– Art galleries, shops and restaurants stay open till 9pm every first Thursday of the Month

– CBD night time economy to receive a boost through cultural initiative

This Thursday, the Cape Town CBD will showcase its second First Thursdays event, where ten art galleries between Wale and Hout Street will stay open till 9pm. On the first Thursday of every month, visitors can walk from gallery to gallery, admission free, for an evening of entertainment and art.

Selected shops and restaurants located around the galleries and between Bree and Long Street will also stay open till 9pm on the first Thursday of every month, a move that will boost the CBD’s night time economy. The number of galleries currently participating has increased by three from the first event and we have eight retailers participating.

“The inaugural First Thursdays in November went really well and we expect more visitors this month with new exhibitions, more galleries, and even some shops, restaurants and bars added to the program,” says Gareth Pearson, organizer of First Thursdays Cape Town.

The First Thursdays idea originates from London where every month over 170 galleries and museums in east London stay open till 9pm with free events, talks, exhibitions and private views. The idea has since spread to many cities across the globe.

“We encourage more shops and restaurants to be a part of the initiative by catering to the patrons visiting the galleries. This initiative is a step in the right direction towards making Cape Town a 24/7 work and play city and a great way to add diversity to the CBD’s night time economy,” says Rob Kane, chairperson of the Central City Improvement District (CCID).

Berlin is another world class city that waives admission fees into selected galleries and museum every first Thursday, whilst Paris and other global capitals such as Madrid offer free access to selected museums and galleries on the first Sunday of the month.

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