Free show to repay fans

SNUFFED: Top guitarist Louis Mhlanga. Pic. Clement Lekanyane. 15/10/04. © Sowetan.
SNUFFED: Top guitarist Louis Mhlanga. Pic. Clement Lekanyane. 15/10/04. © Sowetan.

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Thousands of fans who bought tickets for Sunday's aborted Germiston Lake jazz concert will be compensated with a free festival next year.

"We will come up with the dates and venue for this festival, and hopefully it will take place at Ekurhuleni," the promoter of the ill-fated concert, Jack Mahlangu, said yesterday.

"This time around we will make sure that what happened on Sunday will never happen again."

Quick action by the police, security guards and traffic officers prevented a major disaster happening at the concert when irate fans rioted and pelted the stage with missiles.

Gifted guitarist Louis Mhlanga had hardly finished his first song when the sound died at about 7.45pm, prompting fans to pelt the stage with bottles.

The power failure was one of a series of frequent sound interruptions which took place during the entire afternoon of the festival. The patient crowd did not react until Mhlanga's performance. Fans also had to endure unusually long periods of dead moments during set changes.

Promoter Mahlangu has blamed the sound company, whose sound system he saID was not up to scratch.

"The sound system was not adequate, both technically and in terms of capacity for a concert of that scale.

"The sound company was selected out of seven others, and it was not necessarily the cheapest, but they had assured us that it was good enough.

"They told us that they had used their sound system at 20 festivals, and therefore we took them at their word," Mahlangu said.

Mahlangu, who held a meeting with the event's sponsors yesterday, said they had established that three people received minor injuries and the beer garden was looted and fridges damaged.

Solly Molepo, whose company provided the sound system, yesterday denied that it did not have sufficient capacity to provide adequate sound.

He blamed unnamed people he claimed had threatened to disrupt the show because neighbours had complained there was too much noise.

"In fact, we have received reports that neighbours had complained and threatened they would stop the show. We think that someone deliberately cut off the electricity supply, rendering our sound system unoperational," Molepo said.