The pre-festival Free Community concert is a permanent feature of the Cape Town International Jazz festival and is as old as the festival itself. Picture: David Ritchie

The countdown to the 20th annual Cape Town International Jazz Festival (CTIJF) has officially begun. 

The festivities kick off tonight with the Free Concert at Greenmarket Square in the CBD. 

Depending on whether you have your ticket for the main event this weekend or not, the free concert will either give you a taste of what to expect or it will leave you with serious FOMO. 

Either way, tonight’s concert promises to be packed with hours of live entertainment. 

The list of artists on stage includes local acts like Shekhinah, Don Vino, Craig Lucas, DJ Eazy the CTIJF All Star Band. 

International acts will include Ben Volpeliere-Pierrot of Curiosity Killed the Cat (UK) and Ndaka yo wiñi (Angola).

Thousands of music lovers are expected to flock to the city, so don’t forget to pack your camp chair, fill up your cooler box and get ready to dance your way into the night.  

Cape Town Mayor, Dan Plato says the free concert is an opportunity for those who don't have tickets to enjoy access “to some of the best local and international artists on one stage”. 

“I would also like to welcome the thousands of festival-goers and performers who are making their way to our beautiful city this week. Cape Town welcomes you with open arms and we hope that the experience will live in your memories long after the last notes fade,” says  Plato. 

The concert starts and 4 pm and a number of roads around the venue will be closed, so it’s best you arrive early.