Each week we round up the latest concerts, markets, parties, tours and other cool happenings so you don’t miss them! For a full guide to what’s on in Joburg, check out our online events calendar and subscribe to our newsletter guide to Joburg published every Thursday morning.
Here’s our pick of cool events to put on your calendar this weekend.
FRI JUL 1 Joburg Ballet’s 21st-anniversary celebrations continue as South African choreographer Veronica Paeper’s take on the classic La Traviata makes a return to the Joburg Theatre stage. This is a grand, classical production, complete with opulent sets and costumes and all set to the stirring music of Giuseppe Verdi. Tickets R200–R475, available online here. On Wed July 6 all tickets are R100. Discounts for groups, pensioners and Friends of the Ballet members.
UNTIL SUN JUL 3 The 24th edition of the annual Encounters Documentary Film Festival continues at The Bioscope until Sunday. The festival showcases the best of the most recent South African documentary films as well as prominent new documentaries from around the globe. This weekend’s features include film screenings followed by Q&A sessions with the production teams on Sat Jul 2 at 19:30 and Sun Jul 3 at 14:30 See the full programme and book your tickets here.
FRI JUL 1 & SAT JUL 2 Hot on the heels of their recent Joburg pop-up event, the cult online-only footwear label Blu Betty is hosting its first-ever pop-up shop in Pretoria. The two-day festive pop-up shopping event takes place at the Vintage on Main venue in Waterkloof and features a wide range of Blu Betty classics, brand new designs and for the thrifty lots of discounted “imperfect perfect” factory flaws. Open Fri 08:30–19:00, Sat 08:30–16:00 on Sat at Vintage on Main, 205 Main St, Waterkloof, Pretoria.
SAT JUL 2 Unleash your inner Picasso at The Playground’s Paint and Sip class this Saturday in Braamfontein. The painting class starts at 11:00 or at 14:00 and lasts 2.5 hours and costs R200 (including all painting equipment, a complimentary cocktail, snacks, and free entrance to the market). Once you’ve completed your masterpiece stay on to enjoy the live music, DJs, delicious food selection and lively rooftop party vibe. The market is open 09:00–18:00, Paint and Sip sessions at 11:00–13:30 and 14:00–16:30. Booking for Paint and Sip essential, book your spot here.
SAT JUL 2 Head north to Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria for one of Gauteng’s finest monthly antiques fairs on Saturday. Known for its carefully curated selection of top dealers from the South African Antique Dealers Association, this is a place to find high-quality treasures. There’s a superb collection of high-quality vintage pieces to shop, ranging from jewellery to tableware, ceramics and collectable memorabilia and some fabulous designer winter fashion. Open 09:00–15:00 at Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria.
SAT JUL 2 Vogue Nights Jozi in collaboration with Be True (Nike’s broader commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community) presents the annual Winter Ball taking place at Shine Studios in Braamfontein. The fantastic DJ lineup includes sets from Lelowhatsgood, Dormant Youth, Scott The Girl, Kdollahz, Ms Party and many more. Expect a vibrant queer crowd, dressed loud and proud in the campest fashions, and an anything-goes dancefloor where sudden ‘deathdrops’ are the rule not the exception. Doors open at 17:00. Tickets R100, available online here.
SAT JUL 2 Dust off your denim jackets and backpacks, the 44 Stanley illustration studio Brunch Shop’s next exhibition is all about pins. Enamel, papier-mâché, air dry clay, there’s every kind of pin, made in limited editions or as once-off hand-made and unique pieces. Featured artists include Amber Smith, Amé Bell, Imile Wepener, Kiffkak, Maaike Bakker, Me and Norman, Nina Torr, Paper Snap and Trali en Chompi. Exhibition opens at 11:00.
SAT JUL 2 from 18:00 Visit artist and curator Banele Khoza’s Rosebank gallery Bkhz for the launch of the first solo exhibition in South Africa by the much-admired young emerging artist Zandile Tshabalala. Tshabalala’s distinctive work centres on portraiture and explores the representation of black women in art history, challenging western-centric art ideas from the past. An intimate and introspective exhibition that vividly captures black life and self-love.
SUN JUL 3 This monthly antique fair at Nelson Mandela Square is one of the biggest of its kind with top collectors and antique dealers from across the country participating. From furniture and homeware to decorative arts and collectable memorabilia, set aside some time browse and you’ll always find something special. Open 10:00–16:00, entrance is free.
Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble
SUN JUL 3 at 15:00 As part of their 25th anniversary celebrations, the inspirational Buskaid string ensemble performs a free concert at the Dutch Church in Diepkloof, Soweto. As is the orchestra’s signature, the concert programme is a rich mix of old and new classical music favourites from across the world, with some fun modern pop and vibrant Kwela arrangements thrown in to get the crowd on their feet. This performance is a warm up to their main event, the 25th anniversary concert at Lindern Auditorium on Sun Jul 17.
SUN JUL 3 Always a Sunday favourite, First Sundays at Victoria Yards is back again this weekend. In addition to the many open artist studios and galleries to explore, there’s also a great pop-up market with loads of vintage items on sale, various food trucks and pop-up bars, and the best fish and chips in town. Takes place at 16 Viljoen St, Lorentzville. Open 10:30-16:00, entrance is free.