CONSTRUCTION crews were hard at work yesterday afternoon at Orlando Stadium, putting together steel piping, nuts and bolts as well as technical equipment in preparation for the Fifa Celebration Kickoff concert on Thursday.
Gearhouse, the company that supplied the technical expertise at this year's South African Music Awards, as well as the Blacks Only comedy show, began their daunting preparations at the stadium amid military precision workmanship and secrecy.
The UK-based company's local marketing manager, Robyn D'Alessandro, told Sowetan that international representatives were keeping a tight rein on details that would "spoil the surprise".
"I cannot answer anything directly about the show without it going through the UK production company," D'Alessandro said.
"They control everything. I guess they are keeping everything secret as part of the surprise element of the show."
Meanwhile, concert publicist Penny Stein said tickets for the concert were selling fast.
"Sales are very good and we are happy with the reaction from the public.
"There are some tickets left but I assure you the stadium will be full on the day," she said.
The cheapest tickets - selling for R450 - are sold out. Tickets at R950 and R1 400 are still available, Stein said.
International artists will start arriving on Monday. On the bill are superstar Alicia Keys, Amadou & Mariam, Angélique Kidjo, Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Juanes, Shakira, Tinariwen, African hip-hop artist K'Naan and Vieux Farka Touré.
They will share the stage with local acts such as BLK JKS, Vusi Mahlasela, Hugh Masekela, Freshly Ground, The Parlotones and Mzansi Youth Choir.