SUNFest SHINES THE LIGHT ON LOCAL MUSIC
The Covid pandemic has taken its toll on both the entertainment and hospitality industries and, even though figures are ramping up and SA is bracing as that so-called fourth wave gathers momentum, at least 25 top South African artists will be celebrating what they do best – performing live at Sun City’s five-day SunFEST, the music festival.
The line-up from tomorrow (December 15) features a number of big names, including Jesse Clegg and DJs Tira, Questo, Sandiso, Somizi, Lira, Dr Victor, Ricus Nel, Ralf Gum, Refentse, Ms Cosmo, Clinton Viljoen, Prince Kaybee and more. Shows start at 6.30 and go on until 11.
The SunFEST, aims to give hope to musicians after dark period when the pandemic brought live performances to a standstill and left many careers hanging in the balance. During the shows, many of the performers will be sharing their thoughts and experiences during this tough time.
Afrikaans singer-songwriter Kurt Darren, whose music has a global reach. He said musicians had to take on new challenges and “adjust the sails” as live shows were impacted.
“It is food for my soul to be able to perform for live audiences again and especially at such a premier entertainment venue such as Sun City. I am constantly reinventing my music; it is in my blood to make music that gets people on their feet and dancing, (and) the last two years have seen various new songs, such as ‘Fotoherhinneringe’ (Photo memories). Besides a passion to be behind the microphone, I also have a passion to be behind the scenes organising shows, so I am pleased to be involved with SunFEST,” he said.
Musician Majozi described the pandemic as the greatest challenge he had had in his music career.
“Touring and playing is 90% of how I make my living, and that ground to a halt. There’s been many sad scary days and a lot of contemplating, but from it there’s also been a pivot into other things that I also would’ve never have tried. It’s forced me to try and think outside of the box and I released two of my own singles, as well as my very first Afrikaans collaboration with Janie Bay, which I’m very proud of.”
SunFEST gives Majozi hope of what’s to come. “It will give us a glimpse into what the world was like a few years ago. There’s something special that happens when people are united in their love for music and I really can’t wait to experience that at SunFEST,” he said.
Songbird Thembeka Mnguni, who South Africans may know from The Voice, battled through the pandemic as an up-and-coming artist. “My calendar was fully booked and it all had to be cancelled. As a single parent, I went straight into a state of depression and developed anxiety about providing for my son as I couldn’t afford our lifestyle anymore.”
However, plans for Mnguni’s career have since progressed and she is back in the studio and says “it’s looking and sounding great”.
The opportunity for her to perform at SunFEST came out of the blue and she is extremely appreciative of the platform. “You don’t know what you’ve got until its gone, and with the pandemic taking so much away from me, I realised just how much being on stage means to me and to my son’s well-being.”
All Covid-19 protocols will be adhered to. For accommodation bookings, visit https://www.suninternational.com/sun-city/accommodation/