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South Africa’s Calabash festival expands, secures stars

Robbie Williams and Green Day have been revealed as Calabash South Africa’s headliners for the touring festival’s second edition, set for January 2025.

Landing in both Johannesburg and Cape Town, the touring event is stretching to two days across two weekends next year, doubling from its single-day programme in the same cities.

The Big Concerts-promoted outing is set to visit Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium (94,736-capacity) — Africa’s biggest stadium — from 18-19 January 2025 and Cape Town’s DHL Stadium (55,000) from 22-23 January 2025. The festival announced the 2025 event aspires to etch “a new chapter in South Africa’s rock ‘n’ roll legacy.”

UK superstar Williams’ headlining set marks his first gigs in the country since 2006, when he opened his Close Encounters world tour with three sold-out stadium shows in Pretoria, Cape Town, and Durban.

The festival will mark Green Day’s inaugural show in the country. In May, the Grammy-award-winning group will embark on The Savior Tour, performing across US stadiums and UK/European festivals throughout the year.

American punk band The Offspring and local rockers Fokofpolisiekar are set to join the Calabash bill with Green Day, with additional acts to be announced for both days.

“We expeect touring to expand across Africa, with new markets and new venues being added to the touring circuit”

Earlier this year, Maroon 5 led the debut of the festival and was joined by local and international artists including Will Linley, Keane, and Ava Max, among others.

The expansion of the festival could signal a new era for international acts visiting the African nation, with Big Concerts CEO Justin Van Wyk telling IQ the future looks bright for the African market.

“We anticipate a boom in new venue development and also expect touring to expand across Africa, with new markets and new venues being added to the touring circuit to bolster the economics for tours,” he says.

Big Concerts, which was acquired by Live Nation in 2016, is promoting shows by James Blunt, Kool & The Gang, and Cigarettes After Sex within the next year.

A new two-day country music festival, the ‘biggest outside the US’, will also take place in Cape Town’s DHL Stadium this October.


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