I suppose this can no longer be called early in the year, but it has been an interesting start! The on-going merry-go-round of events, birthdays and such like has been keeping me out and about more than I am used to at this part of any year.
Coming up are a couple of really cool events: The Voetsek Festival at The Bohemian on 17 March, Large on the Lawn on the 25th of March and then the JHB Fetish reunion show on 14 April… All absolute musts for the calendar.
Johannesburg still keenly feels the lack of a decent, purpose built music venue, but somehow we are still keeping up a flow of cool shows. I would love to see a multipurpose venue, custom built with sound and light in mind, go up somewhere near Rosebank or Illovo… You could have themed nights like Rock Thursday, hip hop Fridays and international Saturdays or whatever! Just somewhere where it sounds great, where there are good sight lines for stage and you can go every week without worrying about the quality of the line-up. A decent multipurpose venue would also be scalable so you can move from a space that easily accommodates 2 500 people to a close-up 500 seater… I guess I can dream!
While it’s nice that places like Tanz Cafe and the Bohemian continue to organise shows and go out of their way to be creative, it’s a real indictment of JHB as a city that there is simply NO purpose built music venue. Everywhere is something else pressed into service. As a result, the acoustics are generally problematic and line of site is always an issue.
Don’t get me wrong though, I am NOT volunteering for the job of running such a place… hell no! Have watched too many people open and run nightclubs, bars and restaurants to still think that is a fun or glamorous way to earn a living… Man, its hard work. So hats off the to the venue owners for doing stuff I would never do and allowing me to enjoy the stuff I can… I wonder how we could get someone to build a multipurpose venue in Joburg? Should the City itself fund such a thing and let it to promoters or a board that manages it?
Or should one of those hotel groups that are always whacking up 5 Star hotels around Sandton maybe try their hand at supporting arts and culture in SA? Because bear in mind you could have Jazz Tuesday, classical Sundays, choir nights and much much more in a venue with serious gear that is well run….