Coke Fest all set to rock Joburg

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Johannesburg - The Coca-Cola Zero Fest, which kicks of on Friday at 10:30am, is set to rock Johannesburg.

The Joburg leg of the debut Coke Fest has been moved from the Newmarket Racecourse in Alberton to Riversands Farm in Fourways "due to unpredictable weather conditions" in that area.

"The move comes as a consequence of extensive rain that Gauteng has experienced in recent weeks. Moving the Johannesburg venue allows organisers to better accommodate the needs of this massive [event]," according to the Coke Fest website.

Concertgoers who have already purchased tickets should not despair as those tickets are still valid at Riversands Farm, reported

Parking will be available onsite and revellers are advised to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and long queues.

In addition, the organisers - which include Coca-Cola, 5FM and Big Concerts - have warned that concertgoers will be immersed in banging drums, hoarse voices and slamming guitars, all of which could lead to hearing loss.

Other factors to consider are flashing strobe lights, exposure to smoke, steam or special effects; sunburn, heat stoke or dehydration; injury or distress as a result of overcrowding, crushing or stampeding.

However, because fun is the object, the organisers have searched the planet, screened hundreds of bands and will host a "stellar line-up that includes global heavyweights".

Expected to be a 12-hour adrenaline-fuelled music marathon, the Coca-Cola Zero Fest will feature hard-hitting rock, thumping techno beats, electro-pop and funk.

There will be 11 drum kits, electric guitars, 1 500 audio channels and a sound system pounding out more than 100 000 watts of sound.

There will also be 240 000 tons of steel, 750 000 lights, 3 000 staff, 250 000 Coca-Cola Zero cans at 210 bar counters and 64 draught taps, which will be manned by 300 barmen who will serve an estimated 60 000-strong crowd thousands of litres of Coke Zero, beer, cider and spirit coolers.

On the bill is the multiple award-winning American rock band, Panic! at the Disco and Northern Irish/Scottish band Snow Patrol.

"We're happy with our success. It almost feels like we've been given a second life, like we're born-again," said Ronnie Winter, the band's lead vocalist, guitarist and percussionist.

"We're taking this very seriously because we want to blow people away. We're just playing cooler music."

The festival's headline act is Britain's Oasis, composed of songwriter, lead guitarist and occasional vocalist Noel Gallagher, his brother Liam, the singer, Gem Archer the guitarist, bassist Andy Bell and the drummer Chris Sharrock.

Since catapulting to superstardom in 1991, Oasis has sold over 50-million records worldwide, which have earned them four MTV Europe Music Awards, 15 NME Awards, five Brit Awards and nine Q Awards. The band's seventh studio offering Dig Out Your Soul was released in October last year.

"Oasis is a legendary band that many of our listeners grew up listening to and their live performance is sure to be spectacular. Snow Patrol and Panic! at the Disco have both had and continue to have chart success on 5FM," notes 5FM station manager, Helen Graham.

Scheduled to fuel the local line-up is Zebra and Giraffe alongside The Dirty Skirts, One day Remains, Foto NaDans and SAMA award winning Cassette.

Organisers say that alcoholic beverages, banners or flags that might incite racial hatred or that contain discriminatory remarks or offensive content, explosives, musical instruments, professional cameras, video recording or sound equipment, weapons and animals will not be allowed into the venue.

Any item that might be deemed dangerous, disruptive, offensive or likely to compromise safety and security will be prohibited from the venue and if found, will be confiscated.

As is the Coke Fest tradition, organisers will make an effort to keep it green, and aim to have a 95 percent landfill diversion. Recycling kiosks and bins will be placed around the venue.

Tickets have been priced at R299 for students with student cards, R375 for general admission and R600 for golden circle.

The public can book through any Computicket outlet countrywide, at its customer call centre on 083 915 8000, or on its website.