Johannesburg Nightlife Alive and Kicking

Johannesburg Nightlife Alive and Kicking

by Michael Balkind                              Posted: 2021/04/02

Post Covid-19 venues opening up all over the city.

Covid has had a devastating effect on the night life of Johannesburg. Many of our restaurants, bars and cafes were forced to shut down. DJ’s, bands and live performers put out of work for months due to the heavy restrictions. The toll has been massive on our city; our people and our culture. If we cannot go out, we cannot meet; if we  cannot meet then we cannot breed and humanity will die (slight exaggeration and humour added to make a point). 


In all of this doom and gloom, who would've thought a new breed of venues would sprout out of the soil of devastation. These new seedlings are creating a new vibe in the city. A smaller and more intimate environment.  A reaction by the times to the times. From Melville, Maboneng, Joburg CBD all the way to Soweto this author is encouraged and inspired by what he sees and here is but a small list of what i have experienced:


Native Rebels in Soweto

Although being open since 2018. Native Rebels only came onto my radar during the first lifting of some of the Covid restrictions late last year (2020). It was one of the first posts on facebook I was exposed to that was promoting a live music event. Native rebels venue is on the 2nd floor of a corner shop in the Jabavu District of Soweto. It's a small intimate live music venue, where the audience can mostly sit on an outside balcony which makes this a Covid friendly venue.  





Xavier in Maboneng 

Xavier is about a week brand new since the publishing of this article.  It promotes itself as a coffee, cocktails, food and art kind of place. I love the decor and the lineup of entertainment they have had so far. The launch photos going wild on social media enables me to know this place has friends and influence and I recommend you check it out. 

The Mangrove in Braam 

Mangrove is a kind place you can ride your bike to in the morning for a great breakfast. 

During the afternoon it makes for a great co-working place and at night you can expect a well curated live music show, with a fun and engaging audience. It offers games nights, movie viewing and other arts and culture style activities.  Its decor is awesome; its team super friendly and it is of my favourite new places in Jozi.


Soda Studio in downtown Johannesburg 

Warning! This author is the co-owner of Soda Studio and might display some biases (but will try not to). We built Soda Studio as a place to offer full on immersive music experiences. The idea is that we host an event where we curate a band, with a DJ and food pairing. Soda Studio is also a virtual studio and all our shows are streamed to the internet on the JHBlive platform. 

Troyville house

The Troyeville House was built in 1902 on a ridge overlooking the Johannesburg inner city. It first caught my attention with the String of Gin Africa events that included some of my favorite jazz musicians on this continent. Although I have not visited this site yet it's on my top of my list for my next Jozi experience. 


Have u got any places to recommend. Email and let us know. 



Post Covid-19 venues opening up all over the city.


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