The festive season is almost over and the new year will hopefully be a better one for the arts and entertainment sector.
We have in the past year learnt that we have to be more innovative than before the pandemic hit.
The formula for showbiz is completely different to what we have seen before, not the usual selling of tickets to make a profit and only relying on the ticket sales to sustain the show.
Artists, who have made it through this pandemic successfully, have realised that they have to do the back work with regards to sponsorship and investors and are now able to stage bigger productions.
They may not be doing runs of four or five weeks at a time, but they are doing shows that are sustainable.
The last two that we saw was Robin Pieters and Craig Lucas’ Jingle Ball.
It took place at the City Hall but Robin has made his name as a producer by finding the sponsors and investors, which then helps him to focus on the show.
This eliminates the worry of ticket sales, which then makes it much easier to sell in the end.
One of the biggest examples of this kind of growth is Loukmaan Adams, who we are all used to seeing in the lead role in musicals from the age of nine years old.
He has done the shift from performer to producer since he started on Culture Shock one year ago.
Loukmaan now has the itch to stage big shows and finds it more exciting to do the back work.
His last production, Unity on the Square, saw the biggest line-up of the festive season – from artists such as Jimmy Nevis and Alistair Izobell to comedians the likes of Carl Weber, Mel Jones and the klopse and the Malay choirs.
What Loukmaan has done with this event is present a showcase on the standard of the jazz festival in the midst of a pandemic.
So what does this tell us about the future of showbiz Cape Town?
In the New Year, you can less theatre runs and a lot more of these big shows, where artists work towards one big show.
However, Janu-worry is around the corner and of course it’s going to be difficult to do any shows because most people will try and save money during this period.
I would advise artists who are in need of work to head back to the online streaming scene because it costs less and the price for online audiences can also be lower.
Before Covid, January was always hard on the artists but at least now there is an alternative and some hope in the form of streaming.
I think if you apply the same search for sponsorship and investors to the Janu-worry scenario online, then perhaps it too can be as successful as the past few big live shows we have seen.
It is also comforting to know that the corporate sector in Cape Town is prepared to partner with our local artists, and it’s good to know that they realise the importance of assisting local artists at this time.
The real next big shows that the artists are now planning will be for Month of Love which of course is February, but if you do see any online shows taking place or being advertised online, do support them because they need it during this period.
I will myself will be hosting a show on New Year’s Eve on Facebook live, so keep an eye out for that one.
With that said, thank you all for your love shown to the arts community during this tough period.
I believe they survived only because of your continuous support.
May you all have a prosperous and beautiful New Year, inshallah ameen.