Celebrate, Reflect, Inspire

1917. Russian Revolution. Workers took power and began to establish a new socialist order, where capitalism was abolished and democratic, accountable councils took decisions.

The revolution challenged war, hunger, colonial domination and women’s oppression. Around the world, poverty-stricken people took heart. There was an explosion of new ideas for workers movements, liberation struggles and cultural innovation.

2017. One hundred years later, join Johannesburg’s Revolutionary Festival. Celebrate 1917, reflect on its impact, and inspire for the future. Our world is run by a tiny few, who create misery and destroy our globe. It’s time that we, the working-class majority, took charge, and organised society democratically, in the interests of all humanity.

Participate in Over 30 teach-ins and debates, book launches, rallies, stalls, revolutionary walk, exhibition, film festival, two cultural events with the Muffinz plus local DJs and poets.

Follow our event on Facebook.


Tickets are also available directly from any Pick and Pay and online from Webtickets. Due to the capacity of venues, tickets are limited. To avoid disappointment, please obtain your ticket in advance.


  • All three days: R200 (students R100)
  • Friday only: R100 (students R50)
  • Saturday only: R150 (students R80)
  • Sunday only: R50 (students R20)
  •  Solidarity ticket – see Inequality and Solidarity: R1000
  • Special arrangements for township and settlement groups – see Inequality and Solidarity.


  • Student bookings require student number and presentation of student ID card at registration desk.
  • Tickets will be exchanged for entry pass at registration desk.
  • Tickets cover meetings, film festival, cultural evenings and all other events.
  • Tickets can also be purchased at selected Pick n Pay stores. See list.


  • Payments can be made to 1917 Centenary Organizing Committee, FNB Melville, account: 62726897541, branch code: 256505.
  • Supporters outside South Africa can use SWIFT, code FIRNZAJJ, and address to: FNB, Shop F04 Campus Square, Aucklandpark, Johannesburg 2092.
  • Buy a R1000 Solidarity Ticket using a credit card.
  • See Inequality and Solidarity for motivation.

Media inquiries, please contact Rehad Desai – 083 997 9204



Walking Tour of Newtown in the Age of Revolution

Led by Erik Itzkin (Head: Heritage, City of Johannesburg)

The Russian Revolution occurred in an era of revolutionary upsurge around the world, and it inspired militancy and new working-class politics in many countries, including South Africa. Newtown, where the festival is being held, was the main centre for working-class struggle. There were strikes among power, railway, tram, sanitation and municipal workers, all of whom worked the area. The strikes and protests included black workers, as well as white. Many of the historic buildings still exist, though with different names, and the tour will start at SciBono (the old power station) and end at the Market Theatre (by the old railway line and potato shed).

90 minutes. Arrive on time. Limited to 50 people. Book using the form on the website or at registration desk. Must have a ticket.

Inequality and Solidarity

Inequality and Solidarity


From Each According to Ability To Each According To Need

We want the Revolutionary Festival to be accessible to everyone. We know hundreds of people from impoverished communities who would like to attend. Unfortunately, massive poverty and increased unemployment are barriers, even for people living relatively close to Newtown (in Soweto for example).

Realistically we can only to do a small amount to redress this problem, but little is better than nothing. At least it means that workers, students and better-off members of the public will hear voices of unemployed people.

We hope to obtain some funding to assist with this issue, but, sadly, donors are reluctant to provide significant support. So, we are relying on better-off sympathisers to help. Please, if possible, act in solidarity. You can do this by purchasing a solidarity ticket for R1000. These are available from Webtickets and PnP.

Also, consider making a donation. These are the bank details. 1917 Centenary Organizing Committee 62726897541, FNB Melville 256505. If you are outside South Africa use SWIFT, code FIRNZAJJ, and address to: FNB, Shop F04 Campus Square, Aucklandpark, Johannesburg 2092

A letter to general secretaries, managing directors, and CEOs or unions, NGOs, foundations and other potential donors can  be downloaded here.

Comrades who require support to attend should apply through an existing organisation or form a group of 12-14 people (i.e. enough to fill a taxi). In principle, we can provide free tickets, assistance with transport and, if you live more than an hour away, accommodation.

But we only have limited resources and will not be able to aid everyone. If you can do self-help (e.g. by funding a taxi) that will assist. Otherwise, it’s first-come-first-served. The festival organisers wish to encourage gender balance. A letter to participant organisations and organisers can be downloaded from here.

It is unlikely that food will be available, so bring your own picnics.

If you would like to help promote the event please share the Facebook event here. The web poster is available here and print poster can be downloaded here.


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