Having organised several outdoor music events in the greater Ballito region over the past few years, I have come to realise that there is a better than average chance of rain falling when you really don’t want it to. Such was the case over the past weekend when Mango Groove came to Ballito to headline the first in a series of concerts under the auspices of the Marriott Ballito Beats programme.
The rain was so heavy and unrelenting that I was convinced that no one would venture out, despite the organisers having arranged to cover the venue at the last minute. I was wrong – over a thousand concert goers filled the giant tent in homage to one of South Africa’s best loved and longest running acts. Since their first iconic multi-platinum release in 1989, Mango Groove has gone on to become a household name in South Africa.
In an illustrious career, spanning nearly 30 years, Mango Groove has sold over one million albums in South Africa alone, and in terms of airplay across all radio and TV stations, continues to be an act that truly reaches the hearts of all South Africans.
Mango Groove has enjoyed over twelve number 1 hits, including such classics as Dance Some More, Moments Away, Another Country and Special Star, and many others. They have set new precedents for all South African artists, being the only South African group to sell out the Superbowl and the Standard Bank Arena 6 times each.
This multi-platinum-selling band was the first to re-define live staging and production standards for domestic acts; the first to command a million-rand sponsorship deal, and were the first and only group to remain at the top of the South African National Sales Chart for over a year.
Internationally, Mango Groove’s unique and magical blend of South African marabi, kwela and pop influences, together with the voice and presence of Claire Johnston has captivated audiences around the world.
Highlights of their career include the direct satellite link- up to the Freddie Mercury tribute in London (to an estimated audience of a billion people); their performance in front of 200 000 people at the Paris “SOS Racism” concert; and their performance at the renowned Montreux Jazz festival where the band received 3 encores. From London to Hong Kong to Toronto to Sydney, the band has played to sell- out crowds…
Mango Groove was featured in the ABC worldwide broadcast of Nelson Mandela’s release where their music was used as the main theme. A few years later they headlined at his inauguration. They have recently headlined Oppikoppi and Rocking The Daisies and Splashy Fen and continue to draw thousands of fans to shows around the country.
Not even the most torrential deluge could deter fans who flocked to Ballito on Sunday – and they were not disappointed.
The concert was an absolute joy and an event that will long be remembered by all who were there.
The Marriott Ballito Beats series is now in full swing with Freshly Ground getting ready to head this way for their concert on June 11th. Stay close to Radio Life & Style 88.0 FM for details.
We’ll see you there!