Fifa have announced that a major concert will take place in celebration of the kick-off of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The ceremony will take place the evening before the first soccer game on June 10 at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto.

The concert will be a three-hour celebration of sports and music, including major international and local performers and appearances by legendary soccer stars.

The announcement heralded Emmy-award winning producer Kevin Wall and his company Control Room winning the contract as the organisers for the event.

They have previously orchestrated events such as Live-8 and Live Earth.

The concert will be broadcast in over 192 countries, which will make this single-handedly the largest broadcast entertainment special in history with over a billion viewers tuning it. The live concert will be seen by about 50 000 people.

Wall said: “I feel honoured about the concert and obviously there is a lot of pressure but we’ve done these very complex shows around the world before and we’re up for it. We want this place to rock!”

“We’ve been asked to do a lot of special projects in my career, and this is a challenge that we immediately said yes without any thinking. Firstly because it’s the World Cup and especially because is it in South Africa, it is a pinnacle of my career.”

Commenting on the reasoning behind Fifa’s choice to host the concert, Wall said: “I think for years now Fifa has thought about the connection between music and football. Around the world people at stadiums sing soccer chants to rev the audience up, and of course in South Africa you use a vuvuzela.”

While Wall was careful not to reveal any names, he hinted that performers will definitely be on the level of artists with the kind of thrust that singer Beyonce holds.

“We’re talking to a lot of artists of that size. We spent the last couple of weeks going across the world meeting with performers. First and foremost this must be an African event and thus it must have South African performers (new and established). We want to highlight African music throughout the entire event and we want the international stars to collaborate and support this effort.”

The next step for the company is to confirm the local and international artists and Wall stressed that collaborations between these artists is what will be encouraged. The line-up is yet to be announced.

Currently, the company is in contact with South African companies for their creative vision, and well as working on securing network coverage and global sponsorships. Wall said: “We’re meeting with creative teams in SA now, looking at storyboards about what themes we will be going with.”

Wall said about the choice of the Orlando Stadium: “The first game is in Johannesburg and the Soweto stadium is only a couple of miles from Soccer City. Soweto has its own history around the world as being really famous and an event like this has never been produced there before, so it really was a no-brainer.”

Money raised by the event will go to the 20 Centres for 2010 charity, aimed at building centres for health, education and football in Africa.

AUTHOR: Atiyyah Khan
DATED: 8th October 2009