Kicking off the festival on Wednesday the 4th of Aprilis a night of improvised jazz at one of Johannesburg’s busiest jazz venues, The Orbit. Top South African musicians including Luyanda Madope, Benjamin Jephta, Sphelelo Mazibuko, Tlale Makhene and Keorapetse Kolwane will woo the audience in a round-robin format of freestyle jazz, while some of Jozi’s top selectors and vinyl collectors including DJ Okapi & Zara Julius behind the decks.
Thursday will be hosted at the Newtown Music Factory and is a celebration of one of the city’s longest-running weekly events; Thursday Ragga Nights, hosted by African Storm Sound System, is proof that roots-reggae, dancehall and ragga make up a culture deeply embedded in Johannesburg’s sonic identity. With a lineup that includes Mad Mugo, the Dancehall Queens & Dj Radix the night promises to have the crowd getting down to infectious riddims.
On Friday the 6th there are 4 different venues, each with its own vibe. At Republic Of 94 they’re taking it back and asking ‘Waar was jy?’, commemorating South Africa’s power genre, Kwaito, connecting the dots between the slowed-down house sounds, the mega-crews who championed the early days, its transition into a faster, Afro-house sound and the genre’s return to its roots with hip-hop’s recent popular explosion. Expect the likes of DJ Tira, Oskido & Trompies to show you kwaito in all its different guises.
Kitcheners will host an exploration of the South African millennial party music. Featuring a handful of the freshest up-and-coming artists in SA, they’ll be exploring genres such as gqom, hip-hop, electronica, bass music and future beats. Flexing their style and showing why the diversity of local club culture is high-key groundbreaking the lineup includes ANG, Audioboyz, Stiff Pap, Angel-Ho & DJ Lag.
Braamfontein’s central watering hole, Great Dane, will be supercharged with a winning formula of turn-up hip-hop, future bounce and old-school party music. Featuring Moozlie, Sean Munnick, Tha Cutt, Rouge, K-$ & Uncle Partytime, it’s gonna get wild in there.
Hosted at And Club, one of Joburg’s leading club nights, Toy Toy, will do what it does best by presenting a beatific array of the best underground techno with an amazing addition on the night: The Hacker, a DJ and producer whose contribution to electronic dance music spans several decades.
Fox Junction hosts the Red Bull Music Festival main event on Saturday and will see the legendary South African band 340million share a stage with trailblazing youngsters such as Langa Mavuso and Gina Jeanz, while the second floor will see some of the best local DJs alongside global electronic music pioneers Egyptian Lover and DJ Stingray.
The climax of the week’s Red Bull Music Festival festivities takes place at Soweto’s bonafide mega-club Zone 6 on Sunday to bring together the beloved sounds of deep-house, hip-hop, gqom and even maskandi music. Expect artists such as Distruction Boyz, Moonchild Sanelly, AKA, Da Capo, Sho Madjozi, Jullian Gomes & Sjava to have you dancing at an all-day party.