/ 14 June 2022

Night Embassy Joburg is back: The city that never sleeps resumes the nightlife

BLXCKIE. (Supplied by Maria McCloy)

The lit nights on Johannesburg streets became a distant memory when the pandemic hit us. These past two years have by far been the most restrictive time for creatives and artists as curfews meant early nights and large gatherings were banned. But it’s time to reclaim the streets and bring back the city that never sleeps

The Jägermeister Night Embassy Joburg is back and ready to ignite the ultimate “last night was lit” flame for self-expression and unlimited creativity. It is known to many as a safe creative zone that offers a holistic nightlife experience, from stylish streetwear to great performances, and unforgettable freiraum (free space) experiences where people can fearlessly become themselves. 

The Night Embassy is returning with a relaunch party on 15 June at the Old JSE Building in Newtown, with fresh new acts and some of our favourite artists. The likes of DBN Gogo, Blxckie, and ByLwansta are ready to hit the stage. 

DBN GOGO. (Supplied by Maria McCloy)

“We are back after careful considerations towards the safety of our communities, as well as ensuring we have enough time to come back with something bigger and bolder. Through our relaunch message and visual positioning, we are making it clear to both our allies and new friends: That we’re back to reinforce our unwavering support for emerging creative communities and finding new directions in nightlife,” says Bea Theron Jägermeister, South Africa’s culture and experiential manager.

It began in Berlin, moved to Moscow and in July 2021 the Night Embassy launched in South Africa. It creates safe spaces, introduces new sounds and brings to the forefront various Joburg sub-cultures and creative communities. 

After its launch in 2021, the Night Embassy announced two events: Unmute The City by Unmuted and Queertopia by Other Village People. But due to the pandemic, these events were brought to a halt. This year, the streets are buzzing as the long-awaited events finally happen.  

The Night Embassy supports its Ambassadors through budget and mentorship by its Creative Board. The board includes the event producer, business strategist and venue owner Theresho Selesho; designer, artist and creative director Jana Hamman; LGBTQI pioneer, DJ, and content creator Lelowhatsgood; skate scene champion and filmmaker Day Marumo and amapiano-centred talent management agency owner, Thuli Keupzz.

The Night Embassy is forging ahead with its commitment to its four Ambassadors and what they stand for. Kombonation by Kananelo Kabelo Sello & Kgotso Selomah is one of the four Ambassadors. They are a Soweto-based pre-to-post production start-up, specialising in real and raw visual storytelling. They also create clothing that showcases their photographic skillset and expresses the narratives that exist within and beyond the photographs.

Night Embassy has provided “an opportunity for us to create an alternative Kasi nightlife experience on a bigger scale,” says the Kombonation team.  

Thelma Ndebele. (Supplied by Maria McCloy)

Other Village People is a pair of creatives who curate experiences for the LGBTQIA+ community, encouraging liberation and living in the truest reflection of self. Cultural worker and curator Kefiloe Siwisa has collaborated with many institutions in South Africa, Britain and the US. Event producer and DJ Andiswa Dlamini has performed in New York and at many other notable events such as Le Bain, Mood Ring, and Littlefield. 

Thelma Ndebele, popularly known as DormantYouth, is a non-binary DJ and Master of Architecture whose passion lies in the art of music, says, “As an ambassador, I’m especially looking forward to executing this residency to my fullest ability. I’m optimistic about how far DormantYouth can strive, during and beyond this residency.”

Unmuted brings forth Limpopo’s finest talent, through in-house music production, event hosting, an online radio station and Limpopo rap like you’ve never heard. 

What you can expect at the re-launch

Kabelo Sello and Kgotso Selomah. (Supplied by Maria McCloy)

A diverse mix of artists as well as sounds from the Night Embassy’s Ambassadors of the Night: Kombonation, Other Village People, DormantYouth, and Unmuted. The Launch Party will boast a Cypher Room hosted and curated by MkayFresh, poetry slams and rap battles, as well as experiential installations by Night Embassy Ambassadors including unique conceptual works of art and fresh ways of enjoying music. And, what’s a party without lots of Jägermeister shots and cocktails? 

“As an individual, I’m beyond excited at the resumption of Night Embassy, as they gave us some of the best parties in 2021 that I’ve personally been to in Joburg thus far. No doubt there’ll be more of that in 2022,” says Ndebele. 

The Night Embassy encourages self-expression through all areas of creativity. It brings all kinds of communities together, and through their versatility and uniqueness, they bring life to the streets of Johannesburg. The atmosphere is buzzing as die-hard fans look to see what the re-launch brings, and recruits are gunning for an electrifying first-time experience. 

Relaunch Party by Night Embassy Old JSE Building,1 Diagonal St, Newtown on 15 June

Kaofela Kaofela by Kombonation in Soweto from 24- 26 June

DormantYouth’s Groove Biennale in Alexandra from 8-10 July

Night Embassy will close with a bash at Moon Valley on 16 July.Registrations for complimentary tickets to all Night Embassy parties can be found here: www.night-embassy.com/jhb/