About Us

Home / About Us


The Cape Town festival was established in 1999 because of the Planet Hollywood Bombings in 1998 at the VA Waterfront, Cape Town. It started as the One City Many Cultures by Ryland Fisher, then editor of the Cape Times, to address cultural intolerance and racial violence. From 2003 to 2007, Yusuf Ganief, ex-GM for the Association of Marketers, was appointed CEO.

Currently, South African artists suffer from a devastating economic dilemma because of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Arts Industry, especially musicians, has been one of the most affected sectors in society. Negative factors include the lack of operating arts venues, with many facing bankruptcies; audience and restrictions on gatherings; closing down of restaurants; fear of audiences to attend functions and concerts; insufficient government and corporate support. Negative economic factors have forced 40% of musicians to quit their careers. 90% of musicians have suffered financially from a lack of income with 50% selling their musical instruments and sound equipment to pay rent and make ends meet.

As one of the leading non-profit role players in promoting, Upskilling, and developing local artists in Cape Town, we have realigned our core industry function to provide regular live and online performance platforms, income-generating employment, equipment training, and mentorship for artists through Beyond Busking Project, EMPLOI, Community Arts Festivals and Beyond Busking Festival Day. 


Under the executive directorship of Yusuf Ganief, the CTF has intensified its original philosophy. There is an urgency to re-imagine a new era for artists in South Africa as the fabric and conscience of society. Our vision is to realise this by developing our local artists’ originality and authenticity. The current crisis in the arts industry gives rise to opportunities to expand our vision to embrace the Online Global Community through conscious art and music and create talent into one that actively trains and sustains performance opportunities for emerging and established artists/musicians.


The sustainability of artists is our core focus. The lack of promotional material for many artists with a digital divide has been one of the main obstacles to marketing themselves. 


Our core values inform everything we do at Cape Town Festival and are focused on:

  • Providing regular live and online performance platforms for artists.
  • Income-generating employment for emerging and established artists. 
  • Equipment training and mentorship for artists.