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Social media has been running wild with speculations about who is to blame for the monumental failure of Tribe One festival.

Who is really to blame and what is the next step? Canceled or postponed? What about all the money that has been wasted?

Here is an exclusive look into the facts behind the debacle.

This article is brought to you by Buisness Recorder.

The media seems to be skipping a lot of information deliberately. From the day TribeOneFestival was cancelled, there has been less interest to really understand what transpired and what the grand scheme of things was. More of sensational, pop-journalism where headlines seem to be the whole story. Opportunists are springing up, left right and centre. There are genuine stake holders being completely sidelined in this whole debacle that is the Residents of Tshwane, Cullinan and service providers.

Was Dinokeng Tribe One festival a naïve project, approved without considering crucial factors?

From the in-depth interviews I have had with parties involved, had the project succeeded as did Redbull Xfighters and the just ended Aviation and Aero Defense Exhibition, this would have been a totally different story.

In July, Sony Music Entertainment Africa’s Managing Director Sean Watson was quoted saying ‘It’s an exciting moment for us. The first talent announcement is the launch of a unique event (Tribe-One-Fest) that no music lover should miss out on. This much incredible talent over three glorious spring days in the most glorious African setting is more than worth leaving home for. Its epic.’

Was R65Million Really lost through Dinokeng?

No, that is not true. Infrastructure development is permanent. R40m is the cost of the infrastructure development and this is going to benefit the community. There is already a community next to the plot developed to become Dinokeng Events Theme Park. Part of the plot will also have serviced stands, to be used for human settlements, over 2000 households are set to benefit. The Mayor of Tshwane was interviewed on record through Radio702, where he mentioned the City’s vision. Dinokeng Events Theme Park is part of the City’s Vision 2055. The plot was developed to host a variety of outdoor events, not just the 3 days Dinokeng Tribe One Festival, further stimulating the economy of the region beyond the 3 day festival.

Who was behind TribeOne Festival?

Sony Music Entertainment South Africa’s MD Sean Watson is the one who introduced the concept to the City of Tshwane. TribeOne Festival was the brainchild of Rockstar4000, who then did a Joint Venture with Sony Entertainment. As much as Jandre Louw, CEO of TribeOne Festivals and ROCKSTAR4000 is quiet, he knows that at some point, he will have to answer crucial questions, some of which we are raising here.

BIG QUESTION: One is left to wonder if it is true that two of Sony Music directors are shareholders of Rockstar4000, does this mean there was conflict of interest? We cannot confirm this as an online DTI-company registrations search proved fruitless.

Why has Sony Music not spoken on the matter??

At the time of writing this opinion piece, BusinessRecorder contacted The Group Head of Sony: Doug Morris and CFO of Sony, Kevin Kelleher with pertinent questions. Both are yet to respond.

What was the role of City of Tshwane?

The City of Tshwane was the official Host City of the TribeOne Dinokeng festival. South African Tourism and Gauteng Tourism were the official Global Tourism Partners. Power Horse was the official energy drink of TribeOne Festival 2014. Event organisers were Sony Music Entertainment and Rockstar4000 as a joint venture.

How Many Artists Were Performing?

As much as there has been much focus we are focusing on Nicki Minaj, Kid Ink, Macklemore and J Cole, according to the initial concept, posters and media releases, there were other 150 established artists and 150 upcoming artists that were billed to perform this festival. as per posters and media releases. This included a huge line-up of locals Kuli Chana, Mafikizolo, MiCasa, Liquid Deep, Karen Zoid, Desmond & the Tutus, Shortstraw, Tailor Kwesta, Samuel Miller, Rouge, The Dollfins, David & Goliath, Veranda Panda, New Academics, Lacey May, Beatenberg, Gang of Instrumentals, MXO & The Peppercorns, Royal K, Beat Army, Ricardo da Costa, Mark Stent, Lady Lea, Tommy D, Roger de Lux, House Hold Funk, and Kyle Watson.

