At the end of the month the  Joburg City Tourism Association will be hosting their first city wide festival. The festival comprises a series of events all over the city – from fashion and art to music, theatre, dance, film, food, comedy, architecture, heritage, sport, adventure and party. Key focus times of the festival are weekday lunchtimes and early evening performances as well as all-day activations on Sunday 25 August and Saturday 31 August. For a full festival overview click here.

I chatted to Gerald Garner author ,  tour guide and JCTA Secretariat about the organisation and the upcoming festival, the JCTA has also been kind enough to pretty much shower all you lovely people with lovely prizes which include:

1.       Tickets for 2 people on Citysightseeing red bus

2.       Two copies of Spaces & Places 2.0 – JoburgPlaces (guide book by Gerald Garner)

3.       Two tickets for a free lunch-time JoburgPlaces Gandhi to Mandela Walking tour during the Joburg City Festival

4.       Two  tickets to the JoburgPlaces walking tour & Apprentice Penthouse Dinner/Wine Pairing on Wednesday 28 August, during the Joburg City Festival.

Watch my Facebook Page for more details on the giveaways!

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The Nicest thing  about the Joburg City Festival is…

The choice of events. For a whole week you can enjoy some of the best venues and spaces of the inner-city. It is incredible how dynamic and creative this city is and how people are working together to celebrate the best of this city

1. What is Joburg City Tourism? How does it differ from let’s say for instance Gauteng Tourism?

It is very important to understand that the JCTA – the Joburg City Tourism Association – is a club or voluntary organisation that promotes tourism within the Joburg inner-city.

Our membership is made up of hotels, museums, events venues, tour operators etc who have a stake in tourism in the inner-city. We are not a bureaucracy but a non-for-profit company working spontaneously to promote the city. Gauteng Tourism is the provincial government’s entity and Joburg Tourism is the municipality’s tourism branch. The JCTA is far more informal and deal from the ground up, rather than top down.

A group of passionate business people with a stake in inner-city tourism got together to work collectively to promote tourism in the inner-city. Isaac Chilambura from Lionshare Holdings who owns the building of the Reef Hotel was the person that spearheaded the formation of the JCTA. He is still our chairman.

Credit: Joburg Places

Credit: Joburg Places

2. The upcoming festival is pretty huge, can you give me a brief rundown of what it’s all about?

It is a celebration of the inner-city. From rooftop parties to foodie experiences, from street soccer to night-time cycling. From theatre and film to music and dance. Also many inner-city tours are being offered. The festival is about people rediscovering the mesmerising and regenerated inner-city.

3.Is there anything in particular you are looking forward to during the festival? e.g. an event/people/tour.

The Jozi Street Ball Cup – street soccer on Gandhi Square every lunch time and early evening will be great I am sure. I am also looking forward to seeing thousands of cyclists riding through the city on the evening as Friday 30 August. The event is known as Critical Mass. There are many other highlights – look out for rooftop sundowners at the Parktonian Hotel and at Elevate Rooftop Bar (Reef Hotel) as well as Tapas in the City at Turbine Hall. Maboneng will be alive with events too while High Tea at Doubleshot Coffee & Tea will be fantastic I am sure. But there are so many more programmes on the website.

Credit: Joburg Places

Credit: Joburg Places

4. Why do you think it is important for a institution like the JCTA to exist?

It is important for passionate people with a genuine stake in tourism to work together to promote the fantastic tourism offerings of Joburg’s inner-city. It is also important to make people aware of the great public and private investments that have been made into urban regeneration and how this is transforming the Joburg City.