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Summer rain, local music talent at Joburg Day

Saturday's intermittent rainstorms did little to deter music lovers from enjoying and supporting their favourite local acts at this year's Joburg Day festival held on Riversands Farm in Fourways on 17 October 2009. This annual music extravaganza featured 14 local performers from a wide range of genres.

Jamali, photo by Craig Greer
Jamali, photo by Craig Greer
Gates opened at 8:30am to allow for early risers to settle in before Road to Joburg Day winner Judith kicked-off the festival at 10am.

2009 Idols co-winner Sasha-Lee Davids was up next, followed by Idols finalist Cameron Bruce and his band, who did a cover of Lady Gaga's Pokerface.

A man of varied talents, Bongani B Nxumalo entertained the crowd just before 12pm, including a performance of his unique version of Kurt Darren's Loslappie.

Two more Idols, Jody Williams (2008 winner) and Jason Hartman (2009 co-winner) each had their turn to delight the swelling crowd next before aKing took the stage.

By now the audience had grown significantly - colourful umbrellas, camping chairs, and people decorated the grounds. Thousands of yellow caps, handed-out by sponsor Santam, protected the spectators from the blazing early-afternoon sun.

Co-sponsor 94.7 Highveld Stereo had a substantial percentage of their staff there, including DJs Jeremy Mansfield, Alex Jay, and Mark Pilgrim - and a special video message from Whackhead Simpson on the proper method of blowing a vuvuzela.

By the time aKing took over at around 1pm, the crowd was rather lively and enthusiastic - inspired by good music and lubricated by good beer, no doubt.

All-girl group Jamali jumped on stage next with their posse of dancers, enticing the crowd to get up and move their bodies to the beat. In no time at all, the audience became a single pulsating entity.


Zebra & Giraffe, photo by Craig Greer
Zebra & Giraffe, photo by Craig Greer
By this time, dark clouds had begun to gather in the horizon, but no one looked in the least bit fussed - on the contrary, most of the people were eager for rainfall to cool down the day and minimise the dust.

After Jesse Clegg took the spotlight, the first spurts of precipitation became evident, much to the pleasure of the perspiring crowd.

A vibrant Zebra & Giraffe were up next, complete with a captivating and visually stimulating animated backdrop. A very enlivened, albeit damp, crowd sang aloud to Running Faster and cheered them on with screaming, whistling and applause.

The downpour came to a climax shortly after Zebra & Giraffe's completed set, and the multitude of umbrellas that had been shielding spectators from the blazing African sun just an hour before, now served as protection against the pelting raindrops.

For the photographers and videographers involved, however, the rain was not an easy challenge to overcome. Craig struggled to keep his equipment dry and safe from moisture, at times stressed that he may be missing out on some “prime” photo opportunities., especially as Just Jinjer's performance was up next.


Just Jinjer, photo by Craig Greer
Just Jinjer, photo by Craig Greer
Just Jinjer got on stage around 4pm and took many of the audience members down memory lane with some of their older stuff such as Father & Father, Shallow Waters, and their popular Rodriguez cover Sugarman.

Nearing the end of their 45 minute set, the whole band performed a drumming session so intense and booming, it completely overshadowed the sky's rumbling thunder. The bass vibration coming out of the massive speakers penetrated all spectators to the core.

Just after 5pm, Dr Victor and the Rasta Rebels had their turn with the crowd who responded by bouncing giant inflatable Sanlam-branded balls around, cheering, jumping and throwing their hands up into the air.


Johnny Clegg band, photo by Craig Greer
Johnny Clegg band, photo by Craig Greer
Next up was veteran Johnny Clegg who jived and sang to the audience while the sky slowly turned dark.

Flash Republic went on next and performed amid flashing lights, smoke and enthusiastic fans.

Finally, Prime Circle provided a perfect finish to the day/evening's events by evoking near-frenzy from their very loyal fanbase - with nearly every member of the crowd singing along to at least one of their catchy and popular tunes. The stage area exploded with colourful confetti just as Prime Circle's set, and the evening's entertainment, came to an end.

Wet, cold, dirty, but tremendously cheerful, the dissipating crowd bid a reluctant farewell to Joburg Day - but a very eager hello to a much-needed rainy season.

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About Ilva Pieterse

Ilva Pieterse has been involved in the media industry for over 13 years. During this time, she has written for and been involved in many online and print publications across a wide variety of industries, but mainly focusing on the IT sector. Examples of her creative work can be found at www.consciencefiction.com

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