CTEMF 2016

Cape Town Electronic Music Festival 2016 review


For the past three years I have had the pleasure of attending the CTEMF. It’s an event I attend to educate myself a little more about the current electronic music scene and to explore the different subgenres. The city hall acts as the perfect canvas for the colour and culture of this festival – century-old meets new, current and “now”.

This year was the fifth edition, but to me the the festival is as current and relevant as ever. A carefully curated line-up was put together to represent a little bit of the past, present and future of local and international electronic music.

True to the festival’s innovative nature, they opened a brand-new “Club Stage”, hidden in one of the City Hall’s corners. Here festival-goers could party the night (and day) away in a room filled with quality beats and strobe lighting. The lighting and sound is always top-notch. And even though its effect can only really be appreciated when the sun goes down, they always make an effort to set the mood just right.

On Saturday I arrived just as the first acts were getting comfortable on stage. I made my way to the outdoor stage – held at on the roof terrace last year – moved to the side of the hall. Attendees were already sipping Red Bull and swaying in their Nikes, peaking over their Ray Bans. It’s music meets culture.

From here on, I walked through the City Hall peeking into the different rooms trying to get a feel for every stage. The venue is amazing. It felt as if you are in one giant, underground club. During Saturday evening I find my favourite act of the day in Driemanskap and marvel at how confidently they mix different genres to create a mind-blowing act. Though it is Sibot and Toyota that really hypes the crowd up for what’s still to come. They never disappoint.

We stay for Petite Noir. I find his performance intriguing, almost eerie and mysteriously smooth. Cape Town responds with a lot of love for the half-Congolese, half-Angolan, Cape Town resident.

On Sunday the festival slowly but surely picks up just after lunch. Beat Sampras brings the ultimate afternoon chill beats, as the terrace slowly becomes alive. Just before sunset producer Terrence Pearce took to the deck in the Auditorium, opening the night’s programme on the main stage, as crowds gathered for Nightmares On Wax outside.

The festival is proof that we can compete against similar international events such as Sonar. The organisation behind it is top-notch – from the line-up choice to the media area where you can safely store your equipment in between acts, and do interviews with artists.

Thank you CTEMF for bringing together such a broad spectrum of home-grown South African talent and their international equivalents.


Contact me: eliinthecity@gmail.com
Cape Town/Johannesburg Blogger


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