By Leah Solomon
After much anticipation and a decidedly dramatic promotional video, the TribeOne: Dinokeng Mega Music Festival was cancelled just a few days before it was scheduled to take place. After social media was flooded with the outrage and disappointment, information started to surface about why this festival was cancelled so abruptly.
The festival was supposed to take place over the weekend of Friday 26 September to Sunday 28 September 2014, and had confirmed international acts such as Nicki Minaj, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, J.Cole as well as local acts such as Khuli Chana and MXO.
The statement released by the organisers, Sony Music Entertainment and Rockstar400, stated that the reason why the festival could no longer take place was due to infrastructure problems. The festival preparation, which was the responsibility of the City of Tshwane, fell dramatically behind schedule. So much so that the festival would be nowhere near the standards that the organisers had confidently promised.
After a visit to the festival website ,the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) stated that there was no indication of any infrastructure ever having been built and thus there was no way the small city was ready to host such a large event.
This goes against what the Tshwane mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa expressed in a public statement, saying that everything was ready for the event to go ahead as planned.. Ramokgopa invested R65 million of City funds into the event; money which, according to the ANCYL, could have been used to better the lives of destitute families in the city. Despite this, Ramakgopa has expressed his determination in making the festival happen. He explained that it will happen later in the year and will continue to be an annual event.
Once the cancellation was announced, many people expressed that they were unsurprised by the decision due to its exorbitant ticket costs. 150 acts, a space to host 100 000 festival-goers and chemical toilets was quite a bold promise. If Tshwane can eventually pull this off after all of the controversy, South Africa will certainly become one of the top destinations for music festival enthusiasts.