The Gariep Festival took the place of the Kimberley Show after it had closed its doors
BUSINESSMAN Somandla Sibisi, who has been the events organiser for the Diamond and Dorings jazz festival, intends to revive the Kimberley Show this year.
This follows last month’s announcement by the organisers of the Gariep Arts Festival that they would no longer be holding the event, after 18 years, due to a lack of funding.
The Gariep Festival took the place of the Kimberley Show after it had closed its doors.
Sibisi indicated that he would focus on using the platform of the Kimberley Show to showcase local talent and locally-produced products and arts and crafts.
“After noticing the huge outcry after the Gariep Festival announced that it would no longer be holding the event, I decided to bring back the Kimberley Show,” said Sibisi.
“Many members of the public are excited about the idea. I have spoken to a number of local artists who are keen to perform at the Kimberley Show.
“I also intend establishing entertainment rights partnerships so that we can bring in the entertainment rides and artists.”
Sibisi stated that he wanted to hold the event at the old Kimberley show grounds at around the same time that the Gariep Festival was usually held.
“There is ample parking and it is big enough to accommodate all the stalls without having to block off roads in town. I hope to attract up to 3 000 people to attend the event.
“Kimberley is only known for the Big Hole and diamonds, I want to bring a new dimension to put the city back on the map.
“Through the event a number of short-term jobs will also be created.”
Sibisi added that he did not intend to garner funding from provincial government or the municipality to hold the event.
“It should be self sustainable and an economic success without being dependent on state funding. I want to grow it so that people from all over the country come to the city.
“I noticed that bringing in international artists through the Diamonds and Dorings festival promoted and provided exposure to local artists and it’s something that I would like to introduce to the Kimberley Show.
“My three-year contract with Diamonds and Dorings is coming to an end this year, although I will be competing to have my contract renewed.”
Sibisi dismissed negative sentiments that he held the monopoly on cultural and entertainment events in the city.
“I don’t pay much attention to it as I am focused on local economic empowerment and uplifting the provincial economy.”