Macufe pulls off a coup

2010-10-10 14:10

Top musicians, including legendary singer Letta Mbulu and Lira, had to be begged to perform after they refused to take the stage over contractual issues at Macufe this ­weekend.

What was to be one of the highlights of Free State’s arts and culture festival on ­Friday night left fans fuming, as they had to wait nearly an hour to see the stars.

Performers at the sold-out Divas Concert which featured Mbulu, Lira, Wanda Baloyi and Free State’s Thiwe, had apparently not been told that their performances were to be ­recorded.

This caused a lengthy delay because the ­organisers had to beg the artists to perform, even going so far as to enlist the help of the province’s arts and culture MEC, Dan Kgothule.

According to bystanders, contracts had to be drawn up quickly at the event – late at night – so that the show could continue.

Lira went as far as announcing an ­apology through the MC, asking all the camera crews to vacate the venue because her recording company, Sony BMG, did not give rights for her performance to be recorded.

After that, the show continued.

A similar situation was expected at the main concert headlined by prime artists such as Salif Keita, Jonathan Butler and ­Gerald Albright.

Over the past 10 days hundreds of festival- goers have descended on Bloemfontein.

“It was my first time in Bloemfontein and Macufe and after all this entertainment, ­especially MaBrr and the Divas concert, I know I’ll be coming back next year.

Better yet, I’m coming back during the festive ­season,” said 28-year-old Pietermaritzburg resident Thando Mbele.

“I came here with my wife for our 16th ­wedding anniversary and I’m glad she’s been enjoying herself.

She’s a big fan of Sibongile Khumalo, Letta Mbulu and Gerald Albright,” said Matome Makgato, who brought his wife, Modjadji, from ­Lebowakgomo in Limpopo.

According to festival director Danny Moleko, this year’s was the most successful event to date.

“Judging by the sales of tickets, we had about 100 000 people attending Macufe this year. And this is a feat in itself because we have reduced the number of ­programmes,” he said.

“All the shows were sold out except for one, and the weather has been extra agree-able in Bloemfontein, allowing us to have great outdoor performances like the main concert, which was attended by 20 000.”

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