Pic by Wayne Marks

Johannesburg usually empties up quite a bit during December and January as most families pack their bags and head for the coast. But, for those who stay behind, there's plenty to keep you entertained. 

We took a look at some of the interesting festivals around the city and rounded up the five festivals you simply cannot miss.

Prawn & Beer Festival

Doesn't this just sound yummy? Well, the prawn part at least. I'm not quite sure how well prawns and beer go together, but for them to put together an entire festival around this combination means that there must be something special about it, right? With some motorcar and bike shows, helicopter rides and some child-friendly entertainment planned, this is set to be a proper family experience. There's nothing quite like some fresh, flavourful and well-cooked prawns. 

Date: 3rd of December, 2017 

Venue: Nasrec Expo Centre, corner Nasrec and Rand Show, Nasrec, JohannesburgTime: 9am

Tickets: R60, available at Computicket

Time: 9am

The Movie Music Festival

Last year's installment Movie Music Festival was an epic affair. This time around, the event is back with an even stronger line-up that looks set to rock the city. Billed as an opportunity to see your favourite artists perform their catalogue of hits with on-stage production of the highest order, you can expect music performance delivered with movie-type storytelling. The line-up includes the likes of Nasty C, Riky Rick, Emtee, Kwesta, OkMalumKoolKat, Sho Madjozi, Black Motion and Major League.

Venue: Outdoor Event Area, Montecasino, Montecasino Boulevard, Johannesburg

Date: 9 December, 2017

Time:12:00 – 00:00

Tickets: R100 – R350, available at www.tsogosun.computicket.com.

Soweto Ink Festival

This festival is perhaps slightly more niche than other festivals on this list. I personally don't have any tattoos, but I'm dabbling around with the idea and this is a great setting to learn about them and watch others get inked. Apart from live tatooing from some of the best tattoo artists around, there will be a competition for the best tattoos and some tattoo voucher giveaways and some live music to entertain those in attendance.  Aimed at "growing tattoo culture in Soweto" and other areas with a disadvantaged art background" the Soweto Ink Festival also embraces community development.

Date: Saturday, 16th - 17th December 2017

Venue: Walter Sisulu Square, Soweto, Johannesburg

Time: 11am - 12am

Tickets: R100

Afropunk Joburg 2017

Since debuting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in Brooklyn, New York City in 2005, Afropunk has grown into a massive annual music, film, skate, and arts-centred festival. Today, the Joburg leg of the festival attracts thousands of festival-goers to Constitution Hill. Bigger and better than ever, Afropunk this year welcomes a diverse line-up of performers and DJs, including Solange Knowles, Petite Noir, Nakhane Toure,  Anderson .Paak, Laura Mvula, Theo Parrish and Black Motion.

Venue: Constitution Hill, Johannesburg

Tickets: R400 - R900

Date: 30 December - 1 January, 

Time: 4pm - 3am

Joburg Cocktail Festival


There are few more appropriate beverages for the summer that cocktails. The inaugural Joburg Cocktail Festival will be taking to one of Joburg's most summery venues to celebrate and partake in the delicious drink for what's set to be a colourful and refreshing day out. Cocktail sampling from some of the cities most talented mixologists will allow festival-goers to enjoy a variety of flavours, while there'll also be plenty of other entertainment including local bar pop-ups, master classes and a chocolate den. For the ladies, there'll also be some spa treats, while the gents will have their very own man cave.

Venue: The Sands, 58 Wierda Road East, Sandton, Johannesburg

Date: 17 December, 2017 

Time:12:00

Tickets: R200 - R600, available at Webtickets