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Witchdoctor Productions start crowd funding campaign to bring biggest metal fest to SA

2015-04-23 05:00

Cape Town – After having countless issues trying to bring the biggest metal event to Africa, the guys at Witchdoctor Productions have decided to start a fundraising campaign.

Some of the issues include three venues cancelling on them and sponsors pulling out due to pressure from certain groups of the public.

The initial idea for the event, titled Witchfest, was an outside open air festival to accommodate up to 10 000 people, but after venues and sponsors pulled out, the festival ended up taking place at a single venue, the Bassline in Johannesburg, accommodating only 1200 people.

Due to tickets sales being far less than originally planned, and all of the sponsors pulling out, this resulted in a R1m loss of funds.

The guys from Witchdoctor Productions have now started an Indiegogo campaign to try and recover some of the money that they personally had to invest in the festival to make it happen and to make sure that Witchfest becomes an annual event.

The campaign reads as follows: "Witchdoctor Productions had a dream to bring a Metal Festival to our country. An opportunity to grow the already thriving scene. Create jobs. Give our own metal bands a much needed platform, and share our beautiful country and love for music with some of the world’s biggest names in metal. From various groups. We have been bullied. Terrorized. Attacked. Our shows have been cancelled. Our venues closed down.

"This year, our venue was shut down three times. Which has had a massive impact on us financially, as we have no sponsors willing to associate their brand with metal. And while we refuse to be intimidated, and have fought with every strength to continue with this project, we really need help to ensure that we can make Witchfest Festival an annual event within the budget of the fans. One that can celebrate the same success as Wacken Open Air in Germany."

(Photo: David Devo Oosthuizen)

We asked Shaughn Pieterse from Witchdoctor Productions a few questions about the campaign.

Check it our here:

Who came up with the idea for the campaign?

The campaign idea was brought to us by some of the international bands, the Indiegogo system is very popular to fund music worldwide.

What sort of pressure did you receive from public groups?

They were closing venues, spreading lies to residents and just causing general drama wherever they went. The OLD mindset is slowly dying out and it will change.

The public obviously have the wrong idea about the metal scene and metal music, how would you describe it someone who doesn't know what it's about?

The best family on earth.

Why should people contribute to this cause?

It’s more than music, it’s about FREEDOM of speech and being allowed to be who we want in the world. Just because you don’t like something and have access to money, does not mean you can prevent others from enjoying it. So supporting this campaign will help change that mindset.

Witchfest 2016 confirmed:

Witchfest 2015, which happened over the Easter weekend, turned out to be a huge success despite the loss of funds, with camping taking place in the Newtown Park just outside the venue, resulting in probably the first urban camping festival ever.

Due to the Bassline working out as a venue, Witchfest has already been confirmed for 2016. Acts that have been confirmed to perform include Behemoth, At The Gates and The Haunted.

For organisers, the plan is to definitely grow the festival and make it much bigger in the years to come with more than one stage. The money made from the Indiegogo campaign will also go to keeping the tickets down for next year and to grow the festival. They also want to take it into other African countries like Botswana, Angola and Mozambique.

Click here to read more about the campaign and to contribute. For information on Witchdoctor productions visit their official website.

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