Four festivals you need to know about happening in September

Four festivals you need to know about happening in September

As we’re heading into spring, outdoor festivals are luring young and old out of their Covid-19 shells, inviting them to indulge in what nature and fresh air have to offer.

Opt for a Jordan Wines garden walk during the Garden festival Stellenbosch. Image: Supplied


Whether it’s art, food, fun or even just the outdoors you’re after, here are some exciting festivals to keep in mind for the next month or two.

Turbine Art Fair

29 September – 3 October

The Turbine Art Fair (TAF) – the epicentre of emerging art in South Africa – brings artists from the SADC region together, giving them a platform to present, sell and celebrate their work.

The fair aims to empower, entertain, educate and sell when it comes to art. This year’s TAF also presents a hybrid version, TAF ARCADE, which will provide online viewing rooms and a smaller art fair in Illovo with selected highlighted and featured projects.

TAF ARCADE is themed ‘Evergreen’ and will showcase art, craft and design exhibitions from South African and Southern African galleries, collectives, art dealers, creative project spaces and featured curated exhibitions.

Garden Week Stellenbosch

30 September – 10 October

South Africa’s city of oaks’ brand-new annual festival of gardens will transform Stellenbosch’s streets and surrounding countryside – an exciting run-up to National Garden Day on 17 October.

Inspired by the renowned flower festival in Girona, Spain, the inaugural Garden Week Stellenbosch will encompass everything from horticultural tours and landscape art to dining, hiking and music in majestic settings. Not to mention the various guest specialists that you’ll be able to engage with.

The first Garden Week Stellenbosch will officially be launched with a flower parade on 30 September. During the festival, some of Stellenbosch’s most splendid public gardens will be open to visitors, including the Old Nectar estate in Jonkershoek, the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden in Paradyskloof, Spier Wine Farm (with a workshop for kids included) and Delaire Graff Estate. Some private garden owners will also participate in the festival, boasting an inside glimpse of life in Stellenbosch.

Spier Wine Farm
Spier Wine Farm forms part of the Garden Festival’s fun. Image: Supplied

The festival will include talks and workshops and the Stellenbosch Botanical Gardens has complied a programme of daily walks and talks to be presented by acclaimed specialists. Workshops will also be presented at the Rupert Museum, Blaauwklippen Wine Farm, Jordan Wines, Spier Estate and Babylonstoren. The Stellenbosch Arts Association will also be presenting a botanical drawing workshop.

Babylonstoren flower crown
Babylonstoren Flower Crown. Image: Supplied

As Stellenbosch is known for its stellar wining and dining reputation, it’s only natural that there will also be garden-and-wine dining events and that festival-inspired dishes will be added to local restaurants’ menus. There will also be a Finding Eden experience hosted at Blaauwklippen Estate’s magical Cathedral, with Michelin star chef, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, giving guests a glimpse of the gardens in his life – from Le Jardin de JAN in Nice, France (his restaurant, JAN’s new potager garden and picnic spot) to his Kalahari-based culinary playground.

A seven-course Botanical Banquet is another item on the festival’s itinerary not to be missed, which will bring the JAN experience to the Stellenbosch Winelands for the very first time.

Cape Town International Kite Festival

2 – 31 October

From 2 – 31 October 2021, the 27th Cape Town International Kite Festival will be doing various pop-up fly events in support of Cape Mental Health. For its 27th edition, the event will be a hybrid event as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, the inspiration is ‘One Sky, One World’ and people from across the globe will be flying kites tagging #EveryoneDeservesToFly. With 10 October being World Mental Health Day, the festival is aiming to raise R100,000 to enable Cape Mental Health to provide essential free mental healthcare services.

Cape Town International Kite Festival
Cape Town International Kite Festival. Image: iStock

It’s also the best time to be outdoors, as it’s on the brink of summer. The festival – with its various pop-up fly events – promises some uplifting, memorable experiences for young and old.

Two fixed pop-up events will be hosted. The first one will take place on 10 October at Dolphin Beach and the second will be on 23 October at Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

Toyota US Woordfees

1 – 7 October

The Toyota US Woordfees, which is usually hosted in Stellenbosch, will be hosted in your lounge this year, through the very first festival television channel in DStv history. Due to the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions, festival organisers have had to be innovative on a whole new level.

The Afrikaans festival can be viewed on DStv channel 150, including festival regulars and firsts from writers, books, theatre, music and visual arts to comedy, lifestyle, classical music, ‘Woorde Open Wêrelde’ and much more.

Viewers can look forward to contemporary music including a David Kramer tribute named ‘Boland tot Broadway’, Karen Zoid with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and Spoegwolf Live.

Schalk Bezuidenhout, Kagiso KG Mokgadi, Alfred Adriaan, Wayne McKay and more will keep you entertained with stand-up comedy, and you’ll even be able to take a lifestyle journey with Stellenbosch-based chef, Bertus Basson and well-known Stellenbosch residents.

Sit back and enjoy some heart-warming theatre pieces like Adam Small’s ‘Krismis van Map Jacobs’, Jefferson Tshabalala’s ‘Off the Record’ and ‘Sê groete vir Ma’ with Hannes van Wyk.

You can also learn more about Nataniël’s new book, 107 Kaalkoppe, Jeremy Vearey and Deon Meyer’s Into Dark Water and explore lockdown recipes and stories with Ingrid Jones, Reuben Riffel and others.

On the dance front, check out Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater with Cape Town City Ballet and Cape Town Baroque Ensemble and Gat innie grond, Wond in my siel from Garage Ensemble.

Also, relax with some classical music from Alissa Magulis and Luis Magalhães, Megan-Geoffrey Prins and the Amici String Quartet, Stellenbosch University’s choir and also Zorada Temmingh.

One thing is for sure, September and October will undoubtedly keep us entertained, whether it’s under Stellenbosch’s old oaks or from the comfort of your couch.

TAF Open Access

TAF Open Access is a library of content form Turbine Art Fair’s. ongoing programme. Watch past talks, artist & curator interviews and professional practice insights and training.

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