If you find yourself in need of exciting, hidden (or rather unsuspecting-looking) gems in Joburg's nightlife scene, look no further. We've put together a list of clubs, events and spaces that will add some colour to any night out.
Previously an abandoned factory, and then a swanky club and rooftop bar, AGOG in the back streets of Maboneng is now a warehouse venue space with an energetic following and an exciting array of underground pop-up events.
Curated Makers Market is a monthly first Friday market at Constitution Hill, held in the former prison complex that was one of the bleakest sites in Joburg's apartheid history. Each Friday the space – still bearing its history in its architecture and signage, comes alive to showcase Joburg's talented independent artisans, designer-makers and small businesses.
If you've ever wondered where Joburg's young, fashionable and social media socialites go when the regular hotspots seem empty, you'll no doubt find them at Nostra. This relatively new (as of 2021) club is located in (or rather, under) the Posthouse Link Centre in Bryanston, where you'll also find the popular restaurant, Gemelli. Its where you go to show off that sparkly outfit and to burn a pretty sizeable hole in your bank account: you'll face this fact while you stand in line outside the club where the flashiest cars in Joburg congregate in the same parking lot.
Through a nondescript doorway in Newtown is one of the country’s leading house, techno and drum and bass clubs and event spaces. TOYTOY is a weekly event at And Club that's something for the techno and EDM lovers of the city. This unique event (in a unique space) gives you a raw nightlife experience reminiscent of a '90s rage. There's a superb sound system, a great courtyard chill space and inside the décor is minimalist to the extreme, with moody lighting, a concrete bar and a large, open dance floor where you can dance the night away (literally – the windows are slightly blacked out so it's quite easy to lose track of time). If you had hoped to capture the night on your phone, think again as video recording and photography is prohibited and to manage your urges, security guards will place stickers over your camera upon entry. During lockdown this place gained immense notoriety – rumour had it the devoted clubbers here would arrive and party from curfew start to end, slinking back to the suburbs once it was legal.
Located below eatery and gallery The Artivist in Braamfontein is Untitled Basement, what we think of as the coolest underground event space. Launched by DJ Kenzhero and Bradley Williams, Untitled Basement is the surprise you have been looking for on Reserve Street. There's a regular schedule of exciting events, so make sure to follow them on social media. Find the next event here.