From across the continent: Keko and Naava Grey (Uganda). Slap Dee, Winky D(Zimbabwe) , Zone Fam (Zambia). Daara J (Senegal). Redsan, Nameless, Xtatic and Jaguar (Kenya). Alikiba (Tanzania) and Namibian Music Award winning stars Gazza, Erna Chirmu, Elvis se Seun (Namibia). Ba’ponga (Gabon) and Hope (Burundi).

Why Cullinan?

Cullinan is a small town 30 km east of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa. Cullinan formed part of the Nokeng tsa Taemane Local Municipality until 18 May 2011 when this municipality was disbanded and it was incorporated into the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. There was not much development in the area, and there was need to create an environment that spins more economic activities to benefit the local communities.

#SideNote: Event organizers apparently were fascinated by the small town with a rich heritage as it had all the right characteristics. The organisers claimed they had been researching and developing the concept for about 5 years. And they wanted to develop a concept similar to Glasonbury (UK). They wanted Cullinan to become the home of this festival for the next 50 years.

What Went Wrong?

Firstly, the event organizers expected to host 100,000 people, but at beginning of Sept, the organizers had apparently sold only 4000 tickets (Truth is, their tickets were too expensive!) The TribeOne Dinokeng Festival was to be held from 26-28th September 2014, and they made an announcement regarding the cancellation of the event, with a week and 2 days to go! Had they sold enough tickets?

Speak to anyone you know, they will not have known about the festival, and the organiser’s obligations included marketing and promoting the festival. For argument’s sake, the festival has seen more marketing when it got cancelled than it did the whole year since the agreement was signed.

What could have been the benefits?

The Community of Tshwane was the preferred suppliers of services. Many jobs were created during the preparation of land.

The city supported the festival because of the local economic benefits and legacy programme the festival promised. A percentage of the gate takings were to be ploughed back into the Music academy that was to be built in Cullinan and would create jobs for the community.

The city had stressed upon the organisers that they needed to ensure local vendors and suppliers were appointed in order to create jobs and further stimulate economic activity in the sleepy town of Cullinan.

Why cancel instead of Postponing?

In their official media statement on the 17th of Sept, City of Tshwane stated “It is with regret that the City of Tshwane advises that the much-anticipated Dinokeng TribeOne music festival which was due to take place from 26 to 28 September 2014 in Dinokeng, Cullinan, is in jeopardy owing to the event organiser’s intention to cancel the staging of the event.

The event organisers have sent us the notification letter to cancel the event, but the City is challenging the decision in court. Although the City has, in good faith, supported the festival by providing a venue for the festival, installing the necessary infrastructure, and making an agreed financial contribution, the City recently learnt with shock of the event organiser’s’ ( led by Sony Music Entertainment Africa) unilateral decision not to proceed with the staging of the mega music festival.

The organisers had chosen an open space which had no infrastructure whatsoever for the venue, and requested the City to develop roads, install water supply and electricity and prepare the stage area, all of which the City delivered. “

The writer of this opinion piece can independently confirm that infrastructure was in place as of 17 September 2014. We can confirm that infrastructure was delivered! But did the organizers also meet their obligations? If the answer is yes, why did they cancel the event instead of postponing? This also leaves me with another question, DID THEY REALLY RESEARCH THIS EVENT for 5 Years?

The Future Of Dinokeng Events Theme Park ( Cullinan)

The City of Tshwane says they are convinced that the Dinokeng Festival concept is a great idea that it wants to pursue this into the future.

What are event organizers saying?

It’s a pity event organizers don’t seem to be committed and accountable, as they should be condemning such behavior displayed by Rockstar4000. Cities should be encouraged to find projects and events that help them deliver economic development and or destination marketing strategies, and this should be seen as one spoilt apple in a bag of good apples. We spoke to some organizers who have worked with City of Tshwane before and many other cities, and they say, this is rather more disturbing.

Where are the suppliers contracted by Rosckstar4000 for Dinokeng?

It seems there are more suppliers unhappy with the event organisers, claiming poor communication from the organizers but also many of them not paid for services rendered, what does that tell you?


This piece does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of

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