Reggae Summer Mania Concert Cancelled
US Company Hubbering Inc had to cancel the Summer Mania Reggae Concert that was scheduled to take place at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, on 21 December 2019. It was billed as the biggest Reggae event in South Africa scheduled to take place at the biggest and challenging concert venue in Gauteng. Every concert taking place there is supposed to Fill Up the venue as a precedent set by one SA biggest Hip Hop Star. This would have been the first Reggae concert to be held there.
The event was promoted as Heal the Land, aimed at providing positive change following the reoccurring xenophobic attacks in South Africa. It had Jamaican reggae artists Luciano, Lutan Fyah and Turbulence, as well as Oneil David Lawrence (US) and local acts Zionruts Family and Skank & The Roots, Don Dada and Don Franco.
In their Press statement Hubbering inc stated: “There were those who were quick to distance themselves from what transpired. Then they were ones, like us, who stood even firmer in seeing the necessity and believing more in now being the right time for the Summer Mania Reggae Concert to come alive as a much-needed event for healing to take place. Little did we know that the relevance of the theme Heal the Land would be amplified during the turmoil in the land that started in the early parts of September.”
However, on Friday October 25, 2019 the board of directors of Hubbering Inc ordered the cancellation of the Summer Mania Reggae Concert. Two main factors played a huge role in the board’s decision: During the xenophobic attacks in September they lost huge investors.
“We’ve done all we could to recover, which includes the addition of new stakeholders. The issue flaring up again in areas of Cape Town and Durban brought a new wave of concern to existing and new investors. Our company could not prevent the walkout without a very lengthy legal battle that goes against the Rastafarian way. For the second time we lost huge investors. This time the walkout was devastating,” explained Keneilwe Mmutlana, the South African representative for the Summer Mania Reggae Concert. “The decision from the board of directors is final and as devastating as it is to all parties involved, there was no other option to recover from the crippling effect of the investor walkout.”
The same investors who walked in with the intention of supporting a HEAL THE LAND initiative walked out because of the very same reasons they were approached for.
Don Dada, one of the artists billed to perform at the event remains positive as he feels it was humbling and a blessing to have been booked. He accepted the invite to perform because “the concert theme had a stronger currency than the commercial offering.” He also acknowledges the effects it has for organizers and artists alike: “The cancellation is a huge and devastating blow given the value the concert would have had for reggae music at a time where we are pushing for reggae music rightful recognition and place on prominent stages in the industry.” – Don Dada
ZionRuts Family, the Pretoria based Reggae band, expressed their disappointment and placed all hope to Jah. “It’s a saddening cancellation indeed but we all make plans and the Most High above all makes the decisions in the end, it is what it is and we do believe that all fruits ripe in due season still.” – ZionRuts
Word on the street had it that most people in the Reggae Community were not impressed anyway with the Concert. First it was the question of the artists on the Bill. Luciano, Turbulance and Lutan Fyah had performed in SA already, more than once. Reggae fans are eager to see more artists; artists who have never performed in SA yet make a turn in Kenya, Zim, Uganda, right next door to us. Some quipped about the number of local artists that were billed, A biggest Reggae Concert in SA with only 4 local acts. Some, as per usual, had something to say about the ticket prices. Then there was the confusion of the many flyers that came out.
An interesting discussion played out on social media when one DJ posted on his status. The comments section reveal the extent of the general dissatisfaction of the Reggae Community in South Africa.
They have given us a taste of what it might feel like to have a Reggae Concert on that big a scale, perhaps South African Reggae Promoters should pull together and make it a reality this time, with or without Investors, it is possible, because the show must go on.