Hotbox Studios was a legendary live music / party venue in Pretoria. It was located at 1072 Schoeman Street (now known as Francis Baard Street) in Pretoria and I still remember hearing the name regularly on Tuks FM (which frequency is coincidentally 107.2 FM in the Capital City) when the DJ’s were reading the list of live gigs happening around the city in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
There were a lot of legendary gigs at this venue (which also had its own recording studio) and I’m very sad that I only managed to attend one at the end of January in 2011 (about a month or two before the venue closed down). It was an epic one though. I still remember watching Foto Na Dans, Desmond & The Tutu’s and Tidal Waves and taking a wee behind a makeshift barrier (because that’s where the guys were supposed to pee – the toilets were reserved for the girls).
This event re-kindled my love and passion for SA Music and inspired me to try not to miss some of the really cool shows and festivals happening around Gauteng and the rest of the country. It also inspired me to take photos for the blog posts on Running Wolf’s Rant and ignited my passion for live band photography.
I ended up going to my first Park Acoustics at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens, Where Blues Meets Rock (a festival on a farm near Bronkhorstspruit), taking the Hotbox Express train (organized by the owners of Hotbox Studios) to RAMFest Cape Town (at Nekkies near Worcester) and attending RAMFest Johannesburg over the course of 4 weekends in February and March 2011. I also attended Oppikoppi, FORR, Grietfest and tons of gigs at the old Arcade Empire in the same year because of this rekindled love for SA Music and my camera was always around my shoulder to capture the memories.
The fact is, without Hotbox Studios Pretoria would be a really boring place. There would be no Park Acoustics, no Capital Craft, no African Beer Emporium, no Grietfest and no Arcade Empire – all these entities had their origins / gained momentum thanks to Hotbox Studios. The same peeps are also part of the team that brings you Mieliepop festival year now. Their influence and impact on the SA Music scene knows no bounds.
To quote Gareth Davies from The Fuss: “Before Park Acoustics, before Arcade Empire, before Grietfest, and before Capital Craft, there was this house in Schoeman Street. Surrounded by businesses that, apart from a sign outside, didn’t look like anything special from a pedestrian’s perspective… What started out as a rehearsal and recording studio soon became known as the best party and live music venue in Pretoria. Maybe even South Africa.”
You can only imagine how excited I was when I heard that there’s going to be a party at Hotbox Studios on the 11th of November 2017. The organizes are inviting 400 people to join them for the last hurrah, the final end to an epic era. The house is up for sale and this will most likely be the last event that gets hosted at this legendary venue, so you should not miss out on this.
Take note that this event will have a secret line-up: 6 bands, 3 DJ’s and a couple of colabs on the night. The organizers have decided to keep the line up a secret, but they promise that they won’t disappoint.
Tickets cost R500 (and includes an open bar). This is as it always was an illegal event so in the case the police show up and shut down the party early, there will be no refunds. This is going to be epic, so make sure that you get tickets HERE.
I leave you with an epic poem by Celeste Theron. If you don’t understand Afrikaans, use Google Translate (although I don’t recommend it for ALL translations).
Net om die draai
’n klein paradys
Ons het ingeslenter
’n verlangende drang
na dagga en samehang
Hier vind ons ’n heenkome
vir dreigende drome
wat hang aan die toppe
van Pretoria se malkoppe
’n smeulende see van genot
lakenrimpels vloei oor ons lot
’n verenigde gewemel
’n bedwelmende hemel
Die oggendson omlyn
vloeikontoere van samesyn
in ’n onberredere struktuur
het die skrif na ons gegluur
Ons Ouma se huis
die ruk en rol paleis
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.