Mini-Feature: The Day South Africa United in Music

Next week marks the 36th anniversary of a landmark event in South African musical history, the concert held to benefit Operation Hunger at Ellis Park (Johannesburg) in 1985. What made it so important is that it was the first time that the stringent apartheid laws were ignored and 125,000 multi-racial fans took the chance to celebrate our country’s diverse musical talent in a 12-hour festival that went off without a hitch, no violence (except for the vocalist of USA band Feather Contol being hit on the head by a bottle – a statement against non-local music methinks), and a wake-up call that the youth had had quite enough of being told what to think, what to believe and what music to listen to.