We questioned Greg Walsh, the owner of G&G Productions about this festival (Ballito Big Week) and why it was so important for him to bring South Africa’s biggest stars to Ballito this December.
Published Thursday, 27 October 2022 07:38
G&G Productions are the organisers behind the popular rage festivals and work alongside the most creative talent South Africa and the world have to offer in music, DJs, audiovisual, theatre, technical productions and communications, creating the platforms that allow thousands of people to come together and unite around a common interest.
G&G Productions are also an agency that transforms brands, grows businesses and makes people’s lives better.
Thank you for taking the time out to chat with us.
Of course, please to meet you and discuss this exciting experience coming to the KZN North Coast.
Can you share with us how G&G Productions began, share a bit of history with our audience?
Gosh, you’re asking me to delve 20 years back into the memory banks! It all began in Cape Town in 2003. I was a student at UCT doing a business science degree with a life plan to secure a career in investment banking. I met Gareth Devore (incidentally through another long-time friend, Gareth Cliff) who became my business partner of 18 years. He was a well-known DJ on the Cape Town scene and was already putting together events in Cape Town across the U18 market, matric dance afterparty and seasonal party markets.
As a first year student, I was instantly fascinated with this world and what started as a friendship with Gareth grew into a partnership. I tried the investment banking world for 2 years but realised it wasn’t for me and swung back into events in 2007. From this point we put events first, as a career.
We built a business that produced globally renowned events and locally acclaimed festivals including Sensation, Armin Van Buuren, Armin Only, Rage Festival, Space Ibiza on Tour, The BMW M Festival, Ballito Street Party NYE festival, Official Durban Just Afterparty, international tours with Snoop Dogg, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Steve Aoki, Nervo, Roger Sanchez, Fisher and so many more. And now, Ballito BIG Week.
How did the idea for this year’s Ballito Big Week begin?
We have Ballito Rage. We build such a significant festival site and the economists in us figured surely there is some amazing economies of scale in leaving the site up and running a summer festival in the same region 2 weeks later.
Well, we were wrong. There are no economies of scale, quite the opposite, in fact. Leaving the site up that long is more expensive than we could have imagined.
Nevertheless, we were too far in by this stage and extremely excited nonetheless to bring something fresh to Ballito. The KZN north coast has very little quality entertainment over the Christmas – NY period and Ballito BIG Week will bring something of international quality to Ballito.
Our ambition is to have people of different backgrounds enjoying the wide variety of entertainment on offer at what is arguably South Africa’s biggest festival this December!
What can we expect for this year’s event?
A very BIG time. The main stage is something to behold. It’s built within a 70m x 30m dome with an 18m roof pitch with all the lighting and AV rigged over the audience. It’s a really stunning experience, conveniently it’s also very weatherproof. So come rain or shine, the party goes on uninterrupted. Our title sponsor Savanna and some of their partner brands from Distell are also coming to the party with some very experiential ideas. The Savanna Maze and main bar and Bernini Glam area for the audience will be particular highlights.
Come and see.
Why was it so important to bring some of SA’s biggest stars to Ballito this December?
As a company we don’t do small. The name BIG is very us. We do BIG shows, with BIG line-ups and ensure the audience has a BIG time. Also we believe that when provided with high quality experiences, people will be excited to come back year after year. Ballito BIG Week has a very long timeframe view. We’re not thinking just 2022 but rather looking at the first 5 years as the first sprint.
Some of the highlights include Black Coffee, Zakes Bantwini, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Sjava, Mango Groove, Gareth Cliff, Mafikizolo, Sun El Musician, Kasango, DJ Merlon, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Appel, Springbok Nude Girls, Wonderboom, GoodLuck and so many more.
How can bands/musicians/artists make submissions to perform at your events?
I’m sorry to say that the line-up is complete and we’re so far over budget I can’t remember where the budget even began. But for the future,
What are the requirements for applications?
Musicians that can really rock a crowd, who invest in themselves and believe in what we’re doing.
I’ve seen the extensive and most impressive line-up for this year’s event.
What did it take to put this together?
Mostly a lot of money. Haha, no seriously, it did. We’re taking a huge financial leap of faith. But mostly it’s the relationships we’ve had with these artists for so many years. We’ve worked with them for two decades and we’re really proud to bring so many great acts together to rock December like never before.
Once again, I’d like to thank you Greg for taking the time out to answer our questions.
I look forward to this year’s Ballito Big Week.
Pull in, can’t wait to see you there!