BIG Concerts lures stars to SA

first_imgR&B crooner Mary J.Blige performs atthe Grand Arena in Cape Town during her2007 tour.(Image: Celeb woohoo) Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznikat the 46664 Aids concert held at Ellis ParkStadium in 2007.(Image: Daylife)Tamara O’ReillySouth Africans were culturally isolated under apartheid, but the advent of democracy has seen the who’s who of entertainment beating a path to the country’s door.During apartheid, the United Nations Cultural Boycott Resolution meant that virtually no country in the world would do cultural business with South Africa. No artist or musician from a member state could perform in the country, and white South African artists were banned from performing elsewhere in the world.During the early 1990s, with smell of democracy in the air, arts organisations and companies prepared for the lifting of the ban. One of them was BIG Concerts, the company that brought US folk-rock singer Paul Simon to South Africa for the country’s first post-apartheid international music tour. It has since earned the reputation of being South Africa’s premier concert organiser.At first, BIG Concerts’ BIG Birthday bashes at Ellis Park Stadium promoted the best in South African music talent, crossing all racial boundaries. They have since brought more than 100 artists and more than 1 000 tours to South African audiences – names like Bryan Adams, Simply Red, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, U2 and REM – with some doing return tours.What goes into it?In the honeymoon period after the end of the apartheid and the lifting of the cultural boycott many big-name artists were eager to appear on local stages and share their solidarity with the new South Africa. But according to BIG Concerts chief operating officer John Langford, the industry has matured significantly since then and the company now competes for tours on the same basis as any other.“Nowadays it’s obviously a financial decision on whether or not the tour will generate sufficient profits,” he says. “Provided that the rand does not weaken substantially, and consumers have a degree of disposable income, there will always be a healthy market for tours. Unlike the recorded music industry, the concert business is showing good growth around the world.“Concerts seem to survive economic challenges quite well. In times of difficulty, people still look for entertainment, possibly as a way to forget their day to day challenges. However, during tough times you only attract core fans of an artist and not those people on the periphery, and therefore our choice of who we tour is critical.”The artistsInternationally, BIG Concerts have earned a reputation with artists as Africa’s premier concert organiser. Many artists are confident their demands for a venue, accommodation security and other logistics will be properly met.Probably the biggest factor for organisers to consider is the concert venue. Most major performances in Johannesburg are held at the Coca Cola Dome, an indoor venue with a standing and seating capacity of 19 000 people. In Cape Town the Bellville Velodrome, with a capacity of 10 000, is popular for major concerts.“We have a much better choice in venues than a few years back – including great new purpose options like the Grand Arena at Grandwest and the Teatro at Montecasino,” says Langford. “In most cases we do not have to rearrange the site to accommodate our specific needs because these have been taken into account during the construction of venue. Other than the purpose-built arenas, we are always looking for suitable, large outdoor festival sites where we can host concerts.”A lot takes place behind the scenes before the promoter announces the arrival of an artist. Before approaching the artist, BIG Concerts undertakes research, which includes the reading of international and local trade magazines, communicating with record companies and radio stations, and monitoring the artist’s profile in South Africa. Other factors influencing their approach to artists include suggestions from the general public, as well as suggestions or requests from potential sponsors.“We have waited more than five years for some tours – so clearly having patience is a critical personality attribute. In most cases there is a reasonable degree of waiting, and negotiating, but the only time we ever draw the line is when it comes to budget parameters or deadlines that cannot be shifted.”One of the artists the company wishes to see on our shores is Madonna. “She is probably the greatest female performer of all time, and yet she has not performed in Africa yet,” says Langford.AwardsRecently BIG Concerts was the only African promoter – coming in at 21 – to be included in the list of the World’s Top 100 Promoters. Pollstar is the world’s largest resource for international concert tour information which collates and publishes information on concert ticket sales and artist tour schedules.Locally, the promoter was also voted The Star newspaper’s People’s Choice as South Africa’s top event company.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Tamara O’Reilly at [email protected] linksBIG Concerts Coca Cola Dome Pollstarlast_img read more

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Top pick CJ Perez ready to give cellar-dweller Columbian a lift

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Top overall pick CJ Perez knows he’s not a cure-all for Columbian in the coming PBA season and it needs a whole team’s effort to change the culture of a franchise.Perez was the 2018 PBA Draft’s top selection and he went to a Dyip team badly needing wins after finishing the 2017-2018 season with an overall record of 6-27.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: 2019 budget delay due to P75-B House ‘insertion’ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Perez, though, was still a happy camper that he will go the Dyip as the league’s top overall pick.“Of course I’m excited and happy that I’ll go to Columbian as the top pick and I hope I can play well in the PBA,” said Perez. “I’ll always bring in the effort and if the team needs a scorer then I’ll be ready for that.I will give my best to the team.”Perez’ new coach Johnedel Cardel added that there’ll be no change in the lineup and that the team with Perez and fellow rookie JP Calvo will be final.“Whoever we picked, we’ll stick with them,” said Cardel. “Hopefully, we can win more with the addition of CJ and some other guys. For me, CJ is perfect for us.”ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion MOST READ LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss LATEST STORIES Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue “Of course, it’s not just me who will lift the whole club, all of us players will have to work together to help the team improve,” said Perez in Filipino Sunday at Robinson’s Manila.“Although I wish that we can turn the fortunes of Columbian around but we can’t do that if we don’t put in the effort.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefThe former NCAA MVP will join the Dyip, who already boast a promising backcourt composed of Jerramy King and Rashawn McCarthy.King was the fourth-best scorer among locals in the Governors’ Cup norming 20.2 points-per-game in the eliminations, but despite that, Columbian still finished with a league-worst 1-10 record in the conference. ‘Surprised’ Paul Desiderio excited to join Kiefer Ravena, Kevin Alas at NLEX Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? View commentslast_img read more

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