By Butchie Seroto
South African music and arts festival Clanstival will donate profits from its upcoming event to the artists it booked. The donations will be distributed monthly over a year, amounting to about R3.6m ($200 000).
The move forms part of Clanstival’s commitment to its Artist Distribution Fund, which seeks to help musicians alleviate their financial woes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The financial aid is disbursed over and above the artists’ contracted festival performance fees, fringe costs and deposits. Each individual is expected to receive about R10 000 ($550) a month.
The first edition of the festival, which was scheduled to take place at Hilton College in KwaZulu-Natal in May, will now be livestreamed in June. The alcohol-free event aims to bring together young children and their families for a “different experience”.
Last month, the festival organisers collaborated with SmartWage, a financial solutions platform that gives users early access to their earnings. The partnership allowed donations to be paid to artists prior to collecting profits from the event. SmartWage, which made distributions of about R290 000 in April, will be reimbursed after the event.
“We could have thrown our hands in the air and just cancelled, but we felt responsible to bring it home for the sake of sustaining the arts,” Clanstival organiser Leigh Wallace told Music In Africa. “We understood the need for artists to access their funds now and before the proceeds from our ticket sales on various ticketing platforms were paid to Clanstival, which led to a conversation with former Hilton College students and the founders of startup SmartWage.”
SmartWage cofounder Alex Platt said: “This collaboration is unique and quite different from our typical model, but after working closely with Leigh Wallace and her Clanstival team, we were able to adapt our solution to help the artists receive their first share of the profits a month earlier than they otherwise would have.”
SmartWage is offering its services for free until the end of May.
Meanwhile, the Clanstival Live Online Interactive Digital Festival will be livestreamed from 25 to 29 June. The artists, who will perform at the Hilton College theatre, include The Parlotones, Tresor, Kevin Fraser, Elvis Blue and the Gugulethu Tenors, among others. The Parlotones lead singer Kahn Morbee will also launch his new solo album at the festival.
Wallace says the digital edition of Clanstival will happen in a similar fashion to Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home event, which took place last month. The theatre will also be equipped with technology that will connect the audience’s live cheering.
The organisers have pledged 15% of the event’s gross proceeds to go towards the Kenosis Community foster village, which is committed to supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children.