‘Jacaranda City’ is South Africa’s administrative capital but it’s known for so much more than just the Union Buildings and embassies. This vibrant city is also home to some of the country’s most influential musical acts as well as up-and-coming performers. Offering a platform to these burgeoning musicians are a number of live venues dotted throughout Pretoria…here are some of the most unique options to visit.
Live Music Venues in Pretoria
1. Hard Rock Café (www.hardrockcafe.com)
While this may be an international franchise, the Hard Rock Café is a truly unique space to experience the local jams and Pretoria’s Hard Rock Café is particularly enticing. Located in Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, this music venue offers fantastic rock star cuisine with even more rocking vibes. There is also a Rock Shop where you can pick up some must-have swag.
2. Railways Café (www.railwayscafe.co.za)
This environmentally and socially-conscious live music venue, which has been running since 2013, is based in Irene and is part of the NPO, D’Afrique Fairtrade Foundation, focused on community development. Railways Café provides ‘sidewalk’ artists with a legitimate performance platform while giving crafters some much-needed exposure. All meals prepared at Railways Café are fresh and home-style, sourced from local suppliers.
Read More: 7 Great Live Music Venues in Pretoria
3. Montana Family Market (www.montanafamilymarket.co.za)
This family-friendly fleamarket-style shopping and entertainment centre – located opposite Kolonnade Mall – is a wonderful space to enjoy local musicians in a beautiful setting. In addition to more than 500 retail stalls, a well-equipped food zone, and a fun children’s play area, Montana Family Market hosts a variety of musical acts every weekend. Enjoy the mellow tunes of Pretoria’s best while relaxing in the sunny outdoors.
4. Elephant & Friends (www.elephantandfriends.co.za)
For a traditional pub-style musical setting, then get to the Elephant & Friends in Pretoria. Boasting fresh, tasty pub food in a warm and inviting environment, they host fantastic live music performances on the weekends, and throughout the week. Added to this the affordable drinks and ambience, and you’ve got a really great live music venue.
5. Tings an’ Times
An iconic Pretoria music venue, Tings an’ Times is inspired by bohemian ideals and reggae rhythms. Established some two decades ago, this comfortable venue has seen the likes of Chiba, Kabaal Klankbaan, Tidal Waves, the Parlotones and Die Antwoord, playing its stage. Enjoy great beats while sipping on a Tings an’ Times cocktail.
6. Arcade Empire
From Wednesday to Saturday, this youthful venue welcomes live music across all genres – everything from Van Coke Kartel to The Curfew and Whiskey Thief. Sip on a jam jar while listening to the tunes, or visit on any one of Arcade Empire’s themed evenings including game night, braai days and foam parties.
7. SpeakEasy Lounge
This themed dinner theatre offers Pretoria some top-class musical theatre and dining. Located at Stone Cradle, the lounge is particularly popular for its themed evenings such as SpeakEasy goes Irish, SpeakEasy goes Italian, or the Classic Rock Acoustic Show. Everything from jazz to rock is covered at this entertaining venue.