Top SA band set to rock Cape Town Stadium

There will be much for spectators to enthuse over at The Cape Town Stadium Soccer Festival on January 23, both on and off the pitch!

Aside from the first event to be held at the world-class R4.5-billion Cape Town Stadium with a local Derby between Premier Soccer League sides Santos and Ajax Cape Town, there will also be other entertainment to enjoy.

The event, hosted by the City of Cape Town, organised by Stadium Operators SAIL STADEFRANCE and sponsored by Virgin Active Health Clubs and MTN, will give locals an opportunity to watch a live performance from one of the most iconic South African bands of the current era.

“Virgin Active sees this partnership opportunity as the first step to a continued and integral part of the Cape Town Stadium going forward. We are part of the community of South Africa and are proud to host the first ever game at our world class stadium,” Virgin Active Managing Director, Ross Faragher-Thomas, says.

“Fans who are attending The Cape Town Stadium Soccer Festival can enjoy the best of South African football as well as the best of South African music. As the exclusive African global sponsor, MTN is proud to be associated with this prestigious event. We are delighted to be part of such a high-quality entertainments package and look forward to joining Cape Town fans for a day of fun,” says Veli Mabena, MTN Brand and Communication General Manager.

Freshlyground is an Afro-fusion band that was formed in Cape Town in 2002. The group incorporates elements of traditional South African music, such as kwela and African folk, blues and jazz, as well as features of indie rock.

They are made up of lead singer Zolani Mahola, Simon Attwell (Flute, Mbira, Harmonica), Peter Cohen (Drums), Kyla Rose Smith (Violin, Vocals), Julio ‘Gugs’ Sigauque (Acoustic Guitar), Josh Hawks (Bass Guitar, Vocals), Aron Turest-Swartz (Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals) and have played all over Europe, including Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, France and Italy.

“We have played in some fabulous cities and wonderful venues in Europe but nothing will quite compare to performing at the Cape Town Stadium in our home country,” Mahola says. “This is an exciting day for Cape Town and an exciting day for us and we are looking forward to sharing our music on this historic occasion.”

Freshlyground launched their debut album, Jika Jika, in early 2003, which was met with much acclaim, leading to festival invitations all over Southern Africa.

In 2004 Freshlyground participated in the opening of Parliament in South Africa by performing before President Thabo Mbeki in an event organised as a celebration of 10 years of democracy. The band went on to perform alongside local legends Miriam Makeba, Stanley Clarke and Femi Kuti at the North Sea Jazz Festival, held during April in Cape Town.

Later that year, they released their successful second album, Nomvula, which went on to achieve double Platinum status locally. The success was largely due to the catchy, feel-good, lyrics of Doo Be Doo, which enjoyed significant play on local radio, and has since been covered in Indonesian by singer Gita Gutawa.

They were awarded Best African Act at the annual MTV Europe Music Awards In Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2006, which made them the first South African musical act ever to receive an MTV award.
The band’s third album, Ma’ Cheri, was released in 2007.

Other entertainment on the day includes a performance from the Vuvuzela Orchestra during halftime of the match between Santos and Ajax Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town will also provide a FREE shuttle service from the Civic Centre in Herzog Boulevard to the stadium and back, and all you need to do to use the facility is present your match tickets.

A Helpline has been set up for those who require further information on the event and can be reached on 021 487 6800.

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