WE ARE ONE Music Festival is framed as an experience of “heritage, music and inevitably oneness”. Founders Tokoloho Booysen and Tshepang Mabizela explain that basing the festival on this idea came through reflecting on the fact that there are so many barriers in Johannesburg that divide people. Their intention was to create a platform that will allow people to engage with one another through music and other cultural experiences. “…the only way for us to [be] progressive and create the future we want is to band together, we need to develop a strong sense of community and we believe that comes by unity through diversity,” Tokoloho explains. He goes on to say that, “We [the festival] use music as a connecter because regardless of who you are, the music you like makes you feel a certain emotion and those emotions transcend genre.”
WE ARE ONE also intends to provide a space where emerging artists can share the stage with well-known musicians. “We represent a bubbling underground, so this festival needs to showcase an unknown industry made of blood, sweat and tears,” Tshepang explains. By doing this they are hoping to contribute to the expansion of the South African music industry and introduce audiences to new faces and new sounds. With the aim of giving artists the recognition they deserve, the festival presents opportunities for future headliners and shifts in the music scene while still appreciating artists who have been in the game for a while. Artists included in the lineup are FAKA, DJ Doowap, Gyre, Langa Mavuso, Nonku Phiri and Rhea Blek, just to name a few.
Outside of the music, there will also be food stalls, clothing stalls and a pop-up photographic exhibition to give attendees a well-rounded cultural experience. “We resonate with music but we know that music is not the only impactful art form, so fashion, visual artistry and food are art forms that can also help progressively push the artistic culture forward,” Tshepang states.
WE ARE ONE will be taking place at 1 Fox on 31 March 2018. To find out more about who will be performing and how to buy tickets visit their Facebook page.