Events to look forward to in Joburg in 2024

29 Jan 2024

With 2024 officially in full swing, it’s time to look forward to everything this new year has in store – and there’s lots on the social calendar to diarise. For a full guide to what’s on in Joburg, explore our events calendar here and subscribe to our newsletter published each Thursday morning to stay posted as more events get added to the calendar. We also add events to our Instagram stories daily. 

Here’s our pick of what to look out for in 2024 in Joburg.


Chinese New Year
The Chinese Lunar New Year kicks off with traditional festivities taking place in different locations across the city and beyond from Sat, Feb 10. This year marks the year of the Wood Dragon and Joburg’s Chinese community –  the city has three Chinatowns, in Cyrildene, Commissioner Street, and Rivonia – makes sure to celebrate with cultural performances, fireworks, and plenty of delicious food. About an hour outside Joburg is the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorspruit, which also has an annual celebration. Keep an eye out for our guide on where to celebrate.
Dragon dancing in Cyrildene. Photo by Mark Straw.

Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra Summer Symphony Season
The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) returns with its 2024 Summer Symphony Season starting from Thu, Feb 22 – Thu, Mar 14. Look out for upcoming seasons in our events round-ups. The exciting programme features one classical concert per week, with a different guest conductor and soloist joining the orchestra for each performance. The series takes place at the home of the JPO, the Linder Auditorium in Parktown, which has exceptional acoustics. Season tickets are available and we highly recommend these or book for a single concert.


Ultra South Africa
Ultra is one of the world’s biggest annual all-night dance music events with thousands of festival goers and a blockbuster line-up of international and local DJs. The action starts in Cape Town on Fri, 1 Mar and moves to Joburg for a gigantic night party on Sat, Mar 2. The festival attracts a big-hitting international line-up of top DJs and is always something to look forward to. Tickets are on sale now.
Ultra South Africa serves up a spectacular line-up of international and local DJs. Photo: Ultra via Facebook.

Soweto Derby
The famous showdown between Soweto’s two top football teams, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, takes place on Sat, Mar 9 this year. It is a rivalry of note with a long and colourful history that sees the iconic FNB Stadium in Soweto always packed to capacity with exuberant fans dressed to the nines in their team colours. For the latest update on ticket sales see the stadium's website. 

Joburg Ballet 
The Joburg Ballet 2024 season opens in March with Scar/City, a trio of productions that explores themes of scarcity, absence, and loss. Performances will run from Fri, Mar 15 – Sun, Mar 24. Tickets are on sale now. The ballet company has several performances throughout the year. 
A 2021 production of Raymonda by the talented dancers from Joburg Ballet. Photo: Lauge Sorensen.

Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival
The sixth edition of the Constitution Hill Human Rights Festival takes place from Thu, Mar 21 to Sun, Mar 24. The event is free for all to attend and takes place each year as a space to unite the public, social justice organisations, NGOs, think tanks, and the media around issues of human rights. 

MaXhosa Africa Kulture Festival 
The second edition of the MaXhosa Kulture Festival is back this year and takes place on Sun, Mar 23. The festival will include multiple activations, live music, food and drink, and a showcase of MaXhosa's winter collection. Tickets are on sale now. 


Jozi Kota Festival
The annual Jozi Kota Festival is back on Sat, Apr 6 at The Station in Newtown, a disused Edwardian-era train station. This unique food festival aims to showcase kasi kota flavours from around the city in one central location. Tickets are on sale now.

Cotton Fest
Founded by the late rapper Riky Rick, Cotton Fest is back for a fifth edition on Sat, Apr 6 to celebrate South African talent by bringing together a high-octane line-up of local artists, musicians, rappers, and DJs. This event will also be housed at The Station so catch the Jozi Kota Festival in the morning and stay for Cotton Fest after. Tickets are on sale now.
This year Joburg will play host to the fifth edition of Cotton Fest. Photo: Cotton Fest.


Open Studios
Open Studios is an opportunity to meet artists, explore their studios, and buy works directly. It is a lively social occasion with a variety of activations, exhibitions, and other art happenings taking place at participating studios in Joburg. It's also the chance to explore some inspiring artistic spaces that are not always open to the public. We'll keep you posted once the 2024 dates are announced.

Soweto Fashion Week
Soweto Fashion Week has been shining a spotlight on South African fashion and beauty since it was established in 2011. Taking place in South Africa's most iconic township, the event celebrates young designers from townships, cities, and beyond with catwalk shows, beauty workshops, and live entertainment. The autumn/winter collection will take to the runway from Wed, May 1 – Sat, May 4, with the spring/summer collection usually taking place later in the year in November.

RMB Latitudes
The second edition of RMB Latitudes will once again take place at Shepstone Gardens from Fri, May 31 – Sun, Jun 2. The three-day event features art fair booths from Africa's leading galleries and includes unique exhibition spaces designed by curators and artists, a delicious curation of food stalls, and bespoke treats, local wines, and fashion. Save the date, and we'll keep you posted on when tickets become available.
For the second year running RMB Latitudes will be held at the beautiful Shepstone Gardens. Photo: Alexander Smith.


Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival
Constitution Hill's annual Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival is held in honour of Youth Month, celebrating South African youth culture and creativity through a packed programme of art, music, fashion, and film events. The three-day festival includes a dedicated film festival, poetry festival, creative summit, and the Freedom music festival which is always a major highlight for music lovers. Entrance to all events is free except for the music festival. We'll keep you posted on when the 2024 dates are announced.
The Basha Uhuru Freedom Festival is held at Constitution Hill in honour of Youth Month. Photo: Constitution Hill.

