Multiple award-winning music icons Ludacris, Ne-Yo, Mi Casa & Shaggy to get PE pumping


INTERNATIONAL superstars Ne-Yo, Shaggy, Ludacris and Protoje will join Shoelace and three-time SA Music Award winners Mi Casa for the first MBay Mega Fest at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on June 2

 This spectacular line-up of South African and international music talent is set to position PE as a significant player on the country’s festival circuit, while providing a much-needed boost to the Eastern Cape economy.

This all-day festival, starting at 10am, will feature non-stop entertainment across two stages. The headline acts will dazzle the crowds on the main stage with essential grooves ranging from reggae and house to R&B and rap, while the secondary stage will host an electrifying array of local DJs and artists from the region to keep the party pumping. 

The MBay Mega Fest is being staged by newcomers to the music scene Zeranza (Pty) LTD.

Triple Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo has taken the music world by storm over the past seven years, after penning Mario’s smash hit single Let Me Love You. Ne-Yo has since gone on to earn acclaim in his own right, with a number of multi-awarded albums spawning hits such as So Sick, Sexy Love, Because of You, Closer, Mad and Miss Independent.

Rapper and actor Ludacris has won three Grammy awards (with a mammoth 17 nominations) as well as a Screen Actors Guild award and three MTV video awards. He has notched up several hit singles from his multi-platinum-selling albums, including Southern Hospitality, What’s Your Fantasy, Stand Up, Splash Waterfalls, Money Maker and Runaway Love. He is due to release his eighth studio album, Ludaversal, during 2012.

Jamaican-American reggae singer and rapper Shaggy remains an enduring favourite with a broad cross-section of audiences. Over the past 20 years he has notched up global hits with tracks such as Oh Carolina, Boombastic (his album of the same name won a Grammy), It Wasn’t Me and Angel. Over the past few years Shaggy has embarked on cross-cultural collaborations with the likes of Japanese reggae artist Iecca, Balkan group Sahara and Egyptian star Tamer Hosny.

Jamaican singer-songwriter Protoje (aka Oje Ken Ollivierre) is a rising star on the reggae scene, whose debut album The Seven Year Itch spawned the single Rasta Love featuring Ky-Mani Marley, one of Bob Marley’s sons. The album reached the top five in Canada, the USA and France in 2011.

The South African acts on the bill include sensational soul house trio Mi Casa, fresh from their astounding victory at the 18th annual South African Music Awards, during which they picked up a phenomenal three trophies – for Best Duo or Group, Best Dance Album and the highly coveted Record of the Year for the single These Streets, which was voted for by the music-loving public. Singer/composer Joao da Fonseca hails from the Eastern Cape region.

Shoelace Rockazsoul is a five-piece band based in Motherwell, Nelson Mandela Bay, and comprising members Ndumiso Ntantiso, Zusakhe Gysman, Mvuzo Mnyaka, Xola Kulati and Sinoxolo Mbuthuma. Over the past year they have grown from a little-known rock group to a nationally renowned act that has opened for the likes of Usher, Jamali, Danny K and Uju. They won a Standard Bank Encore Award at the 2011 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and have been finalists in various talent-search competitions.

Emerging house music artist Bucie has all the makings of a superstar – beauty, talent, amazing vocal ability and personality – and the title of her latest album, Princess of House, signals this dynamic singer-songwriter’s firm intention to rule the genre.

Audiences can also look forward to seeing DJ/producer/remixer Eltonnick on the decks – undoubtedly one of the rising stars of the local house community. Port Elizabeth-born vocalist Naak MusiQ – who collaborated on Eltonnick’s hit single Move, which reached number one on Fresh and Euphonik’s show on 5fm and on Oskido’s show on Metro FM – will also be performing.

Also on the bill are talented Eastern Cape-based DJs Mtira, Kasta, Baba D, Cute, Spectrum and Master Jam.

“Port Elizabeth is a sophisticated music-supporting market and offers world-class infrastructure, and by hosting the MBay Mega Fest we are hoping to put the Friendly City firmly on the map as a destination of choice for large international festivals of this nature,” said Andrea Wessels, festival director and CEO of Zeranza SA, the independent PE-based events management company that is staging the event.

“Our aim is to decentralise large festivals of this nature from the usual major urban areas in South Africa, and bring major national and international acts to emerging cosmopolitan centres such as PE,” she added.

“We are also committed to contributing toward job creation and stimulating the GDP of the local economy with this annual celebration of music. With gold-standard international and local acts and top-drawer production values, we’re looking forward to an all-day party to remember!”

In keeping with the promoters’ commitment to supporting business in the province, the event production management team includes several PE-based companies. Joburg-based festival production company Mushroom Productions, which has extensive experience working with major international artists and festivals, will provide production services for the main stage.


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