Johannesburg City Parks in partnership with Neo Solutions put together a magnificent concert on Sunday 20th March, in the newly refurbished Pioneer Park at Wemmer Pan. Despite an afternoon of lightning storms and heavy rains almost putting an end to everyone’s dreams, the event rose like a phoenix from the ashes and, in true South African style, the crowds partied on.
The aim of the concert, held on the eve of Human Rights Day and National Water Week, was two-fold. Firstly, the event was the culmination of a corporate initiative to bridge the green-divide and address greening disparities in Johannesburg by injecting funds into the planting of trees and beautification of some areas. Secondly to re-open the much-loved Musical Fountains and Amphitheatre, which have been out of commission for many years and, took the opportunity to thank the Mayor, Amos Masondo, who planted the first of the many trees sponsored by the corporate sector.
Once the rain stopped and the guests could finally make their way into the park they were greeted with picnic baskets containing snacks and drinks, as well as a lovely picnic blanket to make their viewing from the grassy amphitheatre even more pleasurable.
The elevated stage was built out over the water and completely covered with a Perspex dome, filled with state of the art lighting. Together with the Musical Fountains and the incredible laser show, guests were given a spectacular sound and lighting experience.
The Mayor and Clr. Matshidiso Mfikoe, spoke movingly about the need to redress the imbalance in the various areas and the commitment of the City Parks to this initiative, before declaring the Musical Fountains open.
Bob Mabena was a great MC and programme director, and the concert opened with a moving rendition of the National Anthem by the Soweto Gospel Choir. Guests were treated to a wonderful line up of entertainers including the African Breeze Kids, Bryce Anderson, Selaelo Selota, Loyiso Bala and Denim before rap artists, Volatile, gave a great finale performance and the guests sadly called it a night.
All in all the warmth of the crowds was what made this event so special and everyone is looking forward to another great Corporate Greening Concert in 2012.