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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Organisers Of The Cape Town World Music Festival, Alain Ferrier & Ma’or Harris Chat About Upcoming Event

By Stella WaAfrika




The Cape Town World Music Festival is almost upon us, set for Mandela Day weekend, 18-19th July.
We were bitten by the #CTWMF2014 bug and couldn't help but dwell in the excitement around the upcoming event with an interesting diverse star-studded lineup.
Organizing a musical gathering of this caliber is no child's play hence why we had a chat with the brains behind the mothercity's most anticipated festival, Alain Ferrier and Ma’or Harris.

Ma' or Harris broke it down for us.


What inspired you to start a festival of such magnitude?

The painful absence of it. In short, to create the ultimate festival I would like to go to. I, being my group of friends, peers and myself who don’t have this musical ‘home’ in Cape Town. Also, the will to de-curify this City with something real that shows off a side of it’s identity that is often inaccessible in the City.


As organisers, what do you aim to achieve with such a diverse musical gathering?

A hunger for more. To create a platform that will become a desired destination for artists world wide. To show off our hunger for good music and support for local talent to the rest of the world.

On top of that we are trying to create a festival that is accessible to everyone. Tough to execute when you’re dealing with a new concept and sponsors that aren't keen on risks. In 2012 we did this by having a free stage outside the paid festival grounds and this year we have a ‘pay it forward’ ticket.

The lineup itself, we feel is unique in it’s polar styles and genres on display.


What elements attribute to this statement, 'Come for the familiar. Leave with something different'?

My Favorite. Come for the band you love, or even the one with the most hype but discover others. Leave with a new favorite band, with a new musical experience under your belt. Come to the festival with generic expectations and discover a new approach to a live music event.



Of what significance is it to you that CTWMF falls on Mandela Day weekend?
I think I covered this in an earlier question with our general attitude towards inclusiveness and the variety at the festival as well as our various charities. The significance of the day just illuminates the way we see Cape Town and South Africa every other day of the year.





Seeing as the event shifts away from the traditional festival model, what are the criteria used when selecting the lineup of artists?

Selecting the lineup is the easiest and most fun part of the festival organizing. Unfortunately our wish list is never ending. The bands we leave out, alone, make an entire lineup for a festival not less worthy. There are a bunch of us that year round throw names into the proverbial pot. As the festival gets closer we start sifting through the names making sure we cover all the styles and genres we feel can destroy the current interpretation of the term World Music.


What's the inspiration behind this year's theme, 'festival of lights’?

Audiences have experienced music around bonfires, held candles, matches, glow sticks, lighters, mobile phones and (begrudgingly) tablets in front of brightly lit stages. As light has evolved so has music, from the analogue to the digital. The Cape Town World music Festival does not only look into the diversity of global music we also take an interest in the evolution of traditional sound via technology. In keeping with our theme of light we decided to include lanterns designed by the insanely creative Heath Nash as well as other light instillations by other local creatives. I stole the copy from our website, it says it best.




Overall, what should any one attending CTWMF expect to walk away with?

What you get from a journey of discovery. To have learned about new artists, to have experienced the ones you know in a new engaging way, to find a new or increased love for local music and for Cape Town. To leave with that feeling after having an amazing fun weekend. We curate and plan the festival as an all encompassing event that will continue to entertain you while you’re listing and watching a concert as well as on your cigarette break or at the bar. Walk away satisfied.


A very big thank you to Candice Kennedy of Voice Factory Communications who made this interview possible.

We hope the festival will be off the hook and exceeds these two legends' expectations.

Grab your tickets at Computicket & www.ctwmf.com to avoid missing out on the action.

For more details regarding #CTWMF2014, follow them on twitter @CTWorldMusicFes.


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Stella is the founder of WaAfrikaOnline.  A Pan-African at heart, passionate about Africa, human rights, women empowerment and girl child education. She's also into broadcasting. 
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