Miguel in SA: They really got it wrong!

2013-03-04 08:13
Live concerts are one of those "get it really right or get it really wrong" things. So much is dependent on the organising.

That's the reason why there aren't a great many big acts I’m prepared to pay big money to see. I might like an artist and their music but I won't necessarily fork out thousands of rands to see them.

But one that I was willing to pay big money for was Miguel, the hottest new thing on the R&B block. I generally don't go for modern-day R&B, it lacks creativity and soul. But Miguel is different. Not only is he a smart lyricist, he also puts on a fantastic live performance. His music makes me want to… do things. *blush*

So when my friend and colleague Hlengiwe and I heard he was heading to our shores there was no question that we were going and we'd pay the full R700 to be right in front of the stage where we could hopefully touch fingers with the Grammy winner.

But gods almighty am I disappointed and angry that I shelled out that much cash for such a monumentally poorly organised show.  Let me detail all the things that went wrong with the Miguel show in Cape Town:

1. The PR for the concert was atrocious, and for the Cape Town gig, largely non-existent. It was so bad, that for weeks it was unclear if it was even happening. Tweets begging for clarity to the organisers Trademark Entertainment and DJ Tbo Touch, the head of the company, went unanswered.  There was nothing on Computicket (probably the promoters' fault rather than the ticket company's). It might have been advertised on one of the radio stations that I don't listen to but there should have been press releases. There should have been information on websites.  There was nothing.

2. The venue was shoddy. It was initially advertised that the concert was happening at the Grand West Arena which would have been a perfect (clean) venue. But for some or other reason the venue was then changed to the Ostrich Farm, about 20 minutes' drive from Canal Walk. With its massive open spaces, this venue is far more suited to festivals (where people are quite willing to literally get dirty). When a concert with a single stage is put on there, it feels too big and spacious. Also, it's in the middle of goddamn nowhere. I'd driven for so long I wondered if I'd missed it. And being out in the open, and during the day, it was hotter than a goldmine in Saudi Arabia. Also, concertgoers weren't told to bring cover for the sun. It would have been, pardon the pun, cool if umbrellas were on sale. Or if there were a few gazebos about. To make matters worse, there was no refreshments stand. At some point concertgoers were told that food would be served but when we got there none was even being sold. Refreshments are a tad necessary in 33 degree heat… Hlengi and I had to drive back to Canal Walk to get necessary items.

3. The supporting acts were lame. Donald sounds and acts as if he went to the Mariah Carey School of Performing and Zakes Bantwini clearly thinks he's hotter than he is. But maybe it was just me. Also, Idols singer/ performer/ person Khaya was promised and not delivered, though I don't care for him (or know him, for that matter), there were some women standing next to me who were quite keen to see him. Don’t promise artists and then not deliver them!

4. VIPs shelled out R700 for nothing. Because the space was far too big for the audience and many clearly didn't feel like forking out R700 like my over-eager colleague and myself, the "VIP" section right in front of the stage looked a bit empty. And by bit I mean quite. So much so that at some point during his set, Miguel called out to the not-so-VIPs and had them brought forward. Now, that's all very nice and kumbaya but it means those who paid R400 more to be closer to the stage deserve a serious bloody refund.

5. Don't have concerts like that at that venue, let alone during the day. People were initially told that festivities started at 17:00, then a week or two ago, Computicket (again, probably the fault of the promoters rather than Computicket) announced that it actually started at 11:00. Hlengiwe and I decided that, it being Cape Town, this meant the concert would probably only start at midday, at the very least. And since we weren't too keen on seeing the supporting acts, we'd go at about 13:00 rather. We ended up getting there at 14:00 by which time, none of the acts had yet performed. The first artist, Bantwini, only actually ended up on stage at about 17:00.

6. Miguel's actual set was far too short. He's a really great live act – he interacts with his audience, he sings well, he's energetic and fun as is his band – but I think his entire set was less than an hour. To add insult to injury, it had to be stopped about half-way through because something went wrong with the sound. So his actual set might have been – what? – a half an hour?

To sum up, I ended up paying R700 for a half an hour show in the middle of nowhere whilst non-R700-paying people squashed me into a fence and sand and sun got into my everything? Really TBO Touch and co?

You owe me at least 400 bucks, dude.

Rant over.

- Follow Lauren on Twitter

Did you attend the Miguel concert in either Jhb or CT? E-mail your reviews, pictures and more to music@channel24.co.za and you could be published!
It's all good to bring big international acts to South Africa, but is it really worth the money if the experience is marred by awful organisation and a lack of delivery on promises made?
Read more on:    miguel  |  cape town  |  concerts

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