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Ringo Madlingozi complains about 'bad' treatment at festival

'I've amassed too much experience to be an opening act'

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Veteran singer Ringo Madlingozi.
Veteran singer Ringo Madlingozi.
Image: Oupa Bopape

Legendary singer Ringo Madlingozi says he waited two hours before he could do a soundcheck ahead of his performance at the DStv Delicious festival on Sunday.  

The veteran singer, Joyous Celebration, British band Incognito, American R&B and soul music vocal group Shalamar and headline act American singing sensation Maxwell were some of the artists who performed on Sunday on the last day of the festival that took place at Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in Johannesburg.  

Madlingozi expressed immense frustration and shock, claiming that he was treated unfairly compared to international musicians.

The media director of the festival said they were looking into 59-year-old Madlingozi's allegations.

"My former management convinced me to perform at the festival even though I felt that I've amassed too much experience, of over 35 years, to be one of the opening acts," Madlingozi said.

"However, the reason I agreed was solely because I was told [by my previous management] that my fans were going to be there and I would have a great time performing on stage.  

"When I got there, there was nobody but I started singing and a few people started approaching the stage but you could see on their faces that they were confused as to why I was on stage at that time."  

Madlingozi said prior to his performance, he had encountered issues with the stage organisers and alleged that he waited for over two hours to conduct a soundcheck and was also intimidated by one of the security guards.  

"I was there at 9am, I was made to wait till 11am to do my soundcheck. But 20 minutes into our soundcheck, we were told to get off the stage. This is after we waited for hours to do our soundcheck," said Madlingozi.  

"Seeing that we waited for so long, there was no time to change into our performance clothes. Luckily, I always drive around with an outfit, I got the opportunity to change but my band members didn't get that chance.

"As we were performing, we were then told my time was up, after just 38 minutes. This did not make me happy hence I decided to tell everyone during my last song that I would never do this festival again," he said, adding that he and his team had rehearsed an hour-long performance.

Image: Oupa Bopape

"We as local artists were treated unfairly. I mean, the people handling the stage didn't look like they gave a damn who I was. They were pushing and pressing me to get on stage to perform," he said.  

"I was asking myself why must we be treated like this in our country nor allow such? I feel like treatment should be equal and not be given to American artists."  

Media director of the DStv Delicious International Food and Music Festival, Funeka Peppeta, said they aim to treat all artists with the utmost respect and professionalism.

"After 10 years of Delicious, we can proudly say that we have supported more South African talent than most over the years, from live performances to providing a platform for them to the festivalgoers as well as in media and social. 

"Every artist, whether they are first on the bill or headlining is treated equally – from the time they are booked to their experience on site. 

"To hear that there is a complaint in this regard is a huge concern for us. We boast that we celebrate our heritage and we can safely say that to the best of our ability that this is followed through."

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