Dancing with the Diaspora
Cape Town International Jazz Festival ... the jewel in Cape Towns crown
In 1998 Rashid Lombard established espAfrika as a leading event management company. A year later, espAfrika formed a partnership with Mojo Concerts BV, one of the world's largest integrated event companies and the producers of The North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. Together, they brought the North Sea Jazz Festival to Cape Town until 2005. In that same year, espAfrika broke away from Mojo Concerts and renamed the festival to The Cape Town International Jazz Festival and has been hosting it successfully ever since. As the largest Jazz Festival in Africa, the Cape Town Jazz Festival has evolved from its early 2-day format to week- long series of events with the Jazz Festival being the major crowd-drawer. The entire event is broadcast on radio and television and boasts a sold-out crowd each year over 34000 people, hosting 40 local and international artists. The festival, which demands extensive logistics, safety and security and spectator management contributed R425million directly to the GDP of the Western Cape in April 2014 and R685million to the national GDP.
Comments from the City of Cape Town Mayoral Commitee:
The City of Cape Town recognises the importance of the creative industries as a catalytic sector that generates jobs, wealth and cultural engagement.
A study conducted by the National Department of Arts and Culture in 2015 shows that the Cultural and Creative Industries sector in the Western Cape contributes between R30 billion and R35 billion in turnover per annum, and contributes between R14,7 billion and R17,4 billion to the economy per annum. The Creative Industries sector in the Western Cape employs between 38 000 and 45 000 individuals which accounts for between 1.70% and 2.01% of employment in the province.
The first economic impact research of its kind, the DAC report provides solid evidence for the economic value of the cultural and creative industries in the Western Cape.
South African Department of Arts and Culture: Creative Economy Report 2015City of Cape Town information
Interview Theo Van den Hoek
Are you still involved with music festivals.
I was up until two years ago as an advisor. I did something in St Petersburg Russia in 2006 and 7. In 2008 we had this economic crash in Europe and US so it was very hard for people to start new events. I said I had had my time and I want to return and enjoy the nice things in life. The company is sleeping.
What are the impact of festivals?
First of all an economic impact. Hotels are fully booked, restaurants are fully booked. 70 000 people come to eth festival over 3 days. People are traveling and spending money. There was a survey which proved that a lot of money was spent in the three days of the festival. A lot of tourists from US, all over Europe and Japan come for the festival. The North Sea in Rotterdam now has a big impact for the city , putting the city on the map, which I assume is the same for Cape Town. People asked me why you didn't go to JHB, why did you go to CT. Because CT is a touristic city, a beautiful city on the sea, lots of nice hotels, good restaurants. It has a big impact on tourists. I am sure a lot of people from several countries go to the CT event.
Festival circuit in Europe, but what about SA?
For me it is a little bit hard to answer. I was hoping that there would be other countries in Africa who would pick up the possibilities of organising the festival as the artists are in Africa for the CT jazz fest. So far nobody in Africa has stood up to say in our city or country we would also like to organise a festival in the same period CT is doing. I know he was trying in Angola but I don't know if it ever happened. So far, it is just CT. Maybe the organisers should look at another city in SA like Durban which is far away enough not to hurt the festival in CT. In Europe if you take for instance, festivals in France and Belgium are only a few hundred kilometres from the North Sea. There must be a group of potential jazz lovers in places like Durban or wherever in SA.
It is very important you take your visitor very seriously. And make sure the sound is good at the venues, that you have excellent food. The people in Europe and CT as well don't mind paying a certain entrance fee but they do expect to have a certain luxury at the festival. Take the visitors at the festival very seriously and treat them as your guest.
I left the North Sea Jazz festival in 2006, it has been a while. I don't know what they have done in the last couple of years. The thing for me that is very important is that you take the visitor very seriously. I am also assuming that they are getting electricity via other means, sun and wind and that kind of new ways of getting your energy which you need for a festival.
What makes a person to become a festival director?
I always say first of all you must have a passion for music, but in my opinion do not be a musician because you need next to a passion for music you should have a good business view and you should programme not music you just like but music that is good for the festival. If you are into a certain type of music and you are a musician you might make the mistake of only booking that type of artist and not thinking of your guest that is coming to the festival. You need sponsors to organise a festival. If a sponsor gives you money you must make sure that the sponsor is happy and he wants to continue sponsoring your event. You must have a network in government, like the North Sea in Holland still gets money from the city of Rotterdam, just because of the fact that so many people come to Rotterdam spending their money. That is the combination that is important you must have a good heart for music and a good head for business.
Interview Rashid Lombard
What inspired you to start the festival?
With isolation of South Africa during the 1970' and 1980's there was this hunger to see international musicians perform in South Africa in a festival atmosphere that bring people of all persuasions together. The vision was simply to create a festival of international standard where the best of the rest of the world are combined with the best of South Africa and Africa. Combining European expertise in presentation of a jazz festival of this nature and the African expertise in networking, building on relations and creating community. The vision of the festival was articulated in the way that it was clear that the festival was intended to bring together music lovers from all over the country and indeed all over the world to participate communally in their love of the art form in the humbling province of the Western Cape. In a sense the vision of the festival was used as a metaphor for what South Africa and the Western Cape could be: in harmony with itself and in harmony with the world.
How have the music festivals become part of the tourism industry?
How have the music festivals become a business?
How do you build festival numbers?
What role does the private and public sector play in growing the creative economy?
There is compelling reason and need for growth and challenges particular to the wisdom economy to be considered on an urgent basis
According to Julian Dobson in “From A Knowledge Economy To A Wisdom Economy” in response to the question “So what might a wisdom economy feel like?” offers the following comparison “The knowledge economy is innovative. The wisdom economy is reflective....... The knowledge economy wants more. The wisdom economy understands 'enough'………. The knowledge economy demands qualifications. The wisdom economy insists on qualities first……….. The knowledge economy is competitive. The wisdom economy is collaborative…… The knowledge economy is grasping. The wisdom economy is gracious”. One can opine that these are where the potential for growth and challenge lie
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