CITY PRESS REVIEW: Did One Source lack sauce?

2018-04-01 00:00
One Source Live

The One Source Live (OSL) festival has been on #Trending’s radar for some time and we’ve been amped for it since the announcement last year.

It was the prospect of experiencing a multifaceted festival celebrating the real-live superheroes of African creativity. It rolls off the tongue so magically and still sounds like a tantalising idea. Unfortunately, the execution was not as spellbinding as we’d hoped.

It was evident that it’s a big budget production, but the feel came across like an attempt to save an idea.

Some of the acts gave the impression, through their ill-prepared performances, that they were roped in at the last second to ensure people would come. Nigeria’s Patoranking was on stage and it was him and his microphone – that’s literally it. There wasn’t much more going on in terms of showmanship – it was bland.

The event was rather well supported, but other than a gentleman on stilts and a bit of confetti, the odyssey was like just another party. The festivities started at 1pm on Saturday, but by the evening the Joziburg Lane venue was pulsating. Organisers promised that each “African creative superhero” – including Khuli Chana, Sho Madjozi, Trevor Stuurman, Fabrice Monteiro (Benin/Senegal) and Osborne Macharia (Kenya) – would put on their own curated showcase - and that’s something I was looking forward to seeing. Unfortunately, the curation element didn’t seem to come across.

Khuli Chana brought out a few friends like Reason and of course other members of Morafe, which really set the place off, but it was just that, bringing other acts out. Like any other show. Sho Madjozi, the Rain Queen in the marketing campaign for the event, did her thing, which is always a lively affair. But it didn’t seem very Rain Queen like. It was like seeing Sho Madjozi on any other stage. Where were the cool visual effects and stage design? She did, however, unveil a collaboration with Youngsta CPT and new kid on the block Marley Bloo, called My People. Maybe the marketing campaign used up a lot of the money that could have been spent on presenting a better event?

There were murmurs of Haitian musician Wyclef Jean performing, which begs the question: Do we need an international act in order to have a sensational festival of creativity that’s supposed to be steered towards showcasing our own? OSL was good, but it wasn’t exactly what was promised. I didn’t get to see any fashion other than in a few of the shops that are already stationed at Joziburg Lane. Beyond music, a touch of dance and a few culinary delights on offer, the art on display didn’t feature an array of disciplines. It would’ve been cool to see collaborations across artistic disciplines. The Rain Queen and The Explorer (Trevor Stuurman) brought together somehow. Instead, they had separate areas.

The idea of needing an international act is one I don’t buy into. All we need is to reignite the quality of our performances on stage. Spice things up a little. Artists are churning out the same set every week, at different venues and for different prices. So, if I catch you once in 2018, then I should be good for the year … come on. Add a dance crew to the mix, get some trippy graphics going on behind you, work harder for my applause.

Did you go to OSL and what did you think? SMS the keyword ONESOURCE and your thoughts to 35697. You can also email us at SMSes cost R1.50. Please include your name and province

OPINION We were promised an odyssey of creation. What we got was a lot like just another party with a big budget.
Read more on:    music

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.