Rob’s Top 5 Picks For The Weekend

by Robert Clunie

I’ll try and be succinct today and spare you of the weekly drivel that you either loathe or, at times, and hopefully so, get a chuckle out of. The person responsible for the invention of time only allocated so much in day. Before I’m heckled, please know that I’m aware of the physics involved as the Earth rotates on its own axis over a period of 24 hours. Being facetious is just an entertaining way of dealing with our day-to-day struggle on this hunk of rock three houses down the solar street. It is what it is and I’ll run as quickly as I can through our schedule today.

As an aside, for those who shan’t participate in this weekend’s listed itinerary, please rattle the turnstiles at Kings Park, Ellis Park and Newlands this weekend during the opening round of the Currie Cup. The tournament may have lost its lustre in recent years, but the brand of rugby played is still top class. You can get tickets starting at a ridiculously cheap price. I’ll hazard a guess and say that you shan’t struggle to find a seat. Besides, we want bums on seats in this here country of ours – numbers are also a way of making sure that this union does not collapse.

  1. BMW Fanatics Race Day 2019, 13 July

Cost: Free


Well, free for the spectators, because I suspect that those who’d wish to participate in such an event have already purchased what they needed to. I also don’t think that there are too many capable racing drivers in this country because it is not as popular as it is in, say, Europe. But attending such an event as an onlooker is enough to get the adrenaline pumping. Petrol heads are therefore implored to make their way to the Red Star Raceway this Saturday with the whole family. It’s only an hour and a bit out of Johannesburg, just beyond the quaint little town of Delmas. Visit Red Star Raceway for details.

  1. Cellar Rats Winter Wine Festival 2019, 13 July

Cost: R70-R180, available through Webtickets

Man, are you going to get your money’s worth here! Not only will you be treated to hundreds and hundreds of buyable goodies, but you’ll afford yourself a peaceful day out of the city for a few hours. The Cellar Rats Festival will once again be held at the Bosheuvel Country Estate in Muldersdrift and it is shaping up to be a big’un this year. The title rightly suggests that there will be plenty of wine to sample, but there will be hordes of craft gins, craft beers, ports and pot-still brandies to sample from some of the best independent brewers and distillers. You effectively will have your pick of over 400 items to pair with a variety of food. The event is also family friendly and an entertainment area will keep the little ones busy while you do your thing.

  1. East Rand Gin Festival 2019, 13 July

Cost: Varies depending on package, available through Quicket


This one, sadly, runs concurrently with the festival above. It is also on the other side of Johannesburg so simple logistics will dictate that you’d probably have to attend one or the other. Fully developed human also aren’t exactly suited to split in half, for obvious reasons. But, I suspect that the east Rand Gin Festival will suit those on the N3 side of the city a little better. It will be hosted at the he Birchwood Hotel and OR Tambo Conference Centre where you’ll be able to sample 40 different gins crafted by master distillers. I also hear that the tonic needed to complete your cocktails will be handed out willy-nilly – that’s a bonus, right? You’ll naturally grow a little hungry, but you’ll be covered by the scores of food trucks and stands available to fill out that hole. Jumping castles and face painting stations will also keep the kids busy and you are urged to take along a picnic blanket and chairs along so that you can relax on the premises’ lawn. The day will be capped off by an exquisite fire show.

  1. Jeremy Loops, 13 July

Cost: R250, available through Viagogo

The popularity of some performers tends to taper off of a period of time; this unfortunate state of affairs certainly does not apply to Jeremy Loops. His unique blend of genres has seen him as a much-desired headliner not only in his native South Africa, but abroad, too. In fact, he has headlined tours promoting his albums in the US, Europe and Australia. One can think of him as one of our country’s finest musical exports. This weekend he’ll trade the huge, open-air affairs he is so used to performing at for the quaint town of Jeffreys Bay. Join this musical sojourner as he treats his audience with material from two full-length albums.

  1. Franschhoek Bastille Festival 2019, 13-14 July

Cost: R395, available through Webtickets or at the door


Franschhoek is not only one of the oldest towns, riddled with history, in the country, but also one of the more idyllic ones, too. The once sleepy, country retreat is now a cultural and gastronomic hub in the Western Cape and any event it hosts is nothing short of spectacular. It is also apt that the Bastille Festival is hosted within the town proper given Franschhoek’s strong ties with the French Huguenots. It is but a short drive from both Cape Town and Stellenbosch so there is, barring an emergency, very little reason why you should not show face. The Huguenot Monument and the surrounding pop-up village will be adorned in the French red, white and blue as it celebrates it European heritage. Naturally you’ll be able to get your hands on a tonne of wine because of the French connection and the viniculture synonymous with the region. French-inspired cuisine will keep you full and there will be plenty of entertainment for the whole family, including live music.

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