Rob’s Top 5 Picks For The Weekend

One of my favourite times of the year has come. In fact, it happens four times a year and it brings a lot of needed sanity to thousands upon thousands of people. Yes, the school holidays are upon us and I’m always glad when this happens for two reasons. I don’t get to go on holiday, no, but I don’t feel like I grow old in traffic during this time. By extension, I do also save a significant amount of fuel and, therefore, money. They should just home school the lot of them.

With that being said, it also means that a quarter of 2019 is done for. This also made me think of a post by Washington Post that ranked each month from best to worst. At the time I could not have been bothered to read the whole thing – I just noticed that March is pretty low down on people’s preference as a ‘good month’. Happily, it does get better from April onwards; we’ve got that going for us. It is US-centric, but it makes for an interesting read nevertheless.

Now, onto our itinerary for the weekend… It looks rather decent here in the middle of March, might I add – there’s at least one good thing this blasted month conjured up for us. Have at it. As for me, I’ll avoid any part of town on Sunday. The last time I went out on St. Patrick’s Day I had to but new clothes and I saw myself scraping green paint from my person for days. They should have stuck with the beer, plain and simple.

  1. The Churchill’s Bar Gin Festival, 16 March

Cost: R130-R150, available through Quicket

What’s better than some nice wholesome fun on a Saturday? Then again, wholesome might not be the correct word here because gin in a large dose can cause a few problems. Fun, though, is the right word because gin, well, is one of man’s greatest achievements. There is nothing particularly ornate about this festival. It is simply designed for your enjoyment; you merely have to rock up at Churchill’s Bar in Melrose Arch with your ticket to indulge in the merriment. An in-house DJ will drown out any deafening silence, various foodstuffs will be available for the peckish and a host of gins that include some of Inverroche Distillery, Henley’s Small Batch 18 Gin, Beefeater 24, Victoria Gin, Triple Three Distillery, Bloedlemoen Handcrafted Gin and Ginologist Handcrafted Gin’s finest products will be on offer.

  1. Rock on the Lawns – The Cure, 16 March

Cost: R495, available through Computicket

I took somewhat of a chance including this here item on the list given the global popularity of The Cure. I did a little digging and there are still quite a few tickets available. I’d hurry if I were you, though. I figured that the festival lawns at Carnival City is a good place to see one of rock’s greatest bands live in concert. Beer gardens and a slew of gourmet food trucks will keep your body fuelled while the musicians see to your spirit. Speaking of musicians… The Cure won’t be performing by their lonesome, oh no. Local heavyweights, Fokofpolisiekar, Ard Matthews, Karen Zoid, Zebra & Giraffe, Opposite The Other, Southern Wild, Hellcats and The Robfather will support the scraggy-looking, but gifted Robert Smith and co.

  1. It’s Personal Picnic 2019, 16 March

Cost: R150-R1000, available through Howler

There’s no reason to fork out R1000 for a ticket… so there’s that. But it will be worth getting one nevertheless because a Johannesburg favourite returns for its 2019 edition. The picnic, of sorts, will once again be hosted at the Val Bonne Country Estate in Modderfontein. This is naturally a family day out and it will also not short on any eats or activities for any member. The music, however, ought to be the main pull and the line-up is quite a spectacular one. The mix of local and international acts will include, among others, Johannes Brecht, Dave DK, Innellea, Shimza, Kususa, Pierre Johnson, Rob Toca, JustSmart and Rob Sloan Music.

  1. Lucky You, 15-17 March

Cost: Varies

The world’s favourite hijacked holiday is here once more. Quick anecdote…. I once spent St. Patrick’s Day in the unlikeliest ways. I enjoyed me Irish holiday that was held in South Africa, in an English pub all while a Scottish band piped away with that noisy bag of air they call an instrument. It was great though, I was just there for the beer specials – which will be aplenty in Johannesburg this year, too. There are a few joints looking to cash in handsomely by turning everything green. The St. Paddy’s Day Bush Pub Run is always popular. Molly Malones in Fourways has a killer street party going on for only R50; live bands will perform, too. Naturally the Beerhouse  in Fourways have a few special ales to delight you with and you get a free concert to boot. The Local Market in Muldersdrift has something a little more tame and Rumours Rock City in Cresta has a night typical to them – loud and messy, but wonderful nevertheless. They are hosting a long line-up of a couple of great bands.

  1. Johannesburg International Comedy Festival 2019, 15-16 March

Cost: R150-R300, available through Webtickets

The country is going up its own backside; we need something to cackle at. Usually we are consoled for a few hours only, but this festival, featuring over 50 comics, spans an entire weekend. As the title suggests, both local and international comedians will try their level best to have you crawling back onto your chair. The logistics of such a large ensemble can be a little tricky to table. I suggest you have a look at the Joburg Theatre’s  website to pick which performances you’d like to see.