During an official visit to South Africa the Flemish Minister of Culture, Media, Youth and Brussels Affairs, Sven Gatz, announced an exciting new venture. The founders of Pukkelpop, Boondoggle, SHO-SHO Communications and Hilltop Live have joined forces and created a new company called Matchbox Live.
This entertainment venture aims to grow the South African live music industry by producing unique events and festivals with potential for international growth. “It’s an exciting time in our vibrant country and continent. The combination of existing events, strong experience and foreign investment is a powerful combination” says Theresho Selesho, CEO of Matchbox (Pty) Ltd.
The Belgian founders of Boondoggle, Pieter Goiris and Werner Camps, relocated to South Africa last year to open the SA Havas Boondoggle office. As entrepreneurs, they will be adding their experience in a country they have grown passionate about. There has also been a long history of collaboration between Pukkelpop and Oppikoppi. In previous years, exchange programs that develop young artists and crew members were facilitated by both festivals, as well as supported by the respective countries’ Arts and Culture institutions.
“In the past 20 years we’ve had an excellent relationship with our South African friends. Now the time has come to take our partnership to the next level. Just as Pukkelpop, Oppikoppi wants to keep track of new musical talents without losing sight of the big, established names. Through Matchbox Live we can help Oppikoppi to grow into one of the most influential festivals on the African continent!” Chokri Mahassine, Pukkelpop organiser.
The first project to roll out is Oppikoppi 2017. Other existing properties include DRUMBeat Music Festival and Lekkerland, with new events to be announced at a later stage. “The family behind Oppikoppi dropped into the live music business by accident in 1994. That is more than 23 years of gung-ho, Rock ’n Roll management. Along the way conversations with international counterparts started and have lead to the stage where we can bring in strategic partners. We have built a team that can carry the flame forward, which is great news for music fans.” Carel Hoffman, Owner & Director of Hilltop Live.
Matchbox Live is a Southern African Entertainment Company with social responsibility at its core. It is a commercial business that will use music and arts to drive social change. The first partnership is with Bridges For Music, a non-profit organisation that gathers key individuals in the music industry to support responsible initiatives in developing countries. The aim is to leave a positive impact in disadvantaged communities and help raise global awareness about local issues through music. Matchbox Live’s commitment to musicians is to create opportunities not previously accessible in South Africa while delivering unforgettable experiences to music fans. The company is based in Hazelwood, Pretoria.
This announcement comes after the organizers of Oppikoppi and Rocking The Daisies announced that they are joining forces this year to organize the two biggest music festivals in the country on the same weekend in October. This is an interesting development and I think that we could be seeing some interesting festivals in the near future. RAMFest 2018 would be nice #JustSaying.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.