South African musician Zakes Bantwini wants local artists to find new ways of performing amid COVID-19 and has set his sights on hosting the country’s first ever drive-in-concert.
South African artist Zakes Bantwini, real name Zakhele Madida, is on a mission to find new ways for local artists to make a living amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. While the South African film and television industry has resumed with strict regulations in place, artists are still trying to figure out how to make a living outside of just online performances—some of which have not been paying gigs. As a result, Zakes Bantwini says that he’s currently working on hosting the country’s first-ever drive-in-concert.
While the concept of drive-in-concerts is not a new one and is quite prevalent in Europe and the US, it has never caught on in South Africa. However, that may be changing in the near future as the music industry looks for more creative ways of adjusting to a new COVID-19 era.
Speaking about his proposed drive-in-concert, Zakes Bantwini says, “Look, this hasn’t been done before in SA, so we’re going to work closer with our government on how we can stage a safe concert while promoting social distancing, teaching people about the COVID-19 pandemic, [and] the importance of wearing a mask.” He also adds that, “We are still in negotiation with the proposed line-up, as you know a date has to be there first in order for the contracts to be signed which is what the proposed artists are waiting for. The first one will be in Durban, next one will be Johannesburg and then Cape Town. We’re very excited about this, you’ll hear about it soon.”
While there have been calls for the government to do more to help artists during the continued national lockdown and social distancing measures, there is still considerable uncertainty for many.
South Africa has been on a national lockdown for over a month now although some of the lockdown restrictions have been eased in the past week. The total number of coronavirus cases stands at 25 937 with 552 reported deaths and over half-a-million tests conducted across the country thus far.