The 11th annual Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival, happening from the 4th to 6th September 2015 in Soweto, is set to impress in a spectacular fusion of boutique wine brands and high-end fashion, food, creativity and art entrepreneurism.
Constantly thriving to innovate, the organisers have changed the venue, changed the festival open times, brought back boutique sought-after wine brands, and have included a wide range of SMME lifestyle brands. Think beautiful boutique wines and a wide range of food, décor, art and fashion all homed within the magnificence of a new venue steeped in history.
Moving the venue after 10 years to the historical Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication in the heart of Kliptown, Soweto, is a major development, and opens up many possibilities with large spaces, high ceilings and beautiful finishes allowing form and function to seamlessly flow in spectacular rhythm. This move is perfectly timed to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Freedom Charter on the Square.
Friday and Saturday are open from 6pm to 10pm, and for the first time in history, the festival will open on the Sunday - 2pm to 6pm - because over the past 10 years, our research has indicated that this is what the people want.
There has also been a major shift in the wine brands exhibiting this year. The festival is focused on bringing in more sought-after boutique wine estates whose wines are more suited to this market. Boutique wineries also make exceptional varieties for the more discerning palette. Our visitors are becoming fastidious in their taste for wine with more substance and less glitter.
Inviting upmarket food, travel, art, decor and fashion SMME’s to exhibit in the new festival format is to showcase the best creative entrepreneurs in Soweto and South Africa alongside the best boutique wines from the Cape, to the large brand-conscious trend-setting audience that this festival attracts in the thousands. Creating a 5-star platform in which wineries and trendy lifestyle brands can network and sell their wares to visitors is fuelling economic growth and development, job creation and opportunities for the SMME sector.
Hosted by Joburg Tourism, the festival is also launching the highly-anticipated Soweto Street Food Experience in collaboration with Gauteng Tourism to showcase the best tastes in the region. There will be a sublime array of carefully-selected foods, baked goods, drinks and coffees, and a handful of trendy food trucks, which organisers anticipate will bring new ideas into Soweto, and within the next few months we will see these ideas germinate into more SMME’s. This is how the festival has grown businesses from grass-roots 11 years ago into mushrooming lifestyle brands today.
Says MMC, Ruby Mathang, Member of the Mayoral Council, Dept of Economic Development, “The City of Johannesburg and Joburg Tourism are proud to be associated with the 11th Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival, a prestigious and stylish lifestyle event, setting the tone for all the activity to follow during the wonderful spring and summer seasons in Johannesburg. Speaking from a tourism perspective, it’s significant that the event takes place in September, which has been designated as tourism month in South Africa. This is a time to focus on the importance of tourism to the economy of South Africa, which is becoming increasingly significant.
Indeed, from a City perspective – and guided by economic development objective - it’s our mission to continue positioning Johannesburg as one of the world’s leading cities: - an all year round destination, not just in its capacity as the continent’s financial hub and leading business and business events destination, but also as a vibrant, cosmopolitan centre for lifestyle, leisure, heritage, the arts, culture, entertainment, sports and mega-events.”
The Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival has always kicked off September’s busy Tourism and Heritage month, thus opening the door to major travel destinations bringing their city lights, glamour and relaxation packages to stressed-out Johannesburgers. Durban Tourism and Cape Town Tourism will be at the festival in full force launching their summer campaigns with glam and substance.
A number of South Africa’s top online influencers will meet up with Soweto’s most connected online personalities during the festival to share the unique stories of South Africa’s most happening destination with the world through an exciting digital campaign called #72hrsSoweto. The campaign was developed in association with South African Tourism and Gauteng Tourism to showcase Soweto as a place to visit, explore and stay.
Says Mnikelo Mangciphu, festival co-owner and owner of Morara Wine & Spirit Emporium, Soweto’s first wine shop, “We are very excited about festival. The trend-setting Soweto Wine and Lifestyle Festival continues to pioneer innovation to grow and integrate South Africa and South Africa’s food, fashion, art and other lifestyle products with the etiquette of the best wines the Cape has to offer. Wine is not an island but connected by the aspirational dots of life. It is a perfect fit.”
2015 SOWETO WINE FESTIVAL REVOLUTION Dates & Times:
· Friday, 4 September 2015, 6pm – 10pm
· Saturday, 5 September 2015, 6pm – 10pm
· Sunday, 6 September 2015, 2pm to 6pm
Tickets available at webtickets.co.za or at the door.
Friday – R130
Sat & Sun – R150
VIP ticket – R400 (2nd floor VIP lounge with free food, drinks, premium wines and live music)