Remember my post from three months ago about the Sheds @1Fox? The giant, historic warehouse on Fox Street slated to become a fashionable downtown market? I went back to see it again last Friday.
The Sheds three months ago.
The Sheds on Friday.
The Sheds @1Fox has come a long way since June and it’s on schedule to open this week, just in time for the Joburg City Festival. On Thursday (2 October) there will be an “urban picnic” to celebrate the opening of the Sheds, benefiting the Starfish Greathearts Foundation, and on Saturday (4 October) there will be a concert featuring my favorite Jozi band, BCUC. I’m excited to check out both events.
Speaking of the Joburg City Festival, the festival is this weekend (the two events at the Sheds are part of the main programme) and there will be exciting things happening all around downtown Jozi from Thursday through Sunday. Last year’s Joburg City Festival was awesome and I can’t wait to see how this year measures up. Browse around the festival website to see what’s on and then book your tickets — there are some really big acts playing so don’t procrastinate. Public transport is available to and from all Joburg City Festival events.
BCUC playing at last year’s Joburg City Festival. I expect this year’s performance to be just as epic.
And speaking of festivals, the Joburg City Festival isn’t the only one coming up in the next seven days. The City of Gold Urban Art Festival is next week (5-11 October), featuring international and local graffiti artists creating beautiful artwork all over the city. There will also be exhibitions, graffiti tours, and film screenings. Keep checking the City of Gold website and Facebook page for more details.
The artist who painted this little ad for 2Summers will be featured in the City of Gold Festival. I’m excited to spend some time documenting his work — he’ll be painting something a lot larger and more elaborate than what you see here. Any guesses who he is?
So basically, the best week of the year in Joburg City starts this Thursday. Make plans now.
You thought I was finished talking about the Joburg City Festival, didn’t you? Nope, not quite.
Last week I went on an evening walking tour through the middle of town with Gerald Garner of JoburgPlaces, followed by dinner at the Apprentice Penthouse.
View from the Apprentice Penthouse balcony.
I recently had a Twitter argument with a guy who said he thinks Joburg “lacks authenticity”. I never got to the root of what he meant (Twitter isn’t the place for complex debate), but I’m glad the argument happened because it got me thinking about what “authentic Joburg” is.
My experience last Saturday afternoon, on the last day of the Joburg City Festival, illustrates what “authentic Joburg” means to me.
Weekend travelers in Gandhi Square, posing for a photo as I pulled up in a Joburg Squirrel tuk-tuk. The lady on the right was indecisive about whether to wave or cover her face.
I’ve written about the Fashion Kapitol before, more than once actually. But I can’t say enough good things about it.
The Fashion Kapitol, which most people don’t even know exists, is quintessential Jozi. If you show up there (130 Pritchard Street in the Fashion District, next to the building with the giant “Sew Africa” sign) on the right day, at the right time, you will experience Joburg at its best.
This is Joburg.
On Monday, as part of the Joburg City Festival, I attended a rehearsal at the South African Mzansi Ballet in Braamfontein.
I know nothing about ballet — in fact I’ve never attended a ballet performance before. I was excited to get a behind-the-scenes look and learn a few things.
The ballet studio is a beautiful, airy space with great light. Taking photos there was a joyful experience. I was sad when the one-hour rehearsal came to an end.
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.
I love downtown Joburg. Everyone knows this. I am constantly singing the inner city’s praises and defending it against detractors. I visit the inner city as often as possible and I love discovering fun things to do there.
Downtown Jozi at its best, viewed at sunset from the top of the Lister Building on Jeppe Street.
Imagine my excitement when I learned there will be an entire week-long festival devoted to having fun in downtown Jozi, and that I would be involved in helping promote this festival to the world.