Pirate Fest 2019: Metal, Booze and Games in Gauteng

Pirate Fest 2019

Johannesburg, South Africa: something fishy is brewing in the “City of Gold” in 2019. And why shouldn’t it? What kind of a place -inland, at least- could be more attractive to a pirate at heart? Well, Pirate Fest 2019 is looking mighty intriguing to us as metalheads. After all, there has surely been a time in each of our lives where the notion of being a pirate caught our fancy. The promoter for the first ever Pirate Fest, The Sicario Effect, words it perfectly: “the spirit of benevolent rebellion and productive counter-culture.”

And naturally, this date places firmly on our radar with the return of Scottish “Pirate Metal” band Alestorm to South Africa. Alestorm played to South African audiences at Witchfest 2015.

Catch up on the chat we had with Christopher Bowes of Alestorm.

Added to this, Pirate Fest 2019 also welcomes one of USA’s Metalcore pioneering acts, Atreyu, gracing our shores for the first time ever.

So much more than merely a music festival

Well, there is more music. Pirate Fest 2019 offers us some local entertainment too, with legendary party-punk outfit Tweak reuniting for the occasion, back-to-back with the legendary ska-punk Fuzigish and SAMA-nominated “bare knuckled” rock n roll duo, Hellcats.

But it’s not really all about music. It’s all about pirates! The live bands are merely providing a soundtrack to a festival of fun activities and supreme escapism.

“Ever wanted to step foot on the Pirate Isles of Nassau … make ya friend walk the plank on the edge of ya cutlass … drink grog and dance till yar heart bursts from its seams?”


Marks Park in Johannesburg will come alive as a pirate-themed wonderland on 7 September. The promoter promises us:

1) Liquid Paradise: A themed alcohol experience where we’ll be spoiled for choice with a wide range of alcohol to suit our pirate drinking palates.

2) The Bermuda Triangle: Lose your hunger with a premium food offering like no other.

3) Mr & Miss Sparrow: watch the main-stage Cosplay Contest; or enter your self, with cool prizes up for grabs.

4) Captain Bad’s Pirate Games: Hosted by Rob Van Vuuren, Acolytes can enter their Krews to wage battle for the ultimate honour; ‘A Raider of Fortune’, Pirate Fest’s greatest champions

5) The Gypsy Part-Time Pirates: Like the gypsy forefathers of pirates past, the Part-Time Pirates travel around the festival regaling you with music, tales and ale.

6) Bandidas Merch Market – Pirates have come in many forms throughout history, from Vikings to Bandits to the Modern Marauders of today. The Bandidas Merch and Exhibition area houses all their precious loot… from official Pirate Fest merch to flash tattoos to insane gaming and audio specials and experiences.

Rob Van Vuuren

Sounds like a lot to keep track of, but do not fear; comedian Rob Van Vuuren will Mcee the event to keep you in the loop so you won’t miss out on any action.

If this sounds like your kettle of fish, then get in on it without further delay.

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Pirate Fest 2019 - Event Poster - Atreyu

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