Tribe fest shot in arm for mining town

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to Jandre Louw

Tribe One Zone is one of the most ambitious entertainment projects apart from the 2010 World Cup opening concert and the 46664 concerts. It is the brainchild of Rockstar 4000’s chief executive, Jandre Louw (pictured) who says it’s been 15 years in the making.

“The idea started about 15 years ago when I was with BET doing events all over Africa,” recalls Louw. “And it grew when I was doing the same for MTVbase where I really got to know the continent.

“These big events are always done by outsiders and I think it is about time Africa does something like this for themselves.”

He approached various government organisations about five years ago and they were very excited about developing the idea.

Cullinan was marked as a development project in terms of tourism because of its history and unemployment rate of 70 percent. To this end the City of Tshwane, Gauteng Tourism and the Department of Tourism are all firmly on board.

One of the many ideas is skills development via the Rockstar 4000 Academy. Those who benefit will then work on the site of the festival, from building it to providing technical assistance during the event’s run. The idea is that once they have these skills they will be retained to work on any other projects that take place on the site of the festival. The site is under construction and on completion will be able to hold a million people.

They are building a camp site to accommodate 30 000 people and when completed it will be surrounded by a 9km electric fence.

“This is Africa’s destiny festival,” says Louw.

To this end they are pushing the festival digitally through Rockstar 4000’s digital channels across Africa in partnership with Sony and this includes merchandise.

From the moment an act is announced for Tribe One they will be promoted digitally on these platforms.

There will also be media launches in 15 countries, from the Netherlands to China, the US and UK and many African countries.

The idea for the festival is to attract South Africans as well as international travellers.

There will be three stages – a rock stage, a R&B/hip hop stage and a dance valley. South Africans will be given the same lighting and sound as their international peers. State-of-the-art dressing rooms are being built as well as media rooms.

In-front-of-house rockstar pods are also being built. They are raised above the ground and can house 20 people. The pods come complete with their own butler.

If camping is not your style, the area is littered with B&Bs and game lodges and there are hotels in town. Packages ranging from a day pass on Sunday to a VVIP are on offer.

Accessibility from Joburg is about 75 minutes from Pretoria. Park and ride facilities to the event will be on offer with buses helping people not only to get from their cars to the camp site, but with lifts from the various stages to the bars and food stalls.

In the dance valley alone there will be six domes around the main stage which are genre-specific, from trance to deep house to Afro-house.

The town of Cullinan will be shut to motorists, except for its residents.

“We’re setting up so we don’t have a negative impact on residents. In the centre of town there will be venues for up-and-coming artists to perform throughout the festival, taking the overall total of artists booked to 320.”

Cullinan Diamond Mine is also on board, but has chosen to see the project more as a community develop-ment on its part.

Louw said that for this year the crowd would be mostly from South Africa, but the various tourism departments involved are putting tour operator packages in place around Africa.

Louw said the concept behind the name was that once a year various tribes of music from hip hop to rock unite in the name of music.


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