craft-circle/

Sunday Jazz Sessions
Sundays 

Openwine hosts Jazz Sessions by talented local artists every week. These are followed by lively Sunday Jazz Jam Sessions.
Where: Openwine, 72 Wale St
When: 17h00
Cost: Free
Instagram: @openwine_za

East City Sessions 
Every Thursday

The classic cocktail lounge, restaurant and boutique bar offers an expertly curated selection of established jazz acts and up-and-coming experimental acts on Thursday nights. So, mark your calendars. While entry is free, booking via bookings@harringtonstreet.co.za is advised. 
Where: Harringtons Cocktail Lounge, 61B Harrington St
When: 19h00
Cost: Free 
Instagram: @eastcitysessions

Sky-Hi Ride
Ongoing

Experience some of the best views of the city and a mighty adrenaline rush. An eye-catching feature on the 28th floor of Hotel Sky, Sky-Hi Ride is a 35-metre thrill ride that takes you up in a chair lift, giving you a bird's eye view of Cape Town. Weather permitting, the Sky-Hi Ride is open to hotel guests and outside visitors. You can purchase a ride or observer ticket. A ride is free on one’s birthday.
Where: 28th Floor, Hotel Sky, 9 Lower Long St
When: 12h00 – 20h00 (Tuesday to Sunday)
Cost: R200 per person (Webtickets)
https://sky-hiride.capetown/

Free CBD Walking Tours
Ongoing

Keen to explore the CBD without breaking the bank? Join free walking tours that take place in town daily. Organisers are keen to make Cape Town walkable for everyone and tour operators therefore rely on tips from clients. Options include a Historic City and Apartheid to Freedom Tour, Apartheid to Freedom and Bo-Kaap Tour and the Bo-Kaap and Historic City Tour. For more information, email info@freewalkingtourscapetown.co.za.
Where: Meet at the Piazza on Church Square, Spin St
When: 11h00, 14h00 and 16h20
Cost: Free
http://bit.ly/3ELMAlt

The Jam at Gorgeous George 
Tuesdays 

Musos keen on a jamming session have a home at the Gorgeous George hotel. The jam happens on Tuesdays and allows musicians to bring their instruments and play with other artists. Anyone is welcome, from music lovers to guitarists, singers, piano players to drummers. 
Where: Gorgeous George, 118 St Georges Mall
When: Every Tuesday from 08h00 – 23h00
Cost: Free 
Instagram: @gorgeousgeorgecpt

Jazz Night at Amber on Bree
Enjoy the beautiful sounds of jazz at Amber on Bree on Thursday nights. 
Where: Amber on Bree, 16 on Bree, Shop 1 & 2
When: 20h00 – 22h00
Cost: Free
www.amber-restaurants.co.za    

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St Georges Market

St George's Market
Every Thursday

Catch the Thursday lunchtime food market on St George's Market every week. It features over 20 food vendors and a selection of vintage clothing stalls. It’s a wonderful opportunity to support local business owners and explore the CBD. 
Where: St Georges Mall, between Wale and Church Sts
When: 11h00 – 15h00
Cost: Free
www.stgsmarket.com

Live Jazz at The Athletic Club & Social
Wednesday to Saturday

The Athletic Club & Social hosts live jazz musicians from Wednesday to Saturday. Aside from the great line-up of artists each week, the three-storey venue has impressive food and cocktail menus and offers great views of Signal Hill. Tickets are available via Quicket. There is also a bar service.
Where: The Athletic Club & Social, 35 Buitengracht St
When: 21h30
Cost: R100
www.theathletic.co.za   

The Blue Room at Grub & Vine
Ongoing

Treat yourself to the sounds of jazz and blues, delicious cocktails and food at The Blue Room at Grub & Vine every week from Tuesday to Saturday. Check out the venue’s website and social media pages to see who is performing next. A pre-show dinner is also available between 18h00 and 20h00. A selection of spirits, wine and beers are also served from 16h00 until late.
Where: Grub & Vine, 103 Bree St
When: 20h00 – 20h40 (first session) 21h00 – 21h40 (second session), 22h00 (third session)
Cost: Cover charge of R200 per person (may differ for some artists)
www.grubandvine.co.za/the-blue-room/   

Story time for children at the Book Lounge
Every Saturday

Where: Book Lounge, 71 Roeland St
When: 11h00 (all kids are welcome and there’s no need to RSVP)
Cost: Free
www.booklounge.co.za  

First Thursdays
First Thursday of every month

Where: Cape Town CBD including inside galleries and restaurants
When: 17h00 till late
Cost: Free
www.first-thursdays.co.za  

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