Three international superstars have been confirmed to headline the inaugural MBay Mega Fest set to rock Port Elizabeth on June 2.
The line-up features RB singer-songwriter Shaffer Chimere Smith Jr, otherwise known as Ne-Yo, American-Jamaican singer and rapper Orville Richard Burrell, popularly known as Shaggy, and rapper and actor Christopher Brian Bridges, popularly known as Ludacris.
The US trio will rock the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium flanked by local acts.
The one-day festival will have two stages with the main acts on one and local DJs and artists on the second. Shaggy, the Boombastic hit maker, will be visiting here for the first time, while Ludacris and Ne-Yo have performed in South Africa before.
Festival organisers, Zarenza SA, said this was their first major entertainment event and that they had solely funded the entire concert.
The strong international line-up will be complemented by Jamaican singer-songwriter Oje Ken Ollivierre, popularly known as Protoje.
Hiss debut album The Seven Year featured prominent musicians like Ky-Mani Marley, the son of the late reggae icon, Bob Marley. Protoje’s album reached fifth spot on the charts in Canada, US and France last year.
The South African line-up includes the eclectic soul house group and three-time Sama winners, MiCasa.
The festival is close to the group’s heart as the lead singer, Joao da Fonseca (J-something), hails from the Eastern Cape.
Hansa Festival of Legends finalists Shoelace Rockazsoul are also featured, as well as Bucie and popular house and dance DJ Eltonnick, followed by DJs Mtira, Kasta, Baba D, Cute, Spectrum and Master Jam.
Zarenza co-owner Rukshana Abrahams said: “We’ve been around for the past two years and the decision to branch into entertainment wasn’t only a business one, but also because we wanted to stage something big for Port Elizabeth.
“A lot of companies have said that there is no market in PE and many companies have failed to stage concerts or festivals in the area. We want to change that perception.
“What motivated us was the jazz concert last year that featured George Benson. We wanted to beat that and create something that will go on for years and become bigger and better.
“The selection of Shaggy, Ne-Yo and Ludacris for us was about the diversity and the richness in their music and for that to be felt by people in PE.
“We also wanted to decentralise large festivals of this nature from the usual major urban areas such as Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.
“South Africa has other vibrant and cosmopolitan centres which are also hungry for international acts.
“We have taken our cue from that fact and we are confident Port Elizabeth will respond positively.”
Zarenza co-owner, Andrea Wessels, said: “We are also committed to contributing toward job creation and stimulating the the local economy with this annual celebration of music.
“With gold standard international and local acts, and top-drawer production values, we’re looking forward to an all-day party to remember.”
Abrahams assured fans that the artists that had been advertised to headline the event would be performing and that was not a hoax.
The concert gates open at 10am on Saturday, June 2. Tickets fare available from Computicket