A guide to the Cape Town Jazz Festival
Going into its 17th year, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival has long passed institution status. Yearly, during the first weekend of April, jazz lovers make the pilgrimage to the Mother City to soak up the music and culture. 40 acts performing on five stages over two days is a wonder to behold, the festival is not called Africa’s grandest gathering lightly.
Over the years there have been hits and misses when it comes to the line-up of musicians. There have been debates regarding how the festival often centres and headlines popular music acts, which are usually draw-cards for a wider audience. But with all this, jazz has never suffered. Jazz lovers are always guaranteed a taste of the very best of jazz each year.
Tickets for Cape Town Jazz Festival are sold to the public in three distinct packages:
The weekend pass
With a weekend pass, jazz lovers attending the Cape Town Jazz Festival have full access to the two-day soulful spectacular. Attendees get to pick and choose which performances they want to watch at any given time. Be it the big international names, genre legends on packed stages or up and coming jazz acts.
Weekend passes have sold out for the 2016 festival but for future festivals it is always better to get a weekend pass. It’s more economically sound and you get more jazz for your buck.
One day passes
One day passes grant attendees entrance to either day the festival is on. Festival goers with one day passes have access to the full day for which they purchase their tickets but comparing price points it is always better to attend both days of the festival.
One show pass
For R30.00 per show, attendees can access the Rosies stage where they will enjoy a relaxed and intimate atmosphere. The Rosies stage passes are for sale to people already attending the full festival or hold a one-day pass.
The free concert
As a lead up to the festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival hosts a free concert for the Cape Town community and a number of performers booked for the festival give the public a taste of jazz in a great night of music. Held in Greenmarket Square, the concert gives the larger public, who are unable to attend the festival, a taste of what will be happening at the Cape Town International Convention Centre on the weekend of the festival.
Most Cape Town Jazz Festival attendees come from cities outside the Western Cape. Accommodation is a huge consideration for those planning to attend. The weekend of the festival is busy for tourism and it’s not an unreasonable practice for hospitality industry practitioners to surcharge last minute bookings. What are the options for those attending from out of town?
With advanced booking, the options are endless. There are B&Bs that will set visitors up in comfort with the mountain not too far in the distance. Cape Town is full of luxurious hotels that offer personal, yet not too stifling attention. Elegant and attentive boutique hotels can be found around the city too.
For those looking to try something for the first time, there’s always the option of an Airbnb. Through the Airbnb website, festival goers will be able to book anything from a bedroom in a seaside home to a beautiful flat in the heart of the city.
The key to making the best of your Cape Town International Jazz Festival weekend is to make your bookings early, whatever your accommodation choice.
The modes of transport encouraged during big festivals like this one are of the public variety. Cape Town has a public transport system that is becoming more efficient year on year. There are also apps, such as Uber that provide taxi services to users.
There you have it. Plan and go forth in the name of Jazz!