On the first Thursday of every month you can look forward to contemporary art, live music, DJ sets, poetry, performance art and pop-up bars in Braamfontein and Rosebank as part of First Thursdays, an after-hours cultural event that takes place in both Joburg and Cape Town. Joburg is a sprawling city so it is best to choose one area in which to spend the evening. You can collect a First Thursdays guide detailing the night’s events at all participating art galleries. Entrance to venues is usually free, and most events start from 18:00. For more, visit first-thursdays.co.za/johannesburg.
With its many bars and large student population, you’ll find a real party atmosphere here. Look out for exhibition openings and art events at contemporary art galleries like Stevenson, Kalashnikovv Gallery and Wits Art Museum. Braamfontein’s numerous bars such as Kitchener’s and The Bannister Hotel Bar, and hip fashion stores like Puma Select also usually host late-night DJ parties as part of First Thursdays. For more on Braamfontein see our district guide.
Rosebank is home to Joburg’s Art Gallery Row, with a wealth of top contemporary art galleries all lined up along Jan Smuts Avenue (between Wells and Jellicoe Aves) such as such as Goodman Gallery, Everard Read Gallery, Circa Gallery, Lizamore & Associates and David Krut Projects. On First Thursdays all the major art galleries in the area stay open later to host exhibition launch parties, providing a great opportunity to socialise with locals and the art world’s who’s who over a glass of wine. At the corner of Keyes and Jellicoe Aves is Keyes Art Mile where on First Thursdays the street is closed off to traffic, a pop-up bar and food trucks are set up and live bands perform creating a street party atmosphere, plus there are usually exhibition opening parties at the Keyes Art Mile galleries SMAC Gallery, Circa Gallery and Everard Read to enjoy too. For more on Rosebank see ourdistrict guide.