This Sunday, the 11th of June, Sugar Rush Park in Ballito was the place to be as fans came from far and wide to listen to the fresh and melodic sounds of one of South Africa’s favourite bands: Freshlyground. Led by the unmistakable sounds of Zolani Mahola’s vocals, the popular band brought their Afro soul, blues and jazz vibes to a typically warm and sunny KZN winter’s day in Ballito.
North Coast locals mingled with friends in the sunshine and enjoyed quality time with family on the open grassy lawns at Sugar Rush Park. A fully supervised kiddies zone provided ample entertainment for the little ones, while everyone got to listen to some of the best musical talent South Africa has to offer, and savour the great variety of food and beverages on offer.
Gary Nixon and Rudi Greyvenstein of The Kickstands, with guest vocalist Dani Foster, got the crowds going with their energetic acoustic tunes – the perfect sound for the perfect setting.
The Marriott Ballito Beats Music Series offers the North Coast community an opportunity to see award-winning bands like Mango Groove last month and now Freshlyground this past weekend, perform right in their very own backyard – adding a whole new level of family entertainment to the Ballito social scene.
In 2005, Freshlyground was nominated for three South African Music Awards for their 2004 album, Nomvula. Although they won no SAMAs that year, in 2008 the Recording Industry of South Africa awarded them the coveted Best Duo or Group SAMA. In the same year, their 2007 album Ma’ Cheri won the prestigious Album of the Year SAMA, as well as Best Adult Contemporary Album: English, and Best Engineer. At the 2006 MTV Europe Music Awards in Copenhagen, Freshlyground became the first South African musical act to receive honours from MTV, when they received the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act. At the 2008 Channel O Music Video Awards, the band received the “Best Africa, Southern” accolade for their single “Pot Belly”.
“We’re passionate about music, and we make strategic decisions when it comes to who we get to play at these concerts.” Says Stu Berry, Ballito Beats Series Director. “We’ve watched as Ballito has grown both in size and popularity and after last month’s concert with Mango Groove, we have witnessed first-hand how dedicated the Ballito people are to fun and entertainment; no matter the weather. We are thrilled with the turnout from this weekend’s show. Freshlyground were real crowd pleasers; bringing unique music, theatre and charm to Ballito.”
All Marriott Ballito Beats concerts will take place on a Sunday afternoon, with gates opening at 1pm. Fans can look forward to another South African favourite on the 17th of September when The Parlotones come to Ballito, and again on the 29th of October when rock legends Ard Matthews and Arno Carstens pair up on stage for an intimate session. For more information visit www.ballitobeats.co.za