Funny Festival Encourages Winter Tourism
Cape Town is not called the “City of Great Events” for nothing. Throughout the year, the city plays host to scores of cyclists, athletes, jazz lovers and spectators, who come to the city specifically for an event, bringing much needed tourist Rands to an ever-growing hospitality industry.
Most of the city’s major annual events are scheduled in the “good weather” months, leaving the cold, wet Winter, devoid of much activity. The challenge to event organisers is to fill the Winter space with events that attract out of towners and make the cold Winter months bearable for the local residents.
Events define a city not only for its visitors but for its residents. Events make the city a great place to live. Film, opera, poetry, book and dance festivals, are important in making the city a sexy place in which to live.
The Jive Cape Town Funny Festival has taken it upon itself to try and change this phenomenon, firmly taking the mid-Winter months of July and August head-on and placing its project in middle of this secret season.
Originally, the month-long Funny Festival secured the popular Baxter Theatre in mid-Winter, as the theatre was “dark” with most of its staff and productions at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. The project soon developed traction amongst Cape Town’s comedy lovers and over the last fourteen years, has become Cape Town’s Winter comedic tonic.
Many of the international performers are contracted for the entire month, a long time to be out of home. The Funny Festival therefore went ahead and organised a visitor programme for them, which included visits to some of the popular Cape Town attractions.
Today, the programme has grown into an exclusive set of excursions which includes Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, the penguins at Boulders, Cape Point, the City Sightseeing Red Bus, Groot Constantia, Robben Island and an overnight safari to the Aquila Private Game Reserve.
The hospitality programme has paid dividends in that each performer leaves the Festival an ambassador of the City of Cape Town and of the Funny Festival.
Building on this, the Cape Town Funny Festival’s reputation among international artists has grown and the Festival has become a bucket list event for top international performers.
An innovation developed over the last few years has been to bring these participating tourist partners into the theatre on a nightly basis, exposing them to its audience. The Funny Festival runs over a month for thirty performances and attracts an audience of 20 000 over this time.
Using the event’s free take home programme, an initiative aptly entitled “become a tourist in your own City this Winter” was launched offering patrons to the Funny Festival exclusive discounts during the Winter to some of the city’s popular destinations and restaurants.
As Western Cape’s tourism industry becomes ever increasingly busy over the Summer season, this initiative allows locals to enjoy our major sites at discount prices. Please take advantage of the special discounts in the programme and enjoy our city to the maximum, during Winter.