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Alliance Française Street Music Festival reinvents itself

Jul 24, 2018
Alliance Française Street Music Festival reinvents itself

The organisers of the Alliance Française Street Music Festival in Richmond Hill, Port Elizabeth, have taken bold new steps to add exciting new elements to the existing activities at the festival in 2019.

The Alliance Française announced that due to the Director being away on maternity leave, the 2018 festival would not be taking place this year, but that they would focus on an enhanced Street Festival in 2019.

The new focus will include a major initiative to focus on diversity in the Metro and will include exciting initiatives to spark tourist activities that are authentic and unique to Nelson Mandela Bay.

The recent World Bank Report on Nelson Mandela Bay Metro observed that the Metro is still very racially divided and that new partnerships are needed to build social harmony and sustainable opportunities.

“We decided that the Alliance Française would accept the challenge and use the successful music Festival to build new partnerships,” says the organisation’s voluntary President Lizé-Marie Marais.

“We believe that our festival can extend its vision to a festival that encompasses all, and subtly prods our consciousness and connectedness while entertaining all of the communities of the Metro.”

The festival aims to provide a unique opportunity to inspire hope and diversity in Port Elizabeth and leave a lasting legacy.

The theme “Celebrating Diversity” will give a distinctive brand to the festival and an opportunity to make an impact on the broader Nelson Mandela Bay community. Executive Mayor Athol Trollip expressed his excitement that local organisations were joining the Metro in building a better future for its residents. 

“I am thrilled that the Alliance Française has accepted the challenge to make a difference. I am particularly encouraged by the vision to innovate the offerings to all our residents and visitors throughout the year and boost the earning abilities of our SMME’s.”

The festival changes have been conceptualised and will be implemented by prominent local event organisers, Magnetic Storm.  According to Shaun Van Eck, who will be heading up the event team, the theming will allow community activities to be run before the event and then climax at the festival.

“The creation of a Diversity Walk will give us the opportunity to create a unique and saleable angle for many tourism and community activities. The wares and activities will reflect the creation of a unique Nelson Mandela Bay theming and character that differentiates us from the rest of the country,” he said.

He was also happy that the restaurants in Stanley Street and surrounds that had been approached had indicated that they would support the run-up and main events.

New elements will include community chefs, photographers, clothing designers, crafters, buskers and artists. Festival-goers will also have the opportunity to express themselves through social media and Instagram posting that will be carried on a big screen, and graffiti boards. They will also have the opportunity to post their own selfies as part of designs created for the event.

The Alliance Française has acknowledged that the festival will be missed in 2018 but believe that it is the right decision, as it is vital to ensure that they present a better festival every time it takes place.