The country’s leading promoter Big Concerts is to stage what it describes as the “biggest concert” ever to be staged in South Africa.
The Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 will take place on 2 December at FNB Stadium (cap, 94,000) in Johannesburg.
Curated by Coldplay’s Chris Martin, the event will mark the centenary of Nelson Mandella’s birth.
The line-up includes artistes such as Jay Z and Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Femi Kuti and Pharrell Williams.
According to Big Concert MD Justin van Wyk, the stadium’s 70,000-capacity, end-stage format and space for 30,000 fans outside the venue means that the one-day festival will be attended by 100,000 people.
“It is the biggest festival ever to take place in South Africa in terms of scale and the line-up,” says van Wyk. “It is also the largest free-ticketed event to ever happen in Africa.”
Around 70 per cent of tickets will be made available free to registered participants who support Global Citizen charity’s work to combat poverty, such as signing petitions and volunteer work.
The remaining, paid-for, tickets to the festival will largely be sold to corporations and VIPs, says van Wyk, who declined to reveal the prices. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public, priced between R1,800 and R4,200 ($136-$317)
Global Citizen Europe director Amy Agnew tells Audience, “As with all our events, activism and holding world leaders accountable for their commitment towards ending extreme poverty by 2030 will be at the core of our mission. Fans will be able to earn their way in by taking action and advocating on behalf of the world’s poor.”
Big Concerts says that a key challenge in marketing the event and raising awareness was the difficulty in reaching the many African citizens that do not have internet access or smart phones, and who live in remote rural towns.
“It is a pan-African effort, the event is taking place in South Africa, but the focus is on all Africa, where there is widespread poverty and income inequality,” says van Wyk.
Global Citizen has previously hosted festivals in New York City, Mumbai in India and Hamburg, Germany, since 2012.