Cape Town, South Africa: following months of speculation by the public after the cancellation of Witchfest in 2016, local promoter Witchdoctor Productions have returned with guns blazing to announce a remedy in 2017 which aims to bring back some semblance of their mammoth 2015 festival.
Organizers say that Witchfest in 2017 will take the format of a national event. Instead of consolidating activities to a single city, the festival will now aim to serve South Africa’s two largest metal-friendly urban centers of Johannesburg and Cape Town; each city offering a night out of heavy metal bliss with the same international headliners, plus varying local support bands. Referencing a former guise of the festival concept where in 2006, Witchfest was also known as a traveling festival, we were told:
“We have decided to split Witchfest Open Air back into a roaming event, something we cant seem to get away from. We have always wanted a camping event, but so many venues have declined.” ~ Shaughn Pieterse (spokesperson, Witchdoctor Productions)
Whilst they have grudgingly accepted to sacrifice camping prospects for the event, a compromise that Witchdoctor Productions is not willing to make is their ambition for an open air experience, hence the recent re-brand to Witchfest Open Air.
The venues have been announced as Sundowners in Alberton, Johannesburg (best known also as the home of Krank’d Up music festival), and Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville, Cape Town (best known for the Table Mountain Blues Summit festival); both known and loved for their open air potential. A big part of the current decision is also focused towards making the opportunity to see rare performances by international entertainers more accessible and also affordable to a greater number of people:
“If you factor in the average spend and economical cost to a large percentage of our fans for a single-city event, it would alienate way too many people. Our pool of fans is limited as we are not mainstream. I trust that by scaling it down to two one-day events, it will allow more people the option to attend.” ~ Shaughn Pieterse
With venues now announced, early bird tickets have gone on sale via the Witchdoctor Productions website and/or Computicket. True Believer members are invited to contact their administrator for information on how to acquire tickets via membership. Line-up announcements are already unfolding with the bands Boargazm, SacriFist and Theatre Runs Red listed as following the festival to both cities.
“The future may offer new opportunities for the event; but for now, this model is a win situation for both us and the fans, as it is what makes the festival possible.” ~ Shaughn Pieterse
UPDATE: Cape Town venue has been moved to Paarden Eiland, The Shred spate park. Details as on event page.