Mzansi Food & Drink Show
The inaugural Mzansi Food & Drink Show is set to happen from Sat, Jun 15 – Mon, Jun 17 at the Kayalami International Convention Centre. With five events in one, there will be plenty to explore over the three days, including the Fire & Feast Festival, Chocolate & Coffee Expo, Fine Food & Wine Show, Bar & Good Spirits Showcase, and Food Market. Save the date, and we'll keep you posted on when tickets become available.


Turbine Art Fair
The Turbine Art Fair (TAF) usually happens in July as a weekend filled with commissioned installations and exhibitions, an art talks programme, exciting showcases of young and emerging artists, delicious food and drinks, a glittering opening night party, and the main attraction: an incredible array of artworks on sale. Having moved around Joburg over the years, in 2023 the TAF found a new home at Hyde Park Corner. This year it's happening from Sat, Jul 27 – Tue, Jul 30; watch this space. 
The Turbine Art Fair takes place over a weekend dedicated to all things art. Photo: Turbine Art Fair. 


Joburg Decor and Design Week 
August 2023 was the month for Joburg Decor and Design Week, a celebration of creativity, inspiration, and insight in partnership with three of South Africa's biggest décor and design exhibitions: Decorex Joburg, 100% Design Africa, and Design Joburg. Decorex Joburg and 100% Design Africa have been confirmed to once again take place from Thu, Aug 1 – Sun, Aug 4 at the Sandton Convention Centre, with Design Joburg likely to take place at the same time. Save the date, and we'll keep you posted on the final details when tickets become available.


Brixton Light Festival
The annual Brixton Light Festival lights up the friendly Brixton neighbourhood and famous Sentech Tower in September as a celebration of Brixton’s incredible creative spirit. Expect loads of lights, big installations and exhibitions, a night market, performances, and surprises throughout this family-friendly event, plus plenty of creative costumes in the parade. We'll let you know once this year's date is announced.
The annual Brixton Light Festival is a highlight on the friendly neighbourhood's calendar. Photo: James Puttick.

FNB Art Joburg
FNB Art Joburg takes place from Fri, Sep 6 – Sun, Sep 8 at the Sandton Convention Centre. It’s one of the largest contemporary art fairs in Africa and usually runs alongside the accompanying Open City initiative, a two-week celebration of Joburg's diverse art, food, and culture. To increase the accessibility and inclusivity of Joburg's bountiful arts and culture spaces and discourse, Open City takes place at collaborating venues across the city. Save the date, and we'll keep you posted on when tickets become available for FNB Art Joburg and final details for Open City.


Back to the City
As Africa's biggest hip-hop and street culture festival, Back to the City lights up Mary Fitzgerald Square in the Joburg City Centre every year, with well-known MCs, beatboxers, rappers, and dancers performing throughout the day. There are usually also basketball courts, skating ramps, graffiti areas, and a market. This year’s edition will take place on Mon, Oct 7 so save the date and we'll let you know when tickets go on sale.
Back to the City is Africa's biggest hip-hop and street culture festival. Photo: Back to the City.

October means one thing: the arrival of Johannesburg In Your Pocket’s annual #JacarandaInYourPocket photo competition and event series. From early October the purple blooms start to appear on trees throughout Johannesburg and Pretoria and by the time the month is in full swing, a purple cloak has settled over these cities. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to showcase Joburg at its most beautiful and to encourage people to explore this city they call home. We’ll let you in on all the details closer to the time but we promise another bumper year filled with purple blooms and good cheer.  


Joburg Fashion Week
With spring almost wrapped up and summer on our doorstep, there’s no better way to get a glimpse of the latest summer fashion than with Joburg Fashion Week. It’s a celebration of pan-African fashion that showcases talented designers from across the continent and the African diaspora alongside art, music, and design. This year’s dates haven’t been announced yet but we’ll keep you posted closer to the time.

Virgin Active 947 Ride Joburg
By the time the Virgin Active 947 Ride Joburg rolls around, there are two types of people: those who venture out, oblivious to the road closures that turn the city on its head every year, and those who have the good sense to plan and avoid the chaos ruling the roads. Alternatively, you get those athletic souls who have worked hard throughout the year to participate in the biggest annual celebration of cycling that Joburg has to offer. This year’s road race takes place on Sun, Nov 17, with the kids' and mountain bike races planned for Sat, Nov 9 and Sun, Nov 10 in Steyn City.


Each year, Melrose Arch celebrates Christmas with a dazzling light display. Photo: Melrose Arch.

Joburg lights up
At the start of December with silly season officially upon us, Joburg has a few shiny tricks up its sleeve. Say "Christmas in Joburg" and most people think of Melrose Arch, where every year this upmarket shopping and dining precinct is transformed into a wonderland with the most impressive lights. In addition to the glittering display, Melrose Arch usually pulls out all the stops with a busy programme of festive events.

If the glitzy Melrose Arch is not your cup of tea, the Festival of Lights at Joburg Zoo enchants throughout December with light displays, a night market, and a programme of live music, theatre, and dance performances. Take the family and enjoy a welcome stroll and an enjoyable night out to close off the year. 

Mary Fitzgerald Square

Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown


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