more music, events set for afropunk joburg 2018

November 14, 2018

As we countdown to the epic, end-of-year celebration that will be AFROPUNK JOBURG 2018 on December 30-31, we’ve added some legendary performers and DJs to the festival lineup; announced a first set of Johannesburg activities for AFROPUNK SOLUTION SESSIONS, that will feature the co-founders of Black Lives Matter; and set a schedule for this year’s Joburg Battle of the Bands finals, which will take place on November 30th and December 1st and will see one young South African act join the AFROPUNK superstars on stage at Constitutional Hill.

The new additions to the lineup include legendary members of South Africa’s music scene, Maskandi master Phuzekhemisi of KZN and Cape Town hip-hop pioneer DJ Ready D, as well hip-hop hitmaker Kwesta. What would a party be without DJs spinning the hottest sounds across genres, countries and eras? Added to the decks this year are Pretoria hitmaker DJ Maphorisa; France’s Anais B who made such an impact at last year’s event that she is back to serve up more beats; AFROPUNK Brooklyn favorite TYGAPAW, a Jamaica-born/-raised, Brooklyn-based multi-disciplinary artist and producer; Cape Town’s Southern suburb selecta, K-$; with Kenya’s Coco Em and Johannesburg’s Deniece Marz and Phatstoki also rocking the party. Empangeni-born electronic musician Muzi, who spends most of his time overseas, will be back in SA, and also in for the festival are BBZ (Bold Brazen Zamis), a queer curatorial collective and art party from London.

These artists and DJs now join The Internet, Thundercat, Flying Lotus, Kaytranada, Thandiswa, Public Enemy, YoungstaCPT, Dope Saint Jude, FAKA, Moonchild Sanelly, Big Freedia, Nomisupasta and BCUC on the main stages of the festival. Of special note for AFROPUNK Joburg is the 3D show that the Los Angeles-based electronic music producer and film-maker Flying Lotus is bringing to South Africa for the first time; featuring a huge mega-set that needs to be specially shipped from the United States, and next-level-technology animations, it is an audio-visual experience that The Guardian UK has called “mind-warping.”

Flying Lotus (aka Steven Ellison) comes from a long line of innovators — his auntie being Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda — and has collaborated with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu, Radiohead, Herbie Hancock and many other legends. In 2016, he also directed the experimental film Kuso.

Local tickets for AFROPUNK Joburg are available via HERE

Yet before the festival even kicks off, AFROPUNK produce events that bring nutrition to the body and the soul. On Friday the 28th and Saturday the 29th of December, AFROPUNK SOLUTION SESSIONS, the people’s forum-turned-critically acclaimed podcast, will return for its second set of Joburg events, hosted by American veteran social activist and podcaster, Bridget Todd.

The AFROPUNK SOLUTION SESSIONS programming will be presented in collaboration with Red Bull Amaphiko, and will be Free and Open to the Public. Special guests for the 2018 conversations include two of the co-founders of the American based Black Lives Matter Global Network — artist/organizer Patrisse Cullors, and writer/organizer/public speaker Alicia Garza. Black Lives Matter has grown from a hashtag to one of the most influential social justice and resistance movements in the world today. BLMGN is partnering with AFROPUNK Joburg in celebration of their Fifth Anniversary.

Discussion topics will include youth resistance, radical self-care, male and female gender roles and communication, and LGBTQ+ cultural community conversations. The programming will also feature members of Red Bull Amaphiko Academy, a platform for social entrepreneurs, which promotes and uplifts people creating change in their communities, connects agents of change with one another, and shares inspiring stories about social change.

There is also a matter of new and local musical representation at AFROPUNK JOBURG. Last year, Soweto’s Automatic Live were one of the winners of AFROPUNKs Battle Of The Bands, so this year they will feature at the festival. Two other newcomers (out of eight finalists voted for by the public) will win a once-in-a lifetime experience if they succeed at 2018’s Joburg Battle Of The Bands, at Carfax Newtown, Johannesburg, on the 30th of November and 1st of December. The Top 8 artists competing are: Lu-Fuki, Red Robyn, Serati, Luis The Don, Ikati Esengxoweni, Keabruh & Jay.B, Sió, and Leon. (We’ll have more on all these artists in the coming weeks. In the meantime, listen to them all below.)

Before the final, the artists will take part in a two-day workshop on the music business. The two winning acts will also receive a lucrative distribution deal with Africa’s foremost digital music company, AFRICORI.

As AFROPUNK links communities around the world, it’s important for fans to connect with unique experiences for the best value. We are proud to announce that we have partnered with Away to Africa, Tastemakers Africa, and I am Joburg to create fully curated travel itineraries and experiences to further explore the country and continent. We have also partnered with local hotels including 12 Decades, Curiocity Joburg, Protea Hotel Fire & Ice, and Reef Hotel to provide AFROPUNK Joburg 2018 attendees discounted rooms rates. More information available at