Cape Town’s electronic-only festival pioneers the best beats

The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival brings progressive beats out the basement and onto the main stage.

Cape Town’s electronic scene is diverse, energised but mostly underground and misunderstood by those not in “the know”. The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival is doing big work to change all that, showcasing the best electronic music the city has to offer and introducing the genre to new audiences, both local and visitors.

Taking place in early February, the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival has only been around since 2012, but already it has a solid reputation for bringing the most innovative, relevant and thrilling acts to its stages. Top local acts are given the chance to perform in front of the most enthusiastic (and critical) of crowds, while international pioneers such as Four Tet come to show off their skills and entertain until there’s no more sweat to be sweated.

They take their electro seriously at this festival. In addition to live acts, festival goers can attend a number of workshops and specialised showcases over the course of three days.

The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival is held in the iconic Cape Town City Hall in the city centre. Come feel this Edwardian building reverberate with progressive beats.

Dance to urban beats at Cape Town’s ultimate electro party

Craig Stack from nightlife and entertainment website MyCityByNight gives the low-down on an annual event that has become the preferred destination for electronica local and international enthusiasts.

The Cape Town Electronic Music Festival (CTEMF) is an annual inner city electronic music festival that brings together Cape Town’s diverse party scenes with a lineup that includes the full spectrum of electronic dance music, from techno to house, gqom, hip-hop, electronica and more.

What makes this festival all the more special is that it is not just a showcase of local talent.  CTEMF also focuses on providing a platform for international and local acts to share the stage – their knowledge of and passion for music – through a series of workshops in the lead-up to the core festival.

Apart from being the premier local, inner city music festival, CTEMF is renowned for consistently curating a world class lineup of local DJ and acts that draws music lovers and party people from all walks of life across South Africa.

The production value of the festival always exceeds expectations.

CTEMF is an education in electronic music – an audio visual experience that’ll leave you wanting more.

The best of electronic dance music in Cape Town

Over the last few years electronic dance music events have exploded in Cape Town. Manager and events booker Dominique Gawlowski breaks down which venues best showcase EDM.

It’s astonishing how much electronic dance music is growing and developing when you take into consideration our geographical and economic disadvantages. Despite these we are still finding ways to bring international artists to Cape Town, as well as seeing more and more European and American tours by South African artists. Ten years ago these things just didn’t happen.

Currently we have a number of electronic music festivals, such as the Cape Town Electronic Music Festival, Grietfest, Sonar, Ultra, Resonance and Earthdance. There’s also a rise in the number of successful genre-based boutique music festivals catering to the electronic dance music EDM audiences, such as Wolfkop, Twilight, We Love Summer and Tropical Roast. That’s a pretty impressive amount when you factor in the limited demographics of people who are able to afford these events and generally be interested in electronic dance music.

When my overseas friends come to visit Cape Town I give them three names: The Assembly, Fiction and Era. I know these are no big secrets, but they truly are where you should go to see and hear real quality.

All three have their completely separate charms. Fiction has hosted literally the biggest names in the world such as Skrillex, Boysnoize, Pendulum, DJ Fresh, Friction, Cyantific and more, yet only has a dance floor for 250 people.

Era is a club that is completely on par with the best of the best by international standards. It’s a basement techno and house club that has immaculate attention to detail, to-die-for sound and a general good vibe.

The Assembly is a monument to achievement in bringing a quality space for international and local stars to come and play. Its size alone makes it a sought-after venue for any travelling act, as does its attention to quality audio, stage production and never compromising on always rewarding their audiences with a good show. This is simply not possible in the smaller venues. No matter what your taste in electronic dance music is you’ll find it in one of those three venues.