Adding to its success, he said, was that it had created temporary jobs, boosted local accommodation establishments and had given local artists an opportunity to share a platform with national musicians.
“Seventy people got temporary jobs for promoting the event, car guarding and ushering. There were 32 street vendors. Food was reportedly sold out by all street vendors,” Madyo said.
Madyo said local businesses had received a massive boost.
“Port Alfred was very busy on the day – there were a lot of visitors who came in for the event,” Madyo said. “B&Bs and hostels were fully booked on the day. People even from other provinces came for this event. Madyo said 11 artists and 12 DJs plus the MC from Ndlambe FM brought the total number of Ndlambe performers to 24.
“National Artists Zahara, Master KG, Naak Musiq, Nomfundo Moh, Cairo, Bethusile Mcinga and DJ Ligwa were there,” Madyo said. “We had three national MCs.
Madyo thanked the event sponsors, Ndlambe Municipality, Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, Sarah Baartman District Municipality, Castle Lite and Distillers.
“Also, thank you to Lozar Entertainment and Master Piece from Ndlambe Municipality for ensuring everything was in place and for the coordination of the event,” he said.
Local hotels and restaurants backed up Madyo’s account with extensive testimonies.
River Hotels, Royal Guest House General Manager Leopold Goto wrote, “I would like to commend the organisers and the sponsors of Ecawa Music Festival for a job well done. We noticed a marked improvement in terms of organisation and the attendance was much better compared to the previous events.
“The event attracted lots of people from all over the Eastern Cape and our establishments benefited more from the influx of people who were visiting our shores. Both our B&Bs benefited immensely from the visitors who were coming to watch the show. We had a 100% occupancy with most of the visitors opting to stay for extra days after the event.”
“I therefore urge the powers that be to make this an annual event or even have the events of this magnitude twice per year,” said Goto. This is good for our little town’s economy and it also helps in putting our town out there as one of the tourist destinations of choice.”
Kowie Toyota staff member Geraldine Avis said, “We do show that there was an increase in fuel sales for December 24 2022 when comparing them to the sales of December 2021.”
The manager of Prestons liquor store in Port Alfred Terence Robinson said, “This letter serves to confirm that the Ecawa Music Festival that was held on the 24th of December 2022, resulted in extra feet [coming] into the store. It therefore follows those extra feet into town, benefits the businesses and keeps the tills ringing. There is a need to have entertainment in our town, that at the same time also boosts the economy and in turn results in employment.”
Wimpy Port Alfred representative Michael Wilcock said, “As a small business in a small tourist town we rely a lot on events throughout the year to draw more visitors. The Ecawa Music Festival is one of the larger events held in Port Alfred and every year it plays an important part in the success of the [holiday season] for our small town. The event held on 24th December 2022 definitely drew a lot of visitors from all over the country to our town and we saw very positive growth in sales compared to the previous years.
“The spinoff that this event has for the community, especially for the small businesses is necessary for our survival and more importantly for our growth in a difficult economy where every small business is struggling to make up for losses due to lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions of the past three years but also to grow in sustainable ways.”
Madyo said 7800 tickets were sold: 7600 general tickets and 200 VIP tickets. General tickets were sold for R120 and VIP tickets for R350 each.
Small business owner Bonani Momo said the number of SMMEs used to provide services at the event had grown from 15 in 2021 to 30 in December 2022.
“First of all let me commend the growth of the event compared to what it was in the past three years,” said Momo. “The number of attendees has grown. People got jobs. There were cleaners and marshalls during the event. As a small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) I commend them. There were about 30 SMMEs whereas in 2021 there were about 15. The event is growing in many different ways.
“When it comes to safety there are rumours that it was not 100% but I did not witness any criminal activity while I was there,” Momo said. “I am hoping to see more growth so that it can benefit more people,” he said.
Music fan Ayola Dickson said, “Yhoo! The Ecawa Music Festival was a nice event. I had the best night of my life starting from the performances and the vibe from the people. Socialising with free spirited people was heartwarming. I was in the VIP section and it was amazing.”
Ndlambe Municipality spokesperson Cecil Mbolekwa told Talk of the Town: “The success story of eCawa music festival is that it is a drawcard for young and old from all corners of the Eastern Cape – even nationally. The locals were excited with this annual event post Covid-19 and the sales from local shops were up.
“No criminal incidents were reported. The national artists remained after the event and this excited the local artists too.
“The accommodation establishment(s) reported a higher occupancy rate than before and this benefited all local businesses. This partnership with the event organiser promoted unity and teamwork with all relevant stakeholders involved.”
The Ecawa Music Festival event was hosted by Madyo’s Lutifusion Pty LtD.
“The event is growing each and every year, numbers are increasing. We are looking forward to this year’s event as we will be celebrating five years as the organisers,” he said.