Cape Town – All the Media24 titles previously associated with the controversial Afrikaans is Groot concert have announced that they will no longer continue their involvement.
This comes just hours after Toyota announced it too would end its sponsorship agreement with AIG due to the involvement of controversial singer Steve Hofmeyr in the show.
"Media24 titles will not be formally involved in the new AIG concert series. Since the start of AIG, various Media24 titles have been at times associated with the concert series.
Media24 said in a statement on Tuesday night that Beeld, Huisgenoot, VIA, and Netwerk24 amicably ends its involvement with AIG and will keep a good relationship with Coleske Artists. Participation at some of their future productions might be considered again.
"Our titles continue to be at the forefront of news coverage when it comes to Afrikaans music, artists, and a variety of other projects – including AIG. We'll also continue our coverage and support of creative Afrikaans creators of festivals and projects like KKNK, Aardklop, Innibos, Stellenbosh Woordfees, and Optog."
Toyota on Tuesday also announced their departure in a statement to the media: "Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and the organisers of Afrikaans is Groot (AIG) have amicably agreed to discontinue their sponsorship association as of March 2019 – which also marked the end of the 2018 AIG season.Both parties have honoured their contractual agreements since 2015."
MTN, who previously said they are cutting ties with the concert, on Tuesday said they were still meeting with AIG and negotiating sponsorship possibilities without Steve.
Jacqui O'Sullivan, executive of corporate affairs, said: "MTN met with AIG on Monday to discuss the future of the MTN sponsorship. I am aware an AIG announcement is due today but not the contents thereof. Our focus remains on reshaping MTN’s support of the growth and development of Afrikaans through a sponsorship vehicle that does not include Steve Hofmeyr. We will make an announcement on the sponsorship once the revised approach has been agreed upon and approved by all parties involved."
FANS TO BECOME SPONSORS
With its main sponsors cutting ties and relooking its connections with Afrikaans is Groot, the local music concert is having to turn to its audience members for financial support.
In collaboration with Solidarity Helping Hand, AIG has launched a #JouAIG (Your Afrikaans is Groot) campaign in which "the public will be the main sponsor" of the event. The announcement was made at a press conference in Centurion on Tuesday afternoon attended by controversial Afrikaans singer Steve Hofmeyr, local singer Karlien van Jaarsveld, and VIA's Die Kontrak winner, Demi Lee Moore.
Steve's involvement in the show saw the concert losing support from sponsors after backlash from the public.
But the organisers are undeterred with Barry Pretorius, director and producer of AIG, confirming at a press conference that Steve Hofmeyr "is going nowhere and will be part of the show"."This is your Afrikaans is Groot. Nobody, not even the sponsors, can tell us what to do. You, the public, are the only ones that can decide," Barry said.
A statement published on the Solidarity website on Tuesday stated that the "public is and will always be the main sponsor of AIG".
"That is why AIG and Helping Hand have launched the #JouAIG campaign to place emphasis on the ownership that the public has on the AIG experience. The campaign is an initiative by the board of directors and artists of AIG and Helping Hand to give the public as individuals, groups or businesses the opportunity to become official sponsors of this popular series of concerts."
An exclusive show, titled #JouAIG, will take place on 28 November 2019 where 6 000 tickets will be made available at R800 each. Ticketholders of this concert will be stepping in as the main sponsor of the show. Profits of the night will also be donated to Helpende Hand, according to the statement.
Every main sponsor's name will be displayed on the screens at the shows and will also appear in a special AIG 2019 programme. Tickets for the #JouAIG concert will go on sale from 29 March at 10:00 at Computicket.
The press statement encourages fans to "pledge their support to AIG artists like Steve Hofmeyr, Riana, Jay, Demi Lee, and Karlien" by joining the campaign.
In 2015 both Land Rover and Pick n Pay pulled their sponsorship with AIG due to Steve's involvement in the show and his racial comments.
Steve, known for his extremely provocative statements about race and right-wing comments, is featured front-and-centre on the poster for the November and December show of AIG.
Channel24 is part of 24.com a division of Media24.