If you’re a person who loves spending time outdoors (without hiking boots, sweat and mosquitoes), and you believe there just isn’t enough food, love and live music in the world, then you’ll want to pack at least a few fresh festival experiences into this year.

It doesn’t get any fresher than leaving the city behind and heading for the hills. So, we’ve brought you five off the beaten track festivals to add your list of things to do in the coming year.

  1. Darling Summer Beer Festival, Darling

Darling Summer Beer Festival

Held every year on Reconciliation Day, 16 December, the Darling Summer Beer Festival delivers all you’d expect of a beer festival – ice-cold beer, mouthwatering food with offerings of wholesome local deliciousness as well as refined cuisine, an impressive lineup of musicians, and time to share with friends and family. It’s the quaint town of Darling that makes this a unique and off-the-beaten-track event.

The point of the festival, apart from chilled fun and food, of course, is to showcase great West Coast breweries. Last year, Darling Brew served their craft beer to festival patrons straight from brewery tanks – it just doesn’t get any fresher than that!

The little ones are catered for, too, with a large play area and plenty of activities to keep them happy.

DBexperience@darlingbrew.co.za | Facebook: @DarlingBrew

  1. Cooked Sister – Wolfkop Weekender, Matjiesfontein

Twisted Sister Festival Cape Town Majiesfontein 1

Twisted Sister Festival Cape Town Majiesfontein 2

The town of Matjiesfontein in the Klein Karoo may seem like an odd place to hold a whole load of festive events every year over a weekend in June, but it isn’t. You see, the town’s original big cheese – James Douglas Logan – loved a good celebration. So, he developed a knack of bringing interesting people together, some of them were pretty well-known at the time – Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Lord Randolph Churchill (father of Winston) and Cecil John Rhodes, to name a few. It was a time of fun and festivities, when one needed no excuse to break out the champagne or picnic in the veld in an old London double-decker bus.

Wolfkop Weekender has become a music festival when anything can happen and nothing is too oddball. This can be scavenger hunts in the courthouse, tea parties attended by guests decked out in Victorian garb, Bloody Mary’s around the pool to the sexy sounds of jazz. The point is: you get to design your own experience in true eccentric style.

Wolfkopweekender.wontom.com/tickets  |  Facebook: @WolfkopWeekender

  1. Oh Dam Music Festival

This festival is so far off the beaten track that you’ll need to bring a tent! Held over a long weekend in April, this festival brings together a hot lineup of musicians and one of the most beautiful outdoor experiences the Western Cape has to offer.

Clanwilliam is famous for its rock art created thousands of years ago by the San and Khoi. The old town is now a significant Rooibos tea supplier and the Clanwilliam Dam draws nature-lovers and adventurers to its flora, fauna and water sports.

The festival is held at the dam and delivers three days of fun for the whole family.

camissasolutions2@outlook.com

  1. Bot River Barrels and Beards Harvest Festival

Bot River Barrels Beards Harvest Festival Cape TownEach April, food and wine lovers take the N2 highway to the Overberg (just an hour from Cape Town) for a harvest festival that celebrates the best food and wine the region has to offer. You’re in for a selection from 13 mostly family-owned wine farms that produce world-class wines. The food won’t disappoint either.

So, where do the beards come in, you may ask? It’s simple. When the grape harvest starts, it’s none stop go, go, go. Grapes can be pernickety things, so it’s a race to get them picked and to the cellar when they’re just right for making wine. The last thing anyone thinks of is wasting time shaving, which is why beards in the vineyards and cellars are a common sight this time of year.

Of course, along with great food, wine and music, there is an award for the best harvest-time beard!

info@bartonvineyards.co.za  |  Facebook: @BotRiverWines

  1. Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival

Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival If your idea of heaven is visiting one wine farm after the other that not only offers signature cuisine paired with local wine, but fun and entertainment for the kids, too, then the Elgin Cool Wine and Country Festival, held at the end of April, is the festival for you.

Each participating winery creates their own unique programme for visitors that showcase their unique offering. This can include, not only memorable food, chocolate and wine pairings served in any number of ways (from food trucks to a la carte menus), but also a number of popular musicians, outdoor activities and scenic outdoor settings in the Elgin Valley. This festival is a great way to spend the weekend for the whole family.

saltatpaulcluver@gmail.com  |  Facebook: @WinesofElgin

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