Big Concerts ‘ecstatic’ as SA drops restrictions
South Africa’s largest promoter Big Concerts has spoken of its relief after the government finally dropped the country’s remaining coronavirus measures.
Restrictions had included mandatory mask-wearing in indoor public spaces, border checks for Covid-19 and – most pertinently for the live music business – capacity limits of 1,000 people indoors and 2,000 people outdoors.
Live Nation-owned Big Concerts has upcoming dates scheduled with the likes of OneRepublic, David Gray and Foreigner, as well as two huge shows with Justin Bieber at Cape Town’s DHL Stadium (28 September) and FNB Stadium in Johannesburg (1 October).
“The road to economic recovery starts today”
“It was nerve-wracking because our timing was impeccable,” says Big Concerts CEO Justin van Wyk, reports Eyewitness News. “We had just announced Justin Bieber and two weeks later, our scientists announced Omicron. We are ecstatic with this news, it is going to be a great summer. The road to economic recovery starts today.”
According to Reuters, the lifting of measures followed a decline in the number of Covid infections and deaths.
Big Concerts has been involved in nearly every major international live event promoted in South Africa since the 1990s, including the 1992 concert by Paul Simon which marked the end of a 10-year international ban on foreign artists during the Apartheid era.
Live Nation acquired a controlling interest in the Cape Town-based promoter in 2016. The two companies have been working together since mid-2009, when Big Concerts became exclusive promotion partner for all LN tours in South Africa.
Ticketmaster expanded to South Africa earlier this year, opening a new headquarters in Cape Town.
Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.