Cape Town, are you ready to rock?
Cape Town - Hardly recovered from the raw energy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and with several blockbuster international acts committed to perform here and in the rest of South Africa, Cape Town music lovers may just be ready for the likes of Bruce Springsteen and Beyoncé.
No one’s saying for certain, but Springsteen, Beyoncé, Fleetwood Mac and Mumford & Sons could be on their way here as part of their world tours.
Pushed on the issue this week, Big Concerts chief operating officer John Langford said they were “certainly in discussions with all of the top touring acts”.
“In time, we are confident that we can present the names you have mentioned,” he said.
Looking at R&B star Beyoncé’s dates for The Mrs Carter Show world tour (a reference to husband Jay-Z’s real name – Shawn Carter), there is about a month-long gap in June between her European and US stops.
The last date on her tour list is August 3, at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn, New York.
According to a host of online sites, British folk band Mumford & Sons are rumoured to be making their way to South Africa. An inspection of their website shows they will be touring until September, with no local dates specified.
Langford said: “We have a broad range of entertainment planned, including stadium and arena acts. Sadly, we cannot divulge the details of who these artists are just yet.”
The company said it had sold nearly two million tickets in the past two years for the high-profile acts it has already hosted, including U2, Coldplay, Lady Gaga and Usher.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of confirmed acts to look forward to:
* Rodriguez will play four gigs in Cape Town at the Grand Arena at GrandWest, and five at Carnival City’s Big Top Arena in Joburg this month.
* Cirque Du Soleil’s Dralion is on from March 5 to 10 at the Grand Arena, and from March 21 to 24 at the Coca Cola Dome.
* Metal rockers Metallica play at Cape Town Stadium on April 24, and at FNB Stadium in Joburg on April 27.
* Pop rockers Bon Jovi descend on the Cape Town Stadium on May 7, and the FNB Stadium on May 11.
* While they are on tour, pop icon Justin Bieber will be in the country playing sold-out shows just a day after Bon Jovi’s – Cape Town Stadium on May 8 and FNB Stadium on May 12.
Only pricey VIP and meet-and-greet packages are still available for Bieber, coming at hefty prices of more than R2 800.
* Comedian John Cleese will visit later in the year, rounding up Big Concerts’ confirmed line-up for the year so far. He performs here and in Port Elizabeth, Joburg and Durban during June.
Langford said: “We already have 34 shows booked for the first half of this year… and we have some really exciting entertainment booked for the second half.”
Looking at ticket sales, the high-profile artists secured and the various concerts held, Langford applauded the good run of the past two years.
“One of the primary reasons for this is having access to the stadium tours, which were unavailable to South Africa for many years prior to the Soccer World Cup.”
And Cape Town is definitely on Big Concerts’ priority list.
“Cape Town is a great destination for live entertainment of all forms, and we are certain that it will continue to play a major role in all future international tours.”
Other than Cape Town Stadium, Big Concerts uses venues including GrandWest Arena, Kirstenbosch Gardens, the Cape Town International Convention Centre, Artscape and the Bellville Velodrome.
“Our primary requirement is the capacity of the venue. Depending on the demand for a particular artist, we select a venue that would be suitable for the expected size of an audience in a safe and comfortable manner... The stadium has a much bigger capacity (than the Bellville Velodrome) and is therefore suitable for artists for whom there is high demand.”
But Langford said the Velodrome was being considered in respect of some artists with whom negotiations were continuing.
Lil Wayne performed there in December 2011, brought to South Africa by Canoc Productions.
The electronic dance music wave has also seen an influx of top acts to Cape Town in the past year. Skrillex will be here next month, after the likes of Aoki, Deadmau5 and Swedish House Mafia.
Shaun Duwe, a partner in the promotion company Electric Music, said their team had been in business for more than 15 years, building good relationships “with the right people”.
“We have a very clear and focused understanding and strategy for the market.”
Duwe said they were “100 percent dedicated to putting South Africa on the global electronic dance music map”.
Weekend Argus has it on good authority that Electric Music will announce some big acts in the coming year, but they weren’t dropping any hints this week.
Meanwhile, after the traffic issues at the recent Swedish House Mafia gig at Cape Town Ostrich Farm, Electric Music will add an alternative route for drop-and-go and shuttles, with a bigger police presence for the upcoming Skrillex performance there on March 1.
“We are always looking to improve, and the people who come to our shows and their safety is our number-one concern.”