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With a change in venue, the Soweto Festival promises to expand its offerings, with a strong focus on youth. There will be plenty to do, say organisers.
THE Soweto Festival is moving to a new venue this year – the annual bash will be held at the Johannesburg Expo Centre and it promises to be bigger and better than ever before.


Focus is on youthFocus is on youthPreviously held at the University of Johannesburg Soweto Campus, the festival is in its seventh year. This year it will run from 23 to 25 September.

The new venue will enable new activities, according to the organisers, Adele Lucas Promotions.

“This [the move] has become necessary due to the expansion of the event, and the need to offer activities which our former venue, the UJ Soweto Campus, could not accommodate,” says Tom MacCafferty, a sales manager at Adele Lucas Promotions.

There will be a stronger focus on youth this year, alongside fashion, interior decorating, health and beauty. And there will be a fashion show featuring local designers and models.

MacCafferty says the emphasis will be on providing the youth with motivation and career information, “blended with fun and all the irresistible elements of youth culture, including their favourite brands in clothing, accessories, hi-tech and much more”.

But the rest of the family has not been left out, with a range of activities to cater for them.

Consumer exhibition
About 200 exhibition stands will offer consumers a first-class range of goods and services. Halls nine and 10 will host indoor exhibitions; there will also be outdoor exhibitions. On show will be furniture, technology, community projects, non-governmental organisations, art, property and much more.

Large and small organisations from various sectors will be able to market themselves at the festival.

Adele Lucas Promotions and Gauteng City Region Academy, a wing of the department of education, will organise the entertainment over the two days, which will include a mix of music, theatre and visual arts. Punters will also be able to meet established and rising stars.


There is music galoreThere is music galoreOn the entertainment side, visitors will get to see a variety of artists, from street performers to big names such as gospel singer Deborah Fraser. Most genres of music will be heard, to cater for all tastes.

Aspiring hip-hop groups will be able to participate in the Beat the Best Hip-Hop Competition to find the best group in the province. ETV will also bring along its promotional road show for the first time.

Sportswise, 150 soccer teams will compete in the main arena, each day of the festival from 10am to 4pm. The competition, a partnership with Interactive Sport, will have three categories of entries: schools, an open and a corporate event.

Not far from the main arena, the Castle Beer Garden – sponsored by the South African Breweries – will provide refreshments.

The Soweto Festival is the township’s principal event. It brings together businesses, small, medium and micro enterprises, youth, community organisations, consumers and Sowetans.

“The festival provides a vehicle for business in Soweto, South Africa’s largest township,” says MacCafferty.

It is driven by a mission to contribute to the long-term development of the economy and community of greater Soweto.

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