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Emo Night Is Bringing Nostalgia Back To South Africa, One Show At A Time

Photo credit: Leigh-Anne Killkenny
Photo credit: Leigh-Anne Killkenny

Emo means different things to different people. For some, it is the music of their high school years; for others it’s the soundtrack to their 20-somethings when they were still trying to figure things out; and for others, it remains the backbone of their lives—quietly embedded in everything they do.

Emo Night South Africa takes all these people, puts them in a venue together, plays some songs, and waits for the magic to happen.

An instigator, maybe. A community, definitely. Emo Night is a way to connect with a room full of strangers over something you all love–music.

At the venue, you’ll hear a chorus of voices singing along to blink 182, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, and Brand New (if you’re lucky) in unison as part of the series.

ENSA started off as a running joke between co-founders Craig Roxburgh and Dominique Lea. “We were joking around between classes at university and just kind of killing time and then for some reasons we decided, ‘Hey. If Emo Night works in the USA then surely it will work in South Africa,’ Roxburgh said.

Emo nights have been around for years, mostly in large cities like New York and Los Angeles. However, this expansion into South Africa marks a new milestone for the series.

The future is bright for emo night South Africa as the November installment draws nearer and nearer. The November 19 event will feature something new—live bands playing alongside DJs.

“It stems from the fact that myself and Lea have both invested a lot of time in supporting the South African music scene and we see Emo Night as yet another extension of that aspect of ourselves,” Roxburgh said.

“It also comes from the fact that people had been requesting for bands to play, and we felt like adding bands to the mix will allow for some diversity to our usual purely DJ format,” he said.

Emo Night is not just an event curated by Roxburgh and Lea, but an event strung together with the unwavering help of the local community. What started off as a 100 person event, went on to nearly reach capacity during their second installment. Because of its rapid growth, Emo Night South Africa booked a larger venue in Cape Town for their next show.

If you’re in the area, head out to Mercury Live in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday, November 19 to experience all the action. The show will run from 8:00 p.m. through 2:00a.m. Check out the Facebook event page, here.

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Angie is a Boston-based music photographer, journalist, and marketer. Catch her out and about at local shows and drinking more coffee than she should

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