You will have noticed that our weekend guide always celebrates the weekend rather zealously, almost sickeningly. Our job is, of course, to sell Cairo to you, regardless of what two-bit band are claiming to fuse oriental music with jazz, or what band wagon-jumping house DJ won't stop inviting you to his event on Facebook.
But this time, it’s different; this cathartic introduction marks a celebration. Our joy is sincere. So much blood, sweat and tears are spilt everyday in the Cairo 360 office-come-sweatshop. A considerable amount of that can be attributed to a top-secret project that we've been working on for months; a project that will imminently come to a head.
Naturally, you’ll have to wait and see what the fuss is about, but in the meantime, we can all enjoy the sweet, sweet relief of the weekend.
Thursday sees the long awaited start of this year’s Artbeat Festival, launching at Cairo’s go-to dance and drink spot, Cairo Jazz Club. CJC – that’s what the kids are calling it – welcome Spanish band Los D’Callaos and Cairo’s own Los Compadres.
Tonight also marks the launch of new weekly club night, Audio Damiana at Nile Maxim. Promising nothing but pure, filthy, underground house music, the self-proclaimed unprejudiced organisers invite everyone and anyone, as the Adana Twins of Germany make an appearance for the night’s debut.
Grizzly’s Diner also has reason to celebrate this weekend, as the Zamalek eatery marks its one year anniversary with everything from live music to face painting, though they don’t specify if the latter is exclusively for kids.
Live music dominates tonight’s festivities as usual, with travelled singer, Dina El Wadidi, performing at El Sawy Culturewheel, and Egyptian folksters, Maghna Khan, taking to Sufi for an intimate performance. Elsewhere, the ever dependable Salalem take their usual Thursday night spot at After Eight, while charismatic harpist, Manal Mohie El Din, performs at Cairo Opera House.
Artbeat really gets going on Friday at Darb 17 18, with a day-long program of entertainment, including perennial open mic project, Mashrou3 Al Mareekh, music courtesy of dance producer, NeoByrd, and a number of art exhibits.
CirCairo shifts locations to Downtown Cairo for more circus fun, as Falaki Theatre welcomes French circus group Compagnie Morosof. With so many festivals taking place over September and October, one festival has seemingly slipped under Cairenes' radars. The elusive TransDance takes over the British Council in Agouza, presenting performances by performance artists, Lilibeth Cuenca and Deborah Stokes.
Meanwhile, Sufi screens Oscar-winning animation, Waltz with Bashir, while shoppers are spoilt for choice; Maadi co-working space, the District, hosts a Community Market, while Arkan Mall in Sheikh Zayed welcomes all to the Arkan Bazaar.
Staying with markets and such, Nūn Center in Zamalek holds its first Farmers Market in several weeks this Saturday. The hubbub of fairs and bazaars continues at La Passage Hotel in Heliopolis with Ahl Cairo Festival; a day aimed at wedding paraphernalia and kids.
Back in the real world, the Artbeat Festival returns to Cairo Jazz Club with French gypsy band Romano Bepop and Egypt’s own Basheer. The festivities will also continue at Darb 17 18 with a huge lineup of local and international acts taking to the stage.
Have a great weekend, Cairo.