Holiday season gig guide

Solange Knowles
Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Glamour

We’re heading into the cooler-box season, and can look forward to celebrating with family and friends most weekends — and weekdays! But spending the holidays on an endless circuit of braais can become boring — lifestyle writer Londiwe Dlomo suggests some festive alternatives.

All aboard the party train 

This is the tick-off-your-bucket-list kind of fun. If you’re looking for a unique experience to ring in the New Year, the Vic Falls Carnival is perfect for you. 

You get to travel our beloved continent, while making friends with people from all walks of life. A party train sets off from Bulawayo on December 28, and there are various activities at every stop. The next day, party-goers are encouraged to dress up in traditional African fabrics and experience the musical stylings of DJ Francis and DJ Jason Le Roux at a private bush location. Renowned South African DJ Black Coffee will be headlining the festival for the first time. You can catch his concert on December 30. And, to ring 2018, you can dance to Tresor, The Kiffness, MiCasa, Zimbabwe’s Ammara Brown, Rubber DUC, Zambia’s Mampi, and many more at the New Year’s Unity Concert. For the fullest experience, you’ll be pleased to know that festival goers are offered a 10% discount on all adventure travel packages. So, if you’re in the mood for some white-water rafting, bungee jumping, or an elephant-back safari, look no further.

Price: From R6 250 per person, depending on the travel package you choose.

Be an Afro-futuristic punk in Johannesburg

If you prefer to party closer to home, the AfroPunk Festival is the one for you. Your ears will be in for a treat, as the lineup for this festival is top-notch. Solange Knowles will be headlining the festival, alongside other international and local acts, including King Tha vs Blk Jks, Nonku Phiri, The Brother Moves On, Spoek Mathambo, Anderson Paak, Laura Mvula, and many others. The festival, which originates from Brooklyn, New York, and was founded by James Spooner and Matthew Morgan, will be in South Africa for the first time on December 30 and 31. The festival’s theme is unity, and encourages its attendees to embrace people’s diverse backgrounds, so fashion is a major part of the weekend. Get ready to let your creativity loose, and to marvel, as AfroPunk Joburg promises to be jam-packed with fashion, culture and music. 

Price: R400 to R900, depending on whether you choose a day or weekend pass.

Island fun

If popping bottles on an island is your idea of a good time, the ever-popular Pop Bottles music festival will be heading to Mauritius for the first time this December. The festival, dubbed South Africa’s finest hip-hop experience, runs from December 15 to 18. If you’re a hip-hop head with a taste for adventure, this one is for you. Tickets are available via the Pop Bottles website. You can also opt for travel packages, which include return airfare, accommodation, access to the full Pop Bottles experience, and select complimentary activities, including waterskiing and other water-related sports. 

Prices: From $1 500 per person sharing.

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