Weekend alert! Joburg City Festival kicks off Sunday, August 25 2013

It’s been a while in the making, and now it’s just a few days until the Joburg City Festival (an initiative of the Joburg City Tourism Association) kicks off. See my earlier posts Joburg gets an inner city festival and Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra outside the Rand Club. On the programme is music, art, walking tours, a film festival, sundowners with sumptuous views of the city, food, ballet performances, a food and craft beer pairing at Restaurant Lamunu in The Grove, Braamfontein plus the incredibly successful Critical Mass cycle through the city (it happens on the last Friday of each month and attracts thousands of people). And added to that  is the Mail & Guardian’s Literary Festival from August 30 to September 1, featuring a star-cast of Nobel prize-winner Nadine Gordimer, award-winning novelists Niq Mhlongo, Imraan Coovadia plus Booker short-listed author NoViolet Bulawayo. The full lineup of the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival.

One of numerous public artworks in the city - Pigeon Square, Newtown

One of numerous public artworks in the city – Pigeon Square, Newtown

Nothing left to do but offer an annotated version of  some of the programme highlights – which is fully downloadable at Joburg City Festival 2013 Programme

Uncle Merv's

Head to Uncle Merv’s in Maboneng for the best peanut butter smoothies


Sunday 25 August:

  • MARKET: Market on Main at Maboneng – the food and design market has some of Joburg’s best vintage clothing and I hear of late, the greatest gyros
  • PARTY: Photosynthesis rooftop party at Living Room, Maboneng – an urban eco cafe high above the city
  • BALLET: SA Mzansi Ballet lunchtime performance, Braamfontein – South Africa’s most prestigious ballet company
  • SUNDOWNERS: Skylevel sundowners at the Parktonian Hotel, Braamfontein – The Parktonian’s Skylevel bar with its astonishing views of the city has been one of the better-kept secret of Braamfontein, until now that is
  • SUNDOWNERS: Elevate Rooftop Bar sundowners at Reef Hotel, Corporate Mining District – another incredible venue atop the city. This one should be a permanent nightspot
  • MUSIC: Balcony TV music event at Randlords, Braamfontein – it doesn’t get better than Randlords for luxe atop the city plus live music with Jeremy Loops, Shaun Jacobs, Newton’s 2nd Law, Tidal Waves, Blacklight Panda plus a mystery guest
  • ART: A free event from The Bag Factory. Open Studio: Diana Hyslop, Gail Behrmann, Pat Mautloa, Nicola Taylor, Benon Lutaaya. From 11am to 3pm meet the artists and unravel the creativity behind their diverse works. ADDED 22/08
  • POETRY: Poetry standup at Cramers Coffee from 12pm to 3pm ADDED 22/08
  • PANEL DISCUSSION: Homophobia and the Media, challenges and responsibilities. Constitution Hill 2.30-4pm. ADDED 22/08

Fashion Kapitol

Monday 26 August:

  • FASHION: Magical Monday Fashion Show & Zanendaba Storytellers at the Fashion Kapitol, Fashion District. The Fashion Kapitol is one of my favourite inner city spots – a lifestyle and fashion hub where you can buy sheshwe fabrics in any colour of the rainbow plus eat tasty fish and chips for under R25 at the Fashion Shack.
  • FILM: Open-air documentary film-screening at Urban Fox, Maboneng
  • THEATRE: Serial Monogamy at POPArt Theatre, Maboneng. PopArt is the home of innovative theatre productions.

Tuesday 27 August 

  • SHOPPING: Champagne and cupcake shopping at 1886 Boutique, Maboneng. A new kid on the Maboneng block
  • RELAXATION: Back, neck and shoulder massage special at the Pyramid Day Spa, City South
  • ART: ‘Come Inside’ Exhibition Walk About by ReshmaChhiba at Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill. Reshma Chiba’s solo exhibition The Two Talking Yonis is stirring things up with it’s giant cloth vagina. Truly
  • JAZZ: Planet Lindela at Fox Street, Maboneng
  • ART:  The Bag Factory screens Zwelidumile, a documentary on the tragic life of one of South Africa’s greatest artists, Dumile Feni. From 12.30pm to 2.30pm, tickets are R35 and can be bought hereADDED 22/08

City Scape

Wednesday 28 August

  • DINNER: JoburgPlaces Apprentice Penthouse food & wine experience, Historic Core
  • ART & MUSIC: NewArc Open Studio. An evening of pizza and music with beat-boxer, singer, songwriter, guitarist and one-man band The Lone Raynger, 5.30pm to 8.30pm in Newtown ADDED 22/08

Thursday 29 August 

  • MUSEUM: Free entrance to ABSA Money Museum, ABSA Campus – I’ve heard good things about this Museum but haven’t managed to get there yet
  • MUSIC: Happy Hour Jazz at New World Café, Corporate Mining District, cnr Pritchard and Diagonal Street. Also on my list to visit
  • FILM:  The Bag Factory screens the brilliant Unhinged: Surviving Joburg, prescribed viewing for anyone wants to understand this city. A quirky and funny take. From 12.30pm to 2.30pm, tickets are R35 and can be bought hereADDED 22/08

Friday 30 August:

