A discourse about the decline of live music venues in Johannesburg's inner city | Curated by Phinda Mzala Music | Hosted by 54 Houses of Africa

There is a looming decline in accessible live/jazz music venues in Johannesburg's inner city, with unemployment and a lack of discretionary income playing a significant role. The mismanagement of venues, inaccessible pricing at venues, lack of government support, and cliquey conduct are among the contributing factors.

Culture enthusiasts are unable to patronise venues, venues are unable to pay employees and bills-practitioners are left desolate, with no venues to play or make a living. And, for most artists, this is their bread and butter; they have spent years honing their skills; it is an investment they have made.

Numerous unfounded and discouraging theories cause nothing but anxiety—we require an accurate diagnosis and prognosis. We need practical solutions.

This necessitates the formation of impactful units of stakeholders (musicians, investors, impresarios, patrons, and so on) capable of making more deliberate and informed decisions on the future of live music.

Our knowledge, like everyone else's, is limited to assumptions based on how this clear and present danger affects us, so we're inviting stakeholders to an open rehearsal where we can interact, exchange ideas, and make contacts. This initial interaction is intended to be the first in a series of dialogues that will assist us and those affected in determining the cause, solution, and implementation methods.

Anyone willing to contribute their expertise, time, experience, or money is welcome. Music lovers, culture enthusiasts, experts, and anyone who wants to meet lovely people are welcome. We are interested in meeting other venue owners and talking about rotating venues to make them more accessible and collaborative.

Music by: Anam Manyati (Guitar and Vocals)
Reggie Teys (Cello)
Thabiso Perman (Drums)

Venue: 54 Houses of Africa (32 Von Brandis JHB CBD)
Date: 28 January 2023
Time: 16:00 till late


Phinda Mzala: Mpilo Ngema 067 616 5484 or Scelo Mdlada 067 703 5620
54 Houses of Africa: Njabulo Zulu 079 440 7076
*Entrance is free, musicians are allowed to bring instruments to jam and safe parking is available. Food and liquor available at accessible prices.

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