Johannesburg

Joburg nightlife – The coolest parties and club nights

25 May 2022
Party capital Joburg is a city title that's been on pandemic pause – although that's not because parties in Joburg came to an end. Rather the restrictions drove the city's most determined nightlife activity underground (sometimes quite literally, in the case of a few notorious venues that locked clubbers in to party through the curfew). Now that freedom is in sight – with final restrictions being lifted (March 2022) Joburg's party scene is seriously bouncing back.

The energy starts to get unleashed on Thursdays, and continues into the weekend. Daytime get-togethers that segue into the evening are popular, particularly on Sundays, and some parties that started out as small DJ evenings at local bars have grown into major ticketed festival-like events.

Here's our pick of the best. 

Feel Good Series

Nandi Dlepu's monthly sunset party Feel Good Series lives up to its name, bringing together cool city locations with an eclectic musical landscape spanning everything from hip-hop and R&B to reggae, dancehall and funk. There are few cooler places to soak up Joburg's urban rooftop party vibe while enjoying some of the best DJ sets and the series' spin-off music festival UMI (usually held in mid-summer) is just as good. Follow Feel Good Series here for the latest on upcoming parties.
 
One of Joburg's finest day-night parties, Feel Good Series

Vogue Nights Jozi

Spearheaded by Ntsikelelo Meslani (aka DJ Lelowhatsgood) Vogue Nights Jozi attracts a flamboyant crowd, dressed loud and proud in the campest fashions and the most elaborate outfits and makeup. An all-inclusive ballroom movement complete with a catwalk, the event celebrates the fabulosity of the local vogue dance, music and fashion scene. There's not a patch of 'normcore' style in sight. On the dancefloor anything goes with sudden camp 'deathdrops' the rule and not the exception. The DJs have a cult following, and there's a panel of judges to decide whose outfit scores the highest marks. A night of pure freedom. Follow Vogue Nights Jozi here for the latest on upcoming parties.

Breakfast at Khujos

Previously hosted at the home of one Mr Khujo – a style inspiration in denim – in Malvern, local event organisers The Dig's monthly Sunday party Breakfast at Khujo's has become an adored Joburg event. It has since moved to much bigger premises at the Women's Gaol at Constitution Hill. A chilled afternoon to evening affair, the party mixes live music performances and an eclectic DJ lineup. Follow Breakfast at Khujos for the latest on upcoming parties.
 
Photo by @hloni_khoza for Breakfast at Khujos

Pussy Party

Launched in 2018 at Braamfontein's iconic Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, Pussy Party is one of Joburg's most enduring queer nights, held with the aim of being an 'incubator for women and queer DJs'. There's a fun, friendly and youthful crowd buoyed by an anything-goes attitude, that embraces serious vogueing just as warmly as awkward dance moves. The music runs the gamut from golden oldies and 1980s pop to tropical tunes, kwaito and house. Since launching in Braamfontein, Pussy Party has moved around the city and can often be found at Living Room in Maboneng. Cultural icon and style maven Maria McCloy is one of the legendary DJs in the mix here. Follow Pussy Party online here for the latest party announcements.

The Pussy Party's Secret Garden edition. Photo by Koyame Potwana for Pussy Party

Dear Friends

Led by Joburg creative Tayla Foong, Dear Friends organises intimate pop-up gatherings that encompass a chilled afternoon cultural brunch party vibe with exhibitions, live DJs, street food and a craft gin bar. The food is always a major attraction as is the crowd, usually a mix of young creatives from the local design, art and music scenes. Look out for their lively collabs with Joburg foodie pop-ups under the Dear Friends banner and the regular That's Nice! brunch party hosted at one of our favourite Braamfontein courtyards at 99 Juta. Follow Dear Friends here for more on their latest parties and activations.

The That's Nice! party at 99 Juta by Dear Friends

Obrigado

Rumba, kizomba and salsa the Saturday afternoon away at Soweto-born DJs Tha Muzik and DJ Kenzhero's monthly Obrigado party. During the Covid era Obrigado went online, but is finally returning to live events in 2022. With Kenzhero and Tha Muzik on the decks, the music line-up usually covers everything from 1970s disco and 1990s hip-hop to Afrobeat, bossa nova and funk. Upbeat and highly danceable is the order of the day, plus there is Obrigado's very own craft gin to look forward to. Follow Obrigado here for the latest on upcoming parties.
 
Weekend vibes at Obrigado

TOYTOY 

One of Joburg's most enduring club nights TOYTOY is for the serious clubbers who want to stay up raving until sunrise. Hosted as a residency every Friday night at the dark and industrial feeling &Club on the fringes of Newtown, TOYTOY often attracts major international names from the electronica, house and techno scenes. Follow TOYTOY for the latest Friday night line-up.

Kunye

An all-day party led by DJ Shimza's Kunye record label, in the post-pandemic era this has become one of South Africa's hottest open-air house music events. Usually attracting major producers and DJs to the decks, the all-day festival takes place around every three months, although since the Kunye party brand has found nationwide interest, the festival is now often on the road. Follow Kunye Records on Instagram for the latest on upcoming events.

Sunday Roast

Curated by top event promoters Until Until who are known for their major brand collaborations such as the epic Barcadi Holiday Club party, Sunday Roast describes itself as 'The Happiest Place On Earth'. The venue is always on the move and usually the party is held once a month on a Sunday afternoon. One of those classic long afternoon groove events with DJs spinning record after record that will 100% make you forget what day it is tomorrow. Sign up at happiestplaceonearth.co.za to be added to the list and receive notifications about tickets for upcoming parties.
 
Cocktails at Sunday Roast

 

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