    • EAT: ‘ShisaNyamaFraidey’ at Goldmine Café, Reef Hotel, Corporate Mining District
    • FASHION: Freaky Friday Fashion Show & Zulu Cultural Group at Fashion Kapitol, Fashion District
    • FASHION: Collective Fashion Show, Kruger Street, Maboneng
    • COFFEE: ‘Turf War’ Barista Competition at Cramers Coffee, Corporate Mining District
    • CYCLING: Critical Mass cycling through the city
    • DANCE: Zen night club at Maboneng
    • DRINK: Craft Beer Market at The Grove, 18 Melle Street, Braamfontein 10am -10pm
    • BARISTA JAM:  Barista Jam at Cramers Coffee  ADDED 22/08


Saturday 31 August:

  • SHOP: Joburg Antiques Roadshow at 1886 Boutique Joburg, Maboneng
  • FILM: First Atlas Studios Film Festival, Millpark. R20 per ticket or R50 for a day pass to see these Jo’burg movies –
  • 11:00    Jozi
  • 13:00    Main Reef Road
  • 15:00    Gog’ Helen
  • 17:00    Africa Shafted
  • 19:00    Blitz Patrollie
  • 21:00    Man on Ground
  • And if you are keen to make your own Joburg movie, from 11.30-12.30 there’s an iPad workshop with Think Ahead’s  talented Ina Corver who will show you the ins and outs of the process. iPads will be supplied.
  • FOOD: Tastes of Maboneng
  • FASHION: Oyama Models Fashion Show at Rand Club, Corporate Mining District. Any event at the Rand Club is an event worth attending.
  • COMEDY: Jittery Citizens Live Comedy Improvisation at POPArt Theatre, Maboneng
  • DRINK: Craft Beer Market at The Grove, 18 Melle Street, Braamfontein 10am -10pm
  • KID’s STUFF: From 10.30 to 12.30pm  The Bag Factory hosts a fun workshop with lots of art and storytelling.  Tickets are R65 and can be purchased from their website. Juice and a sandwich will be provided along with all art materials. ADDED 22/08

Follow that T-shirt. Past Experiences walking tours

Follow that T-shirt. Past Experiences walking tours

Inner-city tours

A variety of walking and driving tours will be on offer during the Joburg City Festival. Choose from:

  • Constitution Hill Tours – A city landmark with incredible art, architecture and history
  • JoburgPlaces – Gerald Garner, author of Joburg Spaces & Places 2.0 has a knack for finding the unexpected in the city. Favourite tours include walks in the Fashion District and Marshalltown’s Mining District. See the lineup here Joburg Places Tours
  • JoziTriangel – A relatively new company focusing on the historic Randjieslaagte – triangle that formed this place from a mining camp into a metropolis
  • Main Street Walks – Bheki and his able team are specialists in finding inner city street art and will also take you to Hillbrow and  the Mai Mai traditional medicine market
  • Past Experiences – The lovely Jo and Tania have the best shopping tour going, as well as great Braamfontein, public art and Newtown tours. See the lineup of tours here starting on Saturday, August 24. ADDED 22/08

The view from Randlords

The view from Randlords

Food stops

Food is at the heart of the Joburg City Festival – from café-style eateries to gastronomic food markets and fine-dining.

  • 86 Public – Braamfontein’s pizza hotspot
  • Cramers Coffee
  • Double Shot Coffee & Tea – The coffee is super good
  • Goldmine Café
  • JHB Culinary School
  • JoburgPlaces Apprentice Penthouse Food & Wine Experience
  • Lamunu Restaurant
  • Maboneng Restaurant Festival
  • Market on Main
  • New World Cafe
  • Picnic in the Sky (Main Street Walks)
  • Protea Hotel PartonianSkylevel
  • The Blackenese
  • The Forum Company – Turbine Hall, Tapas in the City
  • The Forum Company – Turbine Hall, Underground Dinner
  • Top Five Restaurant
  • Velo Gallery Café – Fresh coffee, sandwiches, croissants and art in a great courtyard spot in Braamfontein

Bannister Hotel, Braamfontein

Bannister Hotel, Braamfontein


Stay over

Rea Vaya viewTransport

The Joburg City Festival offers you various public transport options. Choose from:

  • Gautrain
  • Joburg Squirrel (festival shuttle service)
  • Rea Vaya

We recommend that you come to the city by Gautrain (from the north) or Rea Vaya (from the south) and to make use of Gautrain buses and Rea Vaya buses in the city. We will also offer Joburg Squirrel shuttles buses and tuk-tuks linking different venues and precincts and stopping at some key Gautrain bus and ReayVaya bus stations to pick you up. If you come by car, please park in one of the designated parking areas and catch a Joburg Squirrel shuttle.

The start of a chalk drawing by Tania from Past Experiences walking tours - outside Doubleshot, Braamfontein

The start of a chalk drawing by Tania from Past Experiences walking tours – outside Doubleshot, Braamfontein


Parking is available at the following venues, from where Joburg Squirrel shuttles will transport  your throughout the city.:

  • 1 Central Place, Newtown
  • Arbour Square, Braamfontein
  • Ellis Park Stadium
  • Constitution Hill
  • Gandhi Square
  • Maboneng
  • Milpark
  • The Pyramid

* Go to JoburgCity to see the full programme and updated information

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