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Head to South Africa for genre-defining music and art

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South Africa is steeped in musical and artistic history, and with a rich culture spanning thousands of years, it’s no wonder many musicians and artists (both local and international) take their inspiration from this country and its people. Musically, there’s a thriving live scene featuring everything from jazz to house. In the art world, you’ll find contemporary art and street art as well as the old masters.

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AfrikaBurn is a music and arts festival that takes place annually in the remote Tankwa Karoo region of Northern Cape. Founded on the same philosophy of the Burning Man festival in the US, there’s a ‘no money’ and ‘no spectator’ rule once on site, as each visitor is expected to contribute to proceedings in some way, whether that’s by setting up a food stall or dancing on stage. The ‘mission statement’ is to create an inclusive music-loving community that offers an alternative to mainstream events. And wow, does it deliver. Tickets for 2017’s festival (24-30 April) are on sale now. Prepare for the most exciting and different festival you’ll attend all year, in the most dramatic location. (afrikaburn.com). 

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On 31 March and 1 April the world-renowned Cape Town Jazz Festival will take over the city’s International Convention Centre with its programme of traditional and progressive jazz. The largest music event in sub-Saharan Africa, more than 40 artists will perform over two nights. This acclaimed event attracts huge names in R&B and jazz from around the world. As well as concerts there are workshops, ‘gigs for kids’ and free community performances (capetownjazzfest.com).

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For art lovers, The Johannesburg Art Gallery is home to more than 9,000 artworks, spanning seven centuries where you’ll see European greats such as Matisse, Picasso, Monet and Rodin as well as contemporary South African names like Gerard Sekoto and Pierneef. Those into modern art will be love The Stellenbosch Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery, one of the largest commercial exhibition spaces in the Western Cape, which hosts exhibitions on numerous contemporary art movements as well as those from the abstract and protest periods. (smacgallery.com)

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(Images: Afrikaburn - Raul Aragão / I Hate Flash)

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