Cape Town’s gay nightlife is always alive on ‘the pink strip’

Most of Cape Town’s gay clubs are clustered in Sea Point, a suburb neighbouring the city centre and a stone’s throw from De Waterkant ‘gay district’. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl who likes boys, who like boys who like girls, who like girls…expect to party till the sun comes up.

On Sea Point’s Somerset Road lies an area of clubs and bars that Cape Town affectionately refers to as “the pink strip”. Start off the night at Beefcakes Burger Bar, which offers a range of entertainment all week from spectacular drag performances to fabulous dinner theatre to choreographed male performers —  there’s something for everyone at this restaurant and bar.

The men’s-only Amsterdam Action Bar and the ever-popular Café Manhattan offer the best in cocktails, light meals and are also great places to kick off your evening.

A few metres away is the upmarket Crew Bar, which boasts many shirtless bartenders, roomy dancefloors and DJs playing the best in commercial music.

Beaulah Bar is another regular on the pink strip and is usually brimming over the weekend with ladies and men who love to boogy to the DJs’ hip-shaking tunes.

The most extravagant event on the gay calendar is the Mother City Queer Project (MCQP), which takes place in mid-December and is the biggest and oldest gay event in Africa. People come from all over the world to experience this themed event, where over-the-top costumes are the order of the day and the more revealing the better!

MCQP: when the mother of all parties paints Cape Town pink

Gay, straight, bi, trans. German, Capetonian, American. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your sexual preference is, Cape Town’s annual Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) party attracts and unites people from all walks of life.

Cape Town’s Mother City Queer Project is famed the world over as one of the world’s best parties, and attracts more than 10 000 partygoers each year, making it the largest gay event in South Africa (although organisers say the event now attracts more straight than gay people).

Established in 1993, Capetonians wait with bated breath every year as a different theme is announced, with much pomp and ceremony. For 2015, the theme was Candyland. Past themes include Space Cowboys, In The Navy and Fairytale Fantasy. Entry is dependent upon one important consideration – your costume – and partygoers are encouraged to be as creative and innovative as they can be.

But MCQP is about so much more than just costume – it’s a chance for the businessperson to swap their chinos for a speedo, for the introvert to cover herself in body glitter and for the meek to meet multiple faces in and around the venue.

The entertainment line up is varied and spans many genres. From local legendary DJs spinning ‘80s classics to pop bands busting out their top 40 hits. MCQP’s entertainment caters for all tastes.

MCQP has been housed in several different iconic locations around Cape Town, including the historic City Hall and the stadium that hosted the  2010 Fifa World Cup, so pay close attention to the MCQP website for regular updates. Tickets prices range from R390 for General Access to R950 for VIP – and can be bought directly from the website.