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First Thursdays

First Thursdays Cape Town: Best Things to Do and See in the Silo District

First Thursdays

First Thursdays in Cape Town are always buzzing with culture and lively activations. Starting this November, American Express is joining forces with the Silo District to curate a map of the best art exhibitions to see, informative discussions, bars and restaurants, and live entertainment. 

Below is a rundown of what to expect!

First Thursdays

All about First Thursdays at the Silo District by American Express

American Express is showing support for South Africa’s creative industry with the quarterly edition of First Thursdays. The first edition takes place on Thursday, 2 November 2023 at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in the Silo District of V&A Waterfront.

There are loads of exclusive benefits in store for American Express Cardmembers such as access at Zeitz MOCAA, and further into the new year.  The first 100 American Express Cardmembers to book their museum tickets online get free entry into the museum from 18:00 to 21:00. Thereafter, tickets will be available online and at the front desk at a reduced rate of R125pp for the night.

AMEX Cardmembers who buy an entry ticket at Zeitz MOCAA on the night, and between 1 November 2023 and 7 March 2024, also have the option to upgrade it to an annual membership at a discounted rate of R250, valued at R390. 

A Zeitz MOCAA membership offers priority access to museum public events; visit quarterly member events; special invitations to special artist engagements; and a 10% discount on purchases at the museum shop and the Gantry Café.

Visit these art galleries in the Silo precinct

First Thursdays
Artist Mark Modimola

Zeitz MOCAA

For those who haven’t yet experienced the incredible architecture and atmosphere of Zeitz MOCAA, especially at night, First Thursdays is a unique opportunity to explore some of the art currently on display. These exhibitions include ‘Seekers, Seers, Soothsayers,’ ‘Seismography of Struggle,’ ‘Past Disquiet,’ ‘GILT’ by Mary Evans, ‘Atelier: Unathi Mkonto ‘To Let,’ and ‘Then We Saw Ourselves’ on the Basement Level. Join in on free guided curator tours of the exhibitions every hour at 6.30pm, 7.30pm, 8.30pm.

Additionally, a panel discussion will be held with the artist Mark Modimola who won the Amex ZA Graphic Arts Challenge. Modimola is joined by curator Anelisa Mangcu and Zeitz MOCAA Institutional Advancement Director Lungi Morrison, both influential figures in Pan-African art. Topics include the role and importance of public art, and the role of private funding for public art. 

Modimola’s artwork is part of an ongoing installation at Keyes Art Mile in Johannesburg and is featured in signage and marketing materials for American Express merchants across the country. His winning graphic ‘Ubuntu Flux’ features activation elements throughout Zeitz MOCAA for the First Thursdays event. 

Plus the museum’s Centre for Art Education (CFAE) team is planning creative workshops for small groups.

Cost: R125pp on First Thursdays only, and Zeitz MOCAA members enter FREE. Annual membership costs R390, offering unlimited access year-round, along with invitations to special events and other benefits. Admission is always free for under-18s and Zeitz MOCAA members. AMEX Cardmembers who buy an entry ticket at Zeitz MOCAA on the night, and between 1 November 2023 and 7 March 2024, also have the option to upgrade it to an annual membership at a discounted rate of R250, valued at R390. 

When: Thursday, 2 November from 6pm to 10pm
Where: Zeitz MOCAA, Silo District, S Arm Rd, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays

Southern Guild

Southern Guild commissions, produces and exhibits contemporary works by the most compelling talents in South Africa. Founded in 2008, this art gallery in Cape Town has pioneered the functional art and collectable design category on the African continent while driving its collective of artists and designers to make globally relevant, original work. 

There are three exhibitions currently on show at the gallery including Enfold by Christine Jacobs, Grace in Grand Bassam by Terence Maluleke Honey, and I’m Not Doing So Well by Nano Le Face.

American Express Cardmembers score a 15% discount on books and publications purchased with an AMEX card.

Cost: FREE entry

When: Thursday, 2 November from 6pm to 9pm
Where: Southern Guild, 5 Silo District, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays

DAOR Contemporary 

Head over to DAOR Contemporary, located inside an industrial building rescued from dilapidation – shaped, cleaned, and transformed to showcase and celebrate some of the most exciting contemporary African artists of our time.

The gallery has a strong focus on South African and Pan-African art from both mid-career and emerging talent working across various disciplines. The current exhibition is Suspended Exposure by Jozelle McLea.

