What Is Streetopia?
It’s a free one-day event organised by AfrikaBurn in collaboration with residents residents & civic organisations based in Observatory, where the streets are filled with art, sculpture, mutant vehicles, performance, music and market stalls. It doesn’t feature big-name acts, or any large sound systems. Rather, for one day the streets of Obs are turned into a blank canvas where artists, performers, buskers, residents and kids can enjoy the open spaces and do their thing. The aim is to keep it villagey, intimate, spontaneous – and completely free.
Who Organises It?
AfrikaBurn (the event held each year in the Tankwa Karoo) has its offices in the area, and has long been interested in practicing their desert experiment in town. As such, the event was organised for the first time in 2015 through the collaboration of AfrikaBurn, the Obs Civic Association, OBSID and a range of artists and NGO’s based in Obs – as well as with the participation of residents from Obs and surrounding suburbs such as Salt River, Woodstock, Mowbray and Rosebank.
This collaboration will continue – and preference in terms of contributing activities (and also in terms of the market stalls) will always be afforded to residents of these areas, in order to ensure the event is accessible to those who live closest to the event area.
Streetopia is a non-profit event: all involved we are simply excited to gather community together and fill Obs with creativity and family-friendly activities.
How Is It Funded?
In 2015, AfrikaBurn provided seed funding to the tune of R106 000. Since 2016 the model for funding has been to request support from businesses in Observatory that benefit directly from increased sales on the day of the event and donations from interested parties such as civic organisations. In addition, a portion of funding is raised each year from rentals for market stalls at the event.
In 2016, the City of Cape Town provided baseline support for event essentials that was in addition to the R100 000 provided by AfrikaBurn and funds collected from supporting businesses in and around Observatory. 2017’s event again saw support from the City of Cape Town, and for the 2018 event, the National Lottery Commission has provided a portion of funding. The event is looking forward to strengthening relations with all stakeholders as it grows and becomes an integrated feature of Observatory’s annual calendar of highlights.
For more info on this aspect of the event, see the Info For Obs-Based Businesses section of this page.