Johannesburg - If there’s anywhere you want to be this week, then it’s at the Red Bull Music Festival. Following successes in various cities around the world, the festival will be hosting performances all over the city at venues including The Orbit, 73 Juta Street and Fox Junction, as well as at local groove joints Kitchener’s, Great Dane and Republic of 94.
Tuesday, 3 April
Venue: 73 Juta Street
First up is an intimate session to enjoy with two of our most exciting young musicians and vocalists, Langa Mavuso and Zoe Modiga. Titled Khumbula, the performance pays tribute to South Africa’s rich historical heritage while they also perform renditions of their latest songs. Kenzhero will end with a DJ set for a night that will take you down a musical journey of the past, present and future.
Wednesday, 4 April
Venue: The Orbit
Don’t skip this event if you enjoy Red Bull Music’s Round Robin event, in which a musician starts a solo improvisation that will last five minutes and is joined by another musician to create a duo improv. You’ll watch musical magic being made right before your eyes as both established musicians and up-and-coming talents get together. Artists such as Clem Carr, Janus van der Merwe, Bonj Mpanza, Marcus Wyatt, QB Smith and Tshepo Tsotetsi will take the stage on Wednesday.
The night finishes off downstairs at Surface Noise with vinyl collectors DJ Bubbles, DJ Okapi and Zara Julius delivering a selection of records that dip into the past.
Thursday, 5 April
Venue: TMRW Gallery and Newtown Music Factory
There’s something for everyone at the festival, and art lovers will enjoy a performance art piece by conceptual performance artists and sibling trio Dear Ribane. They will bring their art to TMRW Gallery at Joburg’s key art space, Keyes Art Mile.
After Dear Ribane you can make your way to one of the city’s oldest weekly parties at Newtown Music Factory to celebrate 22 Years of Fire with Admiral & Jahseed and The African Storm Sound System. The night will offer a colourful celebration of reggae and dancehall music.
Friday, 6 April
Venues: Republic of 94, AND Club, Kitchener’s, Great Dane
Music journalist and radio host Helen Herimbi sits down with Trompies and delves into kwaito’s post-94 election haze and comes back to the 2000s. After a look at the rise of kwaito, Republic of 94 kicks off Waar Was Jy? with Muptee and radio DJ Glen Lewis. Hip-hop artist Kid X will merge classic and New Age kwaito. Only 200 metres away, Kitchener’s and Great Dane will celebrate millennial artists who are shaping the sounds of today’s clubbing experience. Cornelius SA and Daev Martian will play at Kitchener's while Off Boyz hit maker 2Lee Stark will perform alongside BrownPepperAnn, Patty Monroe and others at Great Dane. In Newtown a no-nonsense dance music club, AND Club, will host electronic music pioneers Egyptian Lover and The Hacker.
Saturday, 7 April
Venue: Fox Junction, Goodluck Bar
On Saturday you can catch London grime star Skepta and legendary 340million. The Mozambique band, formerly known as 340ml, will recreate memories by performing some of their hits. Next door at Goodluck Bar, German DJ Gerd Janson will join the deep house floor. Kat La Kat and Sai & Ribatone will compliment him with their deep Afro house sound. The last stage offers everything from future beats by Scott The Girl, Symatics and Deniece Marz to deep house from Micr Pluto and liquid dubstep from Escapism Refuge.
Sunday, 8 April
Venue: Zone 6
The last night of the festival honours artists pioneering sounds unique to South Africa, rooted in tradition and elevated through millennial culture. Durban gqom producers and deejays Rudeboyz share a stage with AKA, their gqom counterparts Distruction Boyz and deep house producer Da Capo.
- For the full Red Bull Music Festival lineup and tickets (priced from R100 to R350) visit redbullmusicfestivaljhb.com.