The Joburg City Festival started two days ago and I’m already behind. There are at least half a dozen awesome events every day — I can’t do it all while also finding time to tell you about it. I’ve taken thousands of pictures already.
Nightfall at Randlords Sunday evening. I have a few hundred more shots like this.
I’ll start by telling you about my weekend experiences and catch up on the rest later.
Technically the festival began Sunday, but there were some pre-festival events the day before. My Joburg City Festival experience started on Saturday afternoon, at a craft beer festival hosted by the Lamunu Restaurant and Bar in Braamfontein.
The Lamunu is attached to the Easy Hotel, in a complex called the Grove on Melle Street. The beer festival was set up in the Grove under the giant TV.
People gather in the Grove at the start of the beer fest. Nice publicity for the Joburg City Festival on the big screen.
When I moved to South Africa three years ago there seemed to be virtually no local craft beer available in this country. These days it’s popping up everywhere, which is great.
There were three local choices on tap at Saturday’s festival. To my delight, one of the beers on tap was ginger beer. I love ginger beer but had never tried an alcoholic version before.
Preparing to drink my first Dragon Fiery Ginger Beer, poured by Richard and Dillon of the Tap Room. I loved it.
My two friends and I enjoyed our beer “appetizers”, then went inside the Lamunu to try out the restaurant’s craft beer pairing menu. There are three special entrees on the menu, each of which comes with a recommended beer pairing. The meals range from R100 to R120, including a large beer.
Beer toast with Johnson and Anita. My meal was paired with the “Press Club Stout”, which, to my surprise, I enjoyed. (Disclaimer: We took a cab to avoid drinking and driving. I never realized before that a cab ride from Melville to Braamfontein is only about R50 each way. Good deal for three people.)
My entree: Wild mushroom and braai pap lasagne. I tend to love anything made with pap and this meal was no exception.
If you’re feeling envious right now, don’t despair. The Lamunu Craft Beer Festival is running next weekend too, on 30 and 31 August from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. And the Lamunu beer pairing menu is available for this entire week. Get down there.
After my beer-filled Saturday afternoon, I went home early to rest up for Sunday.
I kicked off my first official festival day at Cramer’s Coffee, one of the best coffee shops in the inner city, at the corner of Main Street and Harrison Street. (Check out a very old 2Summers post about my first visit to this part of town.) Cramer’s was hosting an afternoon of poetry, performance art, and philosophical discussions. But most importantly, there were cupcakes.
New Cramer’s cupcakes, unveiled for the Joburg City Festival. I sampled the red velvet one and found it very satisfactory, especially the cream cheese icing.
Avant-garde performance art — a dramatic play called “The Funeral” — on the street outside Cramer’s, beneath the giant mega-bank buildings. I didn’t totally “get” The Funeral but loved the experience and fanfare.
Balcony TV is an international live music phenomenon, in which bands perform from various balconies around the world and are streamed live on the internet. Randlords is Joburg’s most beautiful and exclusive rooftop.
A band called Newton’s 2nd Law performs at Randlords.
My friend Erin and me at the beginning of Balcony TV. I know I look drunk but really I am just excited. (Photo: Erin Archer)
One heck of a Randlords sunset.
BCUC and Jeremy Loops were the last two bands of the evening. I’ve written about Jeremy Loops before, in my posts about the Bush Fire Festival and OppiKoppi, and I wrote about BCUC in my post about the Hillbrow Boxing Club fundraiser. So I won’t bore you with too much more narrative.
Three members of BCUC (Jovi, the lead singer, is the guy in the middle) with my friends Henrike (left) and Lungi (right). My friends and I are BCUC groupies.
Artsy (and totally accidental) shot of Jeremy Loops setting up in the freezing cold.
Jeremy Loops takes the stage.
Jeremy is popular with the ladies.
I’ve saved the BCUC pics for last. Watching BCUC is a sacred experience. Their music makes something explode inside of me. Apologies for the fuzziness but it’s hard to take good photos while jumping and screaming like a banshee. (By the way, sorry to all the people around me who got whacked with my camera bag during BCUC’s set.)
The look on Lungi’s face sums it up.
There you have it — my first Joburg City Festival weekend. Sorry this post was so long but I had a lot of fun to tell you about.
The festival runs through next Sunday so there is plenty of time to join the fun. Click here to learn more.
Browse all of my Joburg City Festival posts.