Therese Owen

The annual Ramfest has enjoyed a rapid rise in popularity since its inception a few years back.

This festival, which celebrates very heavy music from both national and international platforms, attracts more than 15 000 people at its Cape Town and Joburg events which makes it bigger than the long-established Oppikoppi and Splashy Fen festivals.

This year Ramfest takes place simultaneously in both cities from Thursday to Sunday. In Cape Town the venue is Elandskloof in Villiersdorp and in Joburg it is at Witfontein in Bronkhortspruit.

The headline acts for the festival are Biffy Clyro and Killswitch Engage as well as Trivium. They, as well as Gangs of Ballet, Taxi Violence, Black Cat Bones, Fuzigish, Haggis and Bong and Protoculture will play at both venues.

Highlights in Cape Town will also be the Olmeca Stage featuring DJs like Mix ’n’ Blend, Das Kapital and Haezer.

Thursday looks set to rock out on the Stellenbrau Carnival stage with Capetonian darling punksters The Dollfins. Another highlight will be Gerald Clark and Mr Cat & the Jackal.

In Joburg the rising band Newtown Knife Gang as well as Martin Rocka and The Sick Shop are definite must-sees on the Red Heart Rum Stage and not forgetting Pestroy.

Another highly recommended favourite is Shortstraw and again, Mr Cat & the Jackal. The Frown, when the mood takes them, are also fascinating to watch and the internationally acclaimed Niskerone will be leading the DJ pack.

For directions and GPS co-ordinates for the venues, go to