Some great Music in the Park in 2015
01 January 1970
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Brad Brown: Welcome onto this edition of Old Mutual Live, it’s good to have you with us. Thank you for joining us today here on the music podcast. It’s time to look back as we head towards the close of 2015 and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome onto the podcast, from Hilltop Live, Misha Lotts. Misha, I love what your business card says, you’re the Ambassador of Goodwill, what does that actually mean as far as a job card is concerned?
Misha Loots: We try and bring joy to people.
BB: It’s as simple as that and that’s what music does.
ML: In a nutshell.
BB: It’s awesome, I love that. Let’s take a look at the Old Mutual Music in the Park for 2015, it’s been another fabulous year. A couple of year venues where they do take place, before we look at some of the highlights, let’s look at those two venues in particular, a wonderful place to have a music concert.
Great settings for awesome music
ML: Yes, we used the Walter Sisulu Garden in Jo’burg and the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens, and both very lovely venues. We do a lot of work with SANBI, we do all the Old Mutual work, but we’re also looking at a few other options with them and for them and just lovely venues. They’re easy to get to, they’re beautiful and it makes for a lovely Sunday out, it’s family friendly and we really enjoy working there.
BB: Let’s take a look at 2015 and some of the highlights for you. You get to go to many concerts and festivals and that sort of thing, but from an Old Mutual Music in the Park perspective, what would you say were some of your highlights in 2015?
Who rocked this year
ML: We had such a nice line up this year; ranging from the Jaziel Brothers, Siphiwe, all the way through to Johnny Clegg and the Parlotones. Shortstraw and Bobby van Jaarsveld teaming up with Lallane from Freshly Ground, that was a very nice one.
It’s difficult to single one concert out. If I have to pick one, it would probably be Shortstraw, Matthew Mole one because it was right at the beginning of the season and it was fairly sold out. I think we had 5 000 tickets sold for that one. That was a lovely way to kick it all off. But all the concerts were great, we couldn’t have asked for a better season.
BB: Misha, I find it quite interesting, if you look at those line ups, the bands that you mentioned. They’re all fantastic artists in their own right, but very diverse in saying that. You talk about Bobby van Jaarsveld and Freshly Ground, that’s a combination that if you look at it on paper, you think, are you crazy? But it works and that’s probably what makes this series of concerts so appealing.
A special kind of collaboration
ML: Yes, and that show specifically, it wasn’t them each doing their set, it was a combined thing. They worked together and built a set, it was a really, I won’t say a produced show, we didn’t do it, they did it. I actually saw that show in Oudtshoorn in April. It’s a nice thing to get people together, a nice cross section of the market that gets pulled together.
BB: You work with the artists all the time, for them to do something like that, it must be, I don’t want to say invigorating; but it gives them an opportunity to first of all get in front of a different market, but it also gives them a chance to exercise their creative juices in a different way.
ML: That’s very true and it’s very needed in South Africa. You know, geographically South Africa is a really big country, but if you look at the music industry, it’s not that big. There’s a few festivals and there’s a few events. So if you’re an artist, what are you going to do?
If you’re a rock act you’re going to play venue A, B and C and repeat cycle. If you’re a jazz act you’re going to play D, E and F and repeat cycle and you can do that so many times. So it’s great to see acts doing these things on their own, coming up with great collaborations, trying to figure out how to draw on that platform for them.
If they just continue on the usual little path that a traditional jazz act would take or a rock act would take, they’re not going to last very long. There’s only so much you can do. But I think it’s very important that artists do that, explore and challenge themselves by doing things like that.
BB: Misha, I think it’s been an incredible season of Old Mutual Music in the Park, I want to thank you for your input and just your take on it and some of your favourite memories of 2015. I look forward to catching up with you again here on Old Mutual Live Music, I want to chat a little bit about the state of music festivals in the country. You guys at Hilltop Live put on a few of the biggest in the country and I’d like to pick your brain on that, if that’s good, we’ll save that for next time. Thanks for your time today.