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Kip Moore, Zac Brown Band to Headline Inaugural Cape Town Country Festival in South Africa: Exclusive

Mr. Nimbus | 02/13/2024

Spurred by Kip Moore‘s massive touring success in Cape Town and Pretoria last year, South Africa is set to launch what organizers are calling one of the largest country music festivals outside of the United States.


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Kip Moore and Zac Brown Band will headline the Cape Town Country Festival on Oct. 26-27 at Cape Town’s 60,000-capacity DHL Stadium, which has previously hosted concerts from stars like U2, Foo Fighters, Mariah Carey, Rhianna and Justin Bieber.

“I absolutely love Africa and try to visit every year,” Zac Brown said in a statement. “We’re so excited that we get to perform at South Africa’s first-ever country music festival in October.” 

The lineup also highlights American musicians including Darius Rucker, Brothers Osborne, Cam, James Johnston, Morgan Wade and Craig Morgan, as well as 10 local South African artists including Ricus Nel, Riaan Benade, Demi-Lee Moore, Juan Boucher, Appel, Ruhan du Toit, Brendan Peyper, Ivan Roux, West and Cheree. Additionally, Roan Ash, who moved to Nashville in 2022, will return to his hometown for the inaugural festival.

Wimpie van der Sandt of Heroes Events, who is also a DJ at BOK Radio, is producing the Cape Town Country Festival, with Red Light Management’s Gaines Sturdivant, one of Moore’s managers, serving as an executive consultant.

Moore’s headlining slot on the festival follows his successful trio of shows in Cape Town and Pretoria in 2023, where Moore sold 44,000 tickets. Van der Sandt was also instrumental in bringing those shows to South Africa.

The origins of Moore’s involvement with the festival and in building his audience in South Africa reach back to 2020 when Van der Sandt was introduced to Moore’s second studio album, 2015’s Wild Ones. Van der Sandt put Moore’s song “Heart’s Desire” on the radio during primetime hours.

“He said it caught like wildfire and people started calling and emailing trying to figure out who it was,” Moore tells Billboard via phone. “Then he did a deep dive into all my records and started playing lots of album cuts that I’ve always wanted to be singles, like ‘That Was Us’ and ‘The Bull.’ We had hits over there that we never even played live, like ‘Hey Old Lover’ and ‘Tennessee Boy.’ So when we played in South Africa, it was unlike anything I’d ever felt from a crowd. It was magical. And it was all from this one guy taking a chance and spinning my records.”

“The idea [for Cape Town Country Festival] was born from the success we had with Kip. We knew the synergy between South African music and country music — that wasn’t a surprise,” Van der Sandt tells Billboard. “When we saw the success we had with Kip, we knew we had a market. In South Africa, on our radio stations, they are used to Don Williams and Kenny Rogers, older country music. There’s not a lot of radio stations that play country music. We sort of introduced them to the new country and it took off. There were a lot of people that were skeptical about it, and didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Moore adds, “The beauty of what Wimpie did is that he doesn’t have any gatekeepers he has to get through. If he decides he likes something, he’ll roll the dice, take a chance and play it. He’s a true music lover. He’s a prime example that radio can still lead the way — they don’t have to just find out what’s streaming and follow it.”

Moore worked with Van der Sandt and Sturdivant on imagining the lineup. “I brought up Brothers Osborne — because I felt like if people were responding to what I’m doing, they’ll respond to Brothers Osborne. Darius Rucker has played in South Africa before. I said I loved the rawness in Morgan Wade’s voice,” Moore says, noting their previous collaboration, “If I Was Your Lover,” and imagining that they might perform the song together during the festival. “We’re super excited about shining a light on South African artists.”

The festival further evolves Moore’s touring success in the area as well as the vital scene of both country music fans and artists in South Africa. In 2023, Apple Music launched the country music competition series My Kind of Country, which highlighted international competitors. Nearly half of the competitors — including the competition’s eventual winner — hailed from South Africa. Moore says that he and his fest co-organizers are “super excited about shining a light on South African artists.”

Van der Sandt tells Billboard that they have a three-year agreement with the venue, with aims toward making the festival an annual event, on the scale of country music festivals such as Europe’s C2C: Country 2 Country festival and the Tamworth Country Music Festival in New South Wales, Australia.

Tickets for the event go on sale Feb. 16 at, and will include special payment plans, allowing attendees to purchase tickets and pay over three, six or eight months.

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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