Andrea Wessels, who is bringing superstars Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Shaggy and reggae singer Protoje to this country in June, has revealed that December could see an even bigger line-up.
Wessels said yesterday that she was making inroads in her attempts to bring either Beyonce or Rihanna (and another popular male vocalist) here in the summer.
But at the forefront of her plans as festival director is to oversee a successful inaugural Nelson Mandela Bay MegaFest on June 2 at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium, in Port Elizabeth.
It is a bit strange for an organiser to take such big-name artists to a usually overlooked city – which is exactly why Wessels is hosting it in the “friendly city”.
She said yesterday: “Port Elizabeth has never hosted something of this magnitude [since the 2010 soccer World Cup] and we want to bring recognition to other cities.”
She was looking at taking the festival to one of the big cities next year.
The four international artists would be complemented by local stars, including Bucie, Zakes Bantwini and Mi Casa.
Locals have recently been disappointed with no shows by international stars – most recently Jill Scott at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Chante Moore at the Women’s Mentorship Conference in Sandton, Johannesburg, and Usher cancelling his Durban and Cape Town shows during his recent South African tour.
But Wessels said this time the contracts had already been signed and payments made.
The 32-year-old Ne-Yo, real name Shaffer Smith, was the “priciest” of the four international artists but he had promised to give fans a taste of his June 26 release The Cracks in Mr Perfect – his fifth studio album.