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All singing, all dancing Johannesburg

  • Story Highlights
  • Johannesburg has a great mix of outdoor events and cultural happenings
  • FNB Dance Umbrella is a showcase for cutting-edge modern dance
  • Big name bands from round the world rock out at the Coca Cola Fest
  • Arts Alive features live music, theater, poetry readings and stand-up comedy
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By Mark Tutton
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(CNN) -- With year-round sunshine, Johannesburg is the perfect city for outdoor events, but it also hosts an array of cultural happenings. Here are some the city's best annual events.

Dance Umbrella

FNB Dance Umbrella showcases cutting-edge modern dance.

FNB Dance Umbrella (February/March)
If you want to see daring and thoroughly modern dance then this festival is the place to be.

Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, FNB Dance Umbrella brings cutting-edge contemporary dance to venues throughout the city, including the Wits Theatre and Newton's Dance Factory.

Choreographers and companies from all over South Africa take part, with performers ranging from community groups to internationally-renowned dancers.

What do you think are Johannesburg's seasonal highlights? Let us know below.

Jo' burg Easter Festival/Rand Show (April)
Why would so many people choose to visit a glorified consumer exhibition? Because the Rand Show is as much a vast entertainment spectacular as a shop window.

Hundreds of thousands of people attend, perhaps to peruse the latest camping and outdoor gear, but more likely to take in attractions including extreme-sports displays, rock concerts and an outdoor film festival, which this year will incorporate a celebration of Bollywood film. On top of that there are always plenty of activities to keep kids occupied.

Photo See Hugh Masekela's Johannesburg »

Jo' burg Art Fair (April)
African art has inspired painters from Picasso to Matisse, and while the uninitiated might think of African art in terms of traditional statues and masks, contemporary African art is thriving.

Begun in 2008 this fledgling fair is held at Sandton Convention Center and features African artworks loaned from local and international galleries. Displays include paintings, installations, photography, moving images and furniture, and ticket holders can also attend talks by local artists and international guests.

Coca Cola Fest (April)
Jo' burg's biggest rock and pop festival draws big name acts from around the world. This year's festival is a one-day affair, featuring British bands Oasis, Snow Patrol and Bullet for my Valentine, among others.

The endless branding and product placement can grate, but singing along to your favorite bands in guaranteed sunshine is always a winning combination.


Arts Alive (September)
Jo' burg'spremier cultural event is this month-long arts extravaganza. Centered around the Newton Cultural Precinct, Arts Alive is one of the biggest cultural events in Africa, with live music, theater, visual arts happenings, poetry readings and stand-up comedy.

Last year's Arts Alive featured high-brow events including jazz performances at Zoo Lake and a student film festival, as well more visceral fare, with the likes of DJ Krush delivering electronic beats in Newtown.

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