You will need to present your ID or driver’s license to get access to the Port of Cape Town. 

American Express Cardmembers receive a small editioned print, gifted by the artist, with each artwork purchased with an AMEX card at the exhibition opening.

Cost: FREE entry

When: Thursday, 2 November from 6pm to 9pm
Where: DAOR Contemporary Art Gallery, Port of Coode Cres, V&A Waterfront

Art@Africa gallery

Art@Africa Gallery is perfectly positioned to overlook the iconic Clocktower at the V&A Waterfront. The small art gallery in Cape Town hosts a steady lineup of meaningful exhibitions that celebrate the diversity of South African art. This First Thursday you can catch Augmented Reality, a special display curated by the team.

Cost: FREE entry

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: Art@Africa art gallery, 1st Floor, Clocktower Centre, Silo District, Portswood Rd, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays

Cape Town Creative Academy’s Contemporary Art

Students from Cape Town Creative Academy’s Contemporary Art are opening up their studio space to showcase a special preview of their graduate exhibition this First Thursday ahead of the official presentation in early December. These young creatives are on standby to answer questions or chat with visitors about their work-in-the-making. 

Cost: FREE entry

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: Behind Zeitz MOCAA, Silo District, S Arm Rd, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays

Browse and shop premium fashion and homeware

First Thursdays

Kat Van Duinen

Kat Van Duinen’s exotic leather and fashion house was established in Cape Town in 2010. The brand’s Silo District boutique is staying open for late-night shopping and a 40% discount off selected items on First Thursdays only.

American Express Cardmembers receive a small gift from KVD with each purchase with an AMEX card.

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: Kat Van Duinen, Shop 5A2, Silo 5 Building, V&A Waterfront

Kitchen Samurai

Kitchen Samurai stocks the finest handmade Japanese knives in South Africa. They’re hosting a fun challenge on First Thursdays where you can test your onion slicing, chopping and dicing skills. The Art of Onion Dicing gives a precious knife to the person who can break down an onion the fastest.

Onigiri from How’s Your Oni will be for sale, along with beer tastings of NamaKin in collaboration with Aegir Project Brewery.

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: Kitchen Samurai, Shop No. 5A4, Silo 5 Building, V&A Waterfront

Drink and Dine at Silo’s coolest cafes

First Thursdays

OUI Bar and Radisson RED Rooftop

OUI Bar at Radisson RED serves up some of the best craft food and drink in the city with a creative twist. The easy, dining spot captures the vibrant energy that flows throughout the Silo district, especially on First Thursdays.

Looking to make the most of the fine weather? Head upstairs to one of the most popular rooftop bars in Cape Town. Radisson RED Roof is the ideal spot to soak up the sunset and great views beside the hotel’s rooftop pool. Cocktails and drinks are served at the bar too.

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm till late
Where: Radisson RED V&A Waterfront, No. 6, Silo, Silo Square, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays

Si Cantina Sociale

If you’re after a dining spot or watering hole to unwind between art walks, Si Cantina Sociale boasts a relaxed rustic chic atmosphere where you can tuck into their farm-to-table menu. Here the focus is on organic where possible, made with sustainable and locally sourced ingredients and mostly made in-house. Run your eyes over their drinks selection that features classic cocktails, bubbles, and some of the best wines from the Cape Winelands. 

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: Si Cantina Sociale, 5A1 Silo District, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays

The Yard

The Yard is a hybrid concept space comprising a Pan Asian restaurant, bar, coffee shop and lifestyle retail store. The restaurant also hosts regular art exhibitions. Retreat outdoors for al fresco dining on the patio.

You can see A Peachy Sunday by Marie Louise Koen on display at the venue. They’re also running a special on a gourmet burger with craft beer for R165pp, or with a glass of wine for R195pp.

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: The Yard, Silo District, V&A Waterfront

Live music to set the mood

V&A Waterfront is known for their lively atmosphere created by some of Cape Town’s most talented buskers. Look out for live performances across the Silo District on First Thursdays from Al Petersen, Ilitha Lelanga, the Marimba Ensemble, Julian Wenn, Khuthadzo Nema, Mmino, Rosewood Avenue, and Swing Dancing.

When: Thursday, 2 November from 5pm to 9pm
Where: Throughout the Silo District, V&A Waterfront

First Thursdays