All roads lead to The Shack: the city’s after-party club

The Shack isn’t the coolest club in Cape Town, but this late-night venue is always interesting…

The Shack may not be the prettiest building in town, but you won’t find a friendlier bunch of real people! The regular crowd is extremely mixed, from students to musicians to young professionals and even the odd refugee from a cocktail party over on the fancier side of town. In fact, a common Cape Town expression is that after a certain time of night, “all roads lead to The Shack”.

With five bars to choose from, even on a busy night service is usually good. Each bar is different and play different music depending on the tastes of the bar staff, each of whom gets to play DJ.

Apart from the bars, The Shack features pool and foosball tables, an outdoor area and a kitchen that serves consistently delicious food, including pizza, burgers, stuffed pita, awesome chilli poppers and the most unique fried chips in town.

Only a short cab ride from central Cape Town, The Shack shares a city block with its neighbour Mercury Live, one of Cape Town’s most popular live music venues. This makes it perfect for combining music with an after-party!

Yes, things can get messy at The Shack, but the regulars and visitors wouldn’t want it any other way.

The Shack is open till 4am, seven days a week. It open at 12pm from Monday to Friday and 6pm on the weekends. It offers a unique experience and is well worth a visit.

Come play at Cape Town’s quirkiest music festival!

There is no festival in Cape Town like the Flamjangled Tea Party. Expect a weekend of dress-up, games, silliness, dancing, playing and incredible live acts, all on a beautiful farm settting an easy drive from the city centre. Festival organiser Regan Tacon of GoodTimes Events, explains what makes this festival an unmissable melting pot of fun, music and eccentricity.

The Flamjangled Tea Party is a weekend-long outdoor festival that aims to create an event firmly rooted in the eclectic, artistic and humorous side of life.

The Flamjangled Tea Party is all about mixing things up, being eclectic, frivolous, light hearted, chilled, silly, cheeky, naughty, arty and fun….The vibe at this festival is one you won’t find elsewhere: it’s unlike anything else in Cape Town. It is super relaxed and we take being silly very seriously!

There are many really satisfying elements of organising — and experiencing — The Flamjangled Tea Party. It’s like smiles on dials. People leave the event invigorated, not burnt out. They exit happy and full of life, and this is what we are after.

This ain’t no ‘thrash’! This is a bunch of people who love life, having the time of their lives with friends old and new, in a beautiful setting. We want people to leave feeling as if they have just stepped out of one of their favourite childhood dreams where everything is smiley and happy.

From beach to bar: Camps Bay’s coastal clubbing experience

After a day languishing in the sun and sea Camps Bay beach, head over to one of these venues for a sundowner and relaxed entertainment before changing gears into full party mode.

The Grand Café & Room boasts a breath-taking view mere metres from the beach, featuring ambient electronic music from a variety of guest DJs. You’re guaranteed a mood-appropriate playlist as you sip on fancy cocktails and enjoy a delicious dinner. The party winds up the further the sun sets below the horizon and the venue features a private penthouse suite if you’re keen for an overnight stay. There is an air of sophistication to the space without losing the relaxed nature of the beach aesthetic.

Café Caprice is the trendy, popular, not-to-be-missed venue in Camps Bay. The clientele are accustomed to a wealthy lifestyle and this venue reflects that. Signature cocktails and premium liquor are the drinks of choice, with VIP tables and bottle service upon request. The venue is open from Monday to Sunday with DJs spinning house, lounge and commercial music on weekend nights.

If you want to party like a local without any pretence or dress code, Dizzy’s Café is the answer. Dizzy’s is well-known for their pizzas and they  have a fully licensed restaurant, pub and non-smoking lounge, making it the perfect place to eat, drink and play. You can live out your pop star dreams on karaoke nights or attend one of their themed parties (minimal cover charge).

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.

Where to party in Cape Town’s southern suburbs

Only 15 minutes drive from Cape Town’s city centre, the leafy suburb of Claremont is the nightlife centre of the area known as the Southern Suburbs. When night falls, the predominantly student population comes out to party!

Main Road is the long, primary arterial road leading out of Cape Town central towards the False Bay coast. The Claremont section of this road houses a complex known as Stadium On Main. Inside you’ll find Tin Roof, the perfect place to let your hair down and dance up a storm. The music varies from old school hip hop to classic rock and the dress code is smart casual. A bonus is that there is no cover charge, which fits the budget of the many students and young adults who make this their local.

With a host of cool events, including the odd wet T-shirt competition, Tiger Tiger is one of the more lively clubs in the area. Also in Stadium on Main, but upstairs from Tin Roof, the music here is more of a commercial dance variety. Entrance fee is R50 (but free before 21h30) and age restriction is 18 on Thursday nights but 21 otherwise. Dress code is smart. This is a great club to meet singles and get down on the dance floor.

A decent option if you’re not looking for a “club” is the local Stones. Part of a Cape Town chain, these are non-sleazy pool bars where young people gather to play pool or foosball, chat and sometimes dance to whatever’s on offer. The music here is old school commercial during the day and changes to commercial house at night, depending on the crowd.

Last but not least, Oblivion is a European style wine bar and restaurant located in Chichester Street, Claremont. There is no entrance fee and this club attracts a slightly older age group around 25 to 35. The music varies from pop to commercial. This is great for a crazy night of dancing on tables and the multi-coloured dance floor.

You know it’s summer when the outdoor psy-trance parties start

Trance heads will find a next level experience at any one of these popular trance parties in and around Cape Town during summer.

The Rezonance New Year’s Eve party at Contermanskloof Farm in Durbanville in Cape Town’s northern suburbs, has built a solid reputation within the trance community for delivering ethereal décor, top-notch sound systems on all four of its stages and a safe space for partygoers to go wild.

Another prominent trance party is the annual Earthdance at Nekkies Resort in Worcester, about an hour’s drive from Cape Town. This festival unites people at Earthdance events around the world when they play the same peaceful song at all the events simultaneously. Children under the age of 12 are allowed under parental supervision, but under-18s are not allowed. Earthdance festival also boasts three stages that play a range of genres from techno to pystrance to drum & bass.

One of the oldest psy-trance festivals in the country is Alien Safari, an event that is frequently hailed as the only one that plays original psychedelic music. It’s a huge outdoor coming together and occasionally has a dress-up element to it.  The 2015 Alien Safari Sprung was cancelled due to a lack of venue, but organisers have promised a massive 21st celebration for 2016.

Another well-established psytrance festival is Vortex, which takes place twice a year in Riviersonderend, about 140 kilometres from Cape Town, at a place called Circle of Dreams. It’s a delightful experience for the senses as the organisers create a quirky environment for event-goers to inhabit over five days, aided by a top class line-up of DJs.