WATCH | A glimpse behind the scenes of the Cape Town Carnival

When you step into the Cape Town Carnival workshop, you'll forget what silence sounds like. 

The grind of metal, Kaapse music pumping from speakers and an electric revelry generate excitement in the air - and it's definitely contagious.

READ MORE ABOUT THE FESTIVAL: Follow the sounds of South Africa's heartbeat at Cape Town Carnival 2020 

guitar player on stilts

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Franco Pascoe in the cape town carnival workshop

Franco Pascoe, head of construction of the Carnival's floats. (Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

Before extravagant colour and bopping beats can take over the Mother City's streets, the crew behind the iconic Cape Town Festival has to work in creative overdrive to deliver the costumes, floats and heart of the annual parade.

"It's the role of the artist to present an imagined reality as if it already exists," says Brad Baard, creative director of the festival while giving a tour of the Maitland studio - complete in clown makeup.

The festival isn't only a colourful parade - it serves as an incubator for talent and creativity for Cape Town's communities, where everyone involved is invited to express themselves through art, dance, song, poetry and even rapping.

On 21 March Capetonians will be introduced to the carnival's theme - Incredible Journey: Sounds of South Africa. From marimba to marabi to riel, not only will the parade stimulate your visual senses - but also your auditory receptors. 

From its humble beginnings 11 years ago with just one float, the Cape Town Carnival has grown into a movement that truly signifies the heartbeat of the city.

SEE THE PICS FROM LAST YEAR: The Cape Town Carnival puts the 'extra' in 'extravagance'

xhosa head dress

(Photo: Gabi Zietsman)

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