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Sunday, March 20, 2011


(Natalie Rungan)

Rock da Beach Music Festival is an innovative concept that celebrates different genres of music in spectacular fashion with a myriad of top local and international artists converging along Durban’s Golden Mile on March 27 and April 2 and 3.

As the most innovative festival event in the province for 2011, the underlying motivation for Rock da Beach is to create a unique musical identity that will expose audiences to a broad mix of musical genres and focus on nation-building. The festival is further inspired by the fact that Durban is currently the only major city in South Africa without an annual music festival. With its varied musical influences, Rock Da Beach aims to preserve and develop South Africa's heritage. It is especially important in such a culturally diverse region where there are many traditions that may otherwise be lost.

The artistic content is spectacular and caters for a diverse audience with each of the three events being themed and then further divided into different zones where music lovers can move between stages enjoying the sound of their choice. The music festival kicks off on March 27 with The Legends Concert, which showcases the long-awaited official reunion of musical icons of yesteryear, The Flames, who will share the stage with Jazzanova from Germany, Johnny Clegg and Durban’s own Dukes Combo.

If that hasn’t whet your appetite, beach fever will definitely set in on weekend two of this extraordinary music festival with The Mr Price Beach Party headlined by Edward Maya and his band; the man behind chart-topping Billboard hit Stereo Love. This internationally-renowned Romanian producer, songwriter, performer and DJ will perform for the first time on African soil. The day’s events begin at 10h00 with 30 DJ’s over three stages and will feature the likes of BBC 1’s Danny Rampling (UK), Liquideep, Fresh, Euphonik, Roger Goode, Rise, Pixie Bennett and Lady Lea to name a few.

“This is going to turn into one of the biggest parties ever held in this City,” said Durban’s Head of International Relations, Eric Apelgren. “It is one of those events where we are catering for all tastes - the best of the contemporary stuff for the youth combined with jazz, hip hop, rock and funk. It will definitely be no ordinary music festival. We urge people to come out and embrace this musical opportunity.”

The festival closes with a Jazz & Rootz concert on April 3 which showcases Hugh Masekela, Ronny Jordan (USA), Simphiwe Dana, the UKZN Jazz All Stars featuring Natalie Rungan and a unique festival collaboration entitled GuitAfrika with Steve Newman (SA), Eric Triton (Mauritius) and Alhousseini (Niger). In addition, the Rock Da Beach Music Festival will provide indigenous, African, exotic and World Music a platform to perform alongside each other and expose the audience to new genres of music. The artistic combination of genres aims to attract a new audience and a new festival-goer.

Collaborations are a key focal point of the festival with the idea being that people can be reconciled through music as we celebrate our shared histories. The creative team behind Rock Da Beach is acutely aware that South Africa is in need of audience development and has incorporating a development component within the community, sharing the talent of accomplished musicians with emerging artists in an outreach programme to be hosted at the Ohlange Institute in Inanda.

RockDa Beach is supported by the eThekwini Municipality and the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund.