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With COVID-19 bringing most live music in South Africa to a screeching halt over the past 18 months, many artists have been left without a steady income. Leading payment solutions provider, Netcash, and AMP, one of South Africa’s premium live music event promoters, have stepped into the breach by hosting intimate virtual lounge sessions where leading musicians play for corporate audiences.
We’re passionate music fans and supporters of South African musicians at Netcash. Our Netcash Lounge Sessions have been a great way to create wonderful, shared memories for our team. Until we can safely go back to live events again, supporting virtual events is a great way for businesses to keep the flame of South African music alive and continue to support our local music industry.
Curated by AMP’s Andrew Mac Pherson (Andy Mac), these online experiences offer audiences starved of live entertainment an opportunity to hear performances by their favourite local music artists, while letting the musicians earn income and do what they love – playing in front of an audience, albeit in a more informal setting.
Says Andy Mac – frontman of Flat Stanley and owner of AMP who has brought events and bands like The Cure, Pixies, Live, Kings of Chaos and The Dire Straits Experience to South Africa: “Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have shared stages with most major South African music artists as a member of Flat Stanley. I’ve gone on to be able to book many of them for our AMP festivals and events either as headliners or as support acts for the international touring artists. When COVID-19 hit, it completely devastated our industry.”
These online events have been a fulfilling way to help my musician friends during these times. The format works extremely well, letting the audience see and experience a different side of their favourite artists, who may be playing out of their lounge or home studio. They not only get to hear great live music, but also to interact with the artists and get to know them a little better. The intimacy of the shows is something special that people will always remember.
Over the past year, AMP has hosted virtual experiences for many leading South African companies, featuring performances from the likes of Majozi, Donovan Copley (Hot Water), Ard Matthews (Just Jinjer), Matthew Mole, Goodluck, Early B, Ross Learmonth (Prime Circle), Diamond Thug, Jethro Tait, Richard Brokensha, Paige Mac, Richard Stirton and many more.
I can’t express enough how awesome and important doing these shows was. Not only did they give me some income during difficult times, but they also gave me an appreciation for art and human interaction. Even through a screen, it does powerful things – not only through the creator of the art, but to the recipients too. We need more initiatives like this, especially now, to help artists and to uplift people’s spirits.
At the end of 2019, as I was preparing for a three-month European theatre tour, little did I know what was coming. Having no gigs to look forward to and a world that had completely turned upside down, left my entertainment industry colleagues and I in a challenging state. It takes initiatives, like this one from Netcash, to give a sense of hope to the entertainment community. Without their input I might have put down my guitar and given up. We had some incredible shows with Netcash and AMP, which left everyone feeling positive about the future. Their support to the musicians has been a saving grace during these extremely tough times.
Are you looking for a way to build team morale or entertain clients during this time of social distancing?
Andy Mac and the AMP Events team can arrange a virtual lounge session for your business featuring your choice of artists from a diverse roster of household names. Find out more by clicking here
Established in 2003, Netcash is a payment solutions provider delivering debit orders, salary and creditor payments, Pay Now, eCommerce, and risk report services to South African businesses and organisations. The company provides multiple innovative and integrated online payment solutions that are efficient, simple, and cost efficient. Netcash is registered with the FSCA, PASA and is PCI DSS Level 1 compliant.