After months of anticipation, festivities in Nelson Mandela Bay will start in all earnest when the FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert in Soweto is screened live at the FIFA Fan Fest at St George’s Park on Thursday evening.
According to David Limbert, deputy director of the FIFA Fan Fest in Port Elizabeth, the event is in effect also the official opening of the FIFA Fan Fest in the city.
He said locals and visitors would be able to watch the concert – where international artist Shakira and South African group Freshlyground will perform the official anthem, “Time for Africa”, live for the first time – on what they believed to be the biggest screen in the country.
Limbert said the screen, which was shipped in by FIFA, took an entire day to construct and measures 75 square metres. “As far as we know, it was last used during the recent Winter Olympics in Vancouver (Canada).”
He said the FIFA Fan Fest infrastructure enabled them to bring the concert “live” to PE, which was a “fantastic opportunity”. The venue accommodates 25 000 people.
Apart from Shakira and Freshlyground, the bill also includes artists such as Alicia Keys, John Legend, the Black Eyed Peas, Juanes, Hugh Masekela and Angelique Kidjo.
The supporting programme runs from 5pm to 7.30pm with formalities between 7.30pm and 8pm. Broadcast of the live concert is scheduled for 8pm to 11pm.
Limbert said the gates at the Duckpond Pavilion and at the main entrance in Park Drive would open at 5pm and the public could make use of the designated parking area at the Olympic Sports Club.
He warned that there would be search areas en route to the turnstiles. “Basically, don’t bring weapons, food or drinks and don’t arrive under the influence.”
Limbert confirmed that entrance would be free on Thursday as well as on match days.
The public can join the official Facebook group (www.facebook.com/NMB2010) to keep abreast of the latest developments.
CAPTION: Fraser Kerr (Media Tech) and David Magowan (Magnetic Storm) in front of the big screen on which the FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert will be screened. Photo: Full Stop Communications
Full Stop Communications
On behalf of:
FIFA Fan Fest & Magnetic Storm