Sound of music to kick off World Cup

2009-10-10 13:32

IT IS going to be global, it’s going to attract billions of viewers worldwide and it’s happening at the home of South African soccer – Orlando Stadium.

No, it’s not the soccer World Cup, but the concert that is being put together for the night before the first match.

Kevin Wall, the co-founder of The Control Room, the events company that’s in charge of the logistics, is thrilled about it. “We were approached by Fifa and several of the global broadcasters to put something together.”

The reason Wall was approached is that his company is the one that organised the spectacular Live Earth event, which featured 150 artists performing on seven continents over the course of 24 hours to raise awareness for climate change.

So the company has the right resumé to pull off Fifa’s three-hour Kick Off Celebration Concert on June 10.

Wall says that football excites everyone, just as music does – so bringing the two together is a no-brainer.

“The world gets excited about football – and music. So, we are going to combine music and football on the eve of this African first.”

Next year’s World Cup is the first to be hosted on the African continent and Wall says it’s fitting that this larger-than-life World Cup music concert is held in Africa. After all, Africa is all about music.

Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Organising Committee South Africa, agrees. “There are few things in life that can kindle such widespread passion as football, but music is without doubt one of them. With this celebratory kick-off event, football fans are in for a huge treat.”

One of the difficulties is getting the right mix of artists, says Wall, as the company has been inundated with calls for inclusion on the bill. “Normally we are out there cap in hand to find artists. But this time we have had performers coming to us. The challenge is to limit the international artists.”

Wall is adamant that the concert showcases South African talent first, African talent second and talent from the rest of the world third.

The concert will be held at Soweto’s Orlando Stadium and Wall says local residents have much to be excited about. “We will be using primarily local talent. This is about building something that leaves a legacy. This show is by Africans for Africans.”

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