By Martin Myers
With the recorded music market in South Africa generating around R600 million a year, the entertainment economy is one of the few at the momemt that’s very fit and well.
Summer’s in full swing with festivals and outdoor shows all the rage and with Cape Town and Johannesburg a quick overnight flight away from all major European capitals, we should be seeing a lot more of an even spread of entertainment opportunity, but that’s not really the case.
It doesn¹t take much to realize the curators of the festivals in Europe, during the summer months, tend to spread themselves out over a couple of weeks, in order to give punters the chance to invest their disposable income evenly, and thereby immersing themselves in more live music experiences.
In December, in Cape Town alone, we had (if my memory serves me correctly) the Kings of Chaos, Foo Fighters, Pet Shop Boys, Brand New Heavies, Soul 2 Soul, and a myriad of EDM international DJ’S each one chasing the same entertainment hungry consumer. Why saturate the market at one time?
The South African festivals, in my opinion, also see very little curating happening with regards to the stage performance and working together and giving punters a wow moment. Live music promoters need to broaden their thinking in how they book artists. Don’t base it solely on radio play, and what the song sounds like on air. Can they deliver on stage? Does the band have a show to give? Why not put some acts on that don’t have radio play, but have great live following?
David Kramer gets almost no regular radio play on any Cape Town radio stations, and yet fills theatres on a regular basis with his musical performances. Imagine having David sing with Ladysmith Black Mambazo…Johnny Clegg got it right with his show when he did a respectful collaboration with Ladysmith in Durban recently. That talks to senior music makers making a smart move. Give audiences more and they will be willing to pay money to experience these special moments.
Just imagine Hugh Masekela, Kesivan Naidoo, or Dan Shout coming on stage to play with Mango Groove. Give the show a wow moment. It only needs one. Remember U2 at Cape Town Stadium and Yvonne Chaka Chaka coming on stage?
We have the number 1 grossing tour in the world coming to SA soon in the form of One Direction. They will be coming to SA as part of their world tour and will have just played in Japan, China and the Philippines on their way to SA.
Trust me, the show will be special. You don’t get that big without having a silly amount of hits to perform, as well as a fantastic and well-crafted stage show.
Last year this time we had Bruce Springsteen rocking us with a wow moment, every night, from opening with ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ to bringing Mos Def on stage to perform alongside Mr. “Born In The USA”. That tour turned out to be the 15th biggest grossing world tour of 2014.
Considered, respectful and an evenly spread over the season: these qualities should be foremost on promoters’ minds. Our local music economy could benefit, big time, from spreading the love as far and wide as possible. The outcome is sure to be a sold out success at every turn.
My choice for the weekend is the Stellenbosch Wine Festival with a number of musical performances by artists who are captivating and deliver on every level and fit the audience profile to a tee.
The Schedule is as follows:
• Friday: 8pm – Corlea Botha with Jannie Moolman; Riana Nel
• Saturday: 4.30pm – Auriol Hays; 7pm – Sterling EQ
• Sunday: 1pm – Jeremy Olivier; 4pm – Kahn Morbee