KNYSNA NEWS - Favourable weather conditions on Saturday morning last weekend had local music lovers ecstatic that a concert in Knysna featuring national acts would not rain out again like it did in July.
Until 13:00, that is, when the event was supposed to start – and didn't.
The iKasi Colour Fun Run & Concert, part of the annual Oyster Festival programme earlier this year, promised fans to feature beloved stars from television soapies and popular music acts. Actors such as Thami Mbongo of Rhythm City and Isithembiso fame, Simphiwe Majozi who plays Sbu in Uzalo, Afro house vocalist Mpumi, Youngsta CPT and some local Knysna acts were eagerly anticipated by their Knysna admirers ahead of the event that had been renamed (after its postponement) to the iKasi CFR Spring Edition concert.
But all that awaited the few fans who pitched up at a dead-quiet Loerie Park early Saturday afternoon were wind-bent gazebos, an empty Castle Light stand, a series of solitary fridges and a couple of confused food vendors. By an hour later, a couple of more people had arrived but it was still not near the thousands that were expected to flock to the venue for the bigger acts later in the day.
By mid-afternoon, Knysna-Plett Herald heard along the grapevine that a watered-down version of the show had been moved to a club in White Location in the evening for reasons still unknown as all attempts to contact the organiser, Oliver Mabhukane, have been in vain until the time of going to press. At the much smaller venue, 702, later in the night, Majozi made a brief appearance to talk to the crowd who had also heard of the changed plans along the grapevine and had pitched up in their hundreds.
Luzuko Jonas, the club owner's son who is known to most as DJ Mjilo, told KPH that the venue change caused a difficult and potentially unsafe situation as "lots of underaged youth waiting to see their favourite stars but had no access due to their age" kept milling about outside the club. According to Jonas, there were never plans for 702 to host anything but the afterparty but that organiser Mabhukane had approached them "at the last minute". He said they had to close the event at about 02:30 because it was "out of control" by then. This was before Mpumi could perform.
A combined statement by Mbongo and Mkhalimi on social media on Saturday gave some indication of why the they had pulled out from the event. "There are challenges beyond our control as the event organisers were meant to make all logistics arrangements, transport and accommodation but … by 10:00 this morning we did not know the travelling arrangements."
Plettenberg Bay-based artist Ace Mclein also withdrew because of poor management and planning, despite giving the organiser a second chance. "He f****d up again, this is an epic fail," he said.
One of the food vendors, Lorraine Miles of Lorraine Eateries, said she spent six hours at Loerie Park waiting for the venue to fill, before she eventually got wind of the change of venue. During that time, she said, there were pockets of people who would arrive only to leave again after a while. "I am inconvenienced by this because I bought so much stock that I don't normally buy because I was preparing for a concert," she told KPH clearly irate.
One very disappointed local, Sphokazi Nomafete, had planned to take her 12-year-old nephew who was visiting for the holidays to the event. "I had arranged to purchase my tickets on the day and after I was told it was moved I abandoned to go altogether because my nephew is underaged."
This is the second time in less than a year that a show with so much promise did not materialise at Loerie Park. In November last year, an event that would have cost the municipality R750 000 had it taken place, was cancelled because none of the big national names such as DJ Tira and NaakmusiQ had been confirmed.
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