JOZI ACCORDING TO LLOYD-ANTHONY SMITH.
Lloyd-Anthony Smith of AcousticsNOW takes us on a guided tour of his own personal Johannesburg.
He spends his days arranging music festivals. “Being an outdoor music festival producer allows me to combine some of my favourite aspects of existence: music, food, art and nature,” says Lloyd. “I am very fortunate to work in some beautiful spaces and with many incredibly talented musicians. I get to eat, drink, work, play and socialise at my own crafted events.”
Lloyd’s version of Joburg is not the concrete jungle you might imagine. He’s built his version of the city around escapes to beautiful natural settings, where he hosts some of his music festivals.
His Joburg is not only about escape. It’s a combination of urban and green spaces, and sometimes urban green spaces, that open up a surprisingly personal map of the city. He calls his version of city living “an attempt at integrated existence: balancing art and nature”.
It’s a vision of the new city that combines urban existence with urban green spaces, rather than making them polar opposites. “In this time in the world where everything is vying for your attention and consumption, it is pertinent to maintain a balance based on your own ideals,” says Lloyd.
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
“I grew up in the West Rand and spent much time at the Botanical Garden. It is a wonderful reminder of the beauty of the natural world amidst ever-encroaching urban development, and I always feel lighter after visiting it.”
Bryanston Organic & Natural Market
“My weekly groceries are purchased from the organic market in Bryanston.”
Sandton Central Park
“Sandton Central Park is one of Sandton’s best-kept secrets and the home of Rise & Shine Festival, a day for young families and adults filled with live music, yoga, coconuts, bubbles and great food. To offset its carbon emissions, the festival raises trees, which we plant in underprivileged communities.”
“Trabella in Illovo is probably the best pizzeria in town.”
Discovery Soccer Park
“I play indoor soccer three times a week. Soccer is my exercise art.”
“Common Ground is Maboneng Precinct’s new urban park and plays host to Seven Sounds – a sonic landscape of live music, unrestricted by genre, with a limited attendance of 700.”
Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park
“Nirox Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind is the most pristine venue. The AcousticsNOW series of music concerts – of which MINI is a partner – is an incredible platform to host various artists. The grass amphitheatre is picturesque, the cuisine on offer is delicious, and it is a stellar way to spend a day in the country with friends and family.”
“One of my favourite food vendors in Johannesburg is Soul Souvlaki in Maboneng. It’s a great place to stop for a halloumi wrap and some African beer.”
Die Ou Pastorie
“For the past five years, I have been organising various musicians to perform at Die Ou Pastorie, a magnificent restaurant and guesthouse located in Skeerpoort near Hartbeespoort Dam. The gardens are incredible (and often edible), the food is fantastic, and to experience #MusicUnderTheTrees in that setting is a real pleasure.”