Johannesburg Events and Festivals

(Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa)

Skyline photographJohannesburg hosts a wide variety of local events and festivals. Visitors who are interested in spending time in the city or surrounding area may wish to check out forthcoming events before they arrive in order to make the most of their time in Johannesburg.

The autumn is a particularly good time to visit Johannesburg, as this is the time of year in which many art and music festivals are held, with things to do including the Joburg Art Fair at the Sandton Convention Centre and also the HobbyX in the Coca-Cola Dome. Each year, the biggest events attract literally thousands of visitors to the city, and can subsequently affect accommodation availability.

Johannesburg Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Joburg Carnival - Johannesburg rings in the New Year with a city carnival. Thousands of spectators watch vividly coloured floats as they process through Hillbrow, Braamfontein and Newtown


  • FNB Dance Umbrella - held in a variety of venues throughout Johannesburg, this festival stages contemporary dance performances from both local artists and those from further afield


  • Rand Show - held in the Expo Centre. This huge consumer home exhibition draws in the crowds with over 800 exhibition stalls. There are also amusement park rides for the family
  • Joburg Art Fair - held at the Sandton Convention Centre each March, this art fair features African art
  • My Coke Fest - a 12-hour music concert, staged at Kenilworth Racecourse. The line-up includes top bands from all over the world
  • HobbyX - held at the Coca-Cola Dome. This is South Africa's largest hobby and craft show. Also held in June and September


  • Gardenex - held in the Coca-Cola Dome, Gardenex has a full programme of events, including talks and workshops, horticultural displays and competitions. This event is a must for all keen gardeners


  • The Garden and Home Expo - held at Emperor's Palace in May. Johannesburg visitors can brush up on their gardening or interior decoration skills, or simply browse the latest home and garden products


  • Extreme Auto Show - four days that are dedicated to cars and bikes. As well as all the latest auto gadgets, it also features its own 'catwalk show' and a motocross demonstration
  • Jozi Adventure Challenge Series - held in Rivonia, participants tackle mountain biking, hiking and orienteering
  • Encounters - also known as the South African International Documentary Film Festival, this event features local and documentary film screenings, as well as workshops for would-be film makers


  • Your Family Creative Craft Expo - early July, held in the Emperors Palace. As well as displays of finished works, there are also regular workshops and more than 200 exhibitor stands offering major craft items


  • Standard Bank Joy of Jazz Festival - dozens of local and international jazz musicians converge on Johannesburg for three days at the end of August. Audiences enjoy what is described as an eclectic line-up
  • Women in Arts Festival - held in Newtown, this five-day festival precedes Women's Day each August. This event celebrates women artists through poetry, storytelling, dance, theatre, comedy and photography


  • Arts Alive Festival - a month-long celebration of music, dance and theatre. Many of the events are held in Newton Cultural Precinct
  • Johannesburg Pride - a week of events which culminate in the Gay Pride March on the final Saturday of September. The March starts and finishes at Zoo Lake


  • Out in Africa - the South Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has been held in Johannesburg since 1995. Thousands come to watch film screenings and attend workshops
  • Newtown Diwali Festival - held at the end of October, some 40,000 people take part in this noteworthy event


  • Good Food and Wine Show - mid-November, staged in the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg. This is South Africa's major food, wine and lifestyle event and attracts thousands of food lovers, chefs and other food and wine professionals each year


  • Equestria - held in Johannesburg's Coca-Cola Dome. A festive extravaganza that features indoor show-jumping, an exhibition of all-things equestrian, and even a pantomime
  • Carols in the Garden - a popular event that is held at the beginning of December in Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens