It was 32 years ago today that I was here: The Concert In The Park.
No, not the Simon & Garfunkel one — this one was held at the Ellis Park Rugby Stadium in Johannesburg on the 12th of January 1985.
It was an event of a previously unheard-of scale.
In 1985, economic and consumers boycotts, mass demonstrations and general political turmoil was at its height. South Africa was on the brink of a state of emergency. Yet one brave radio station, through the power of music, pulled off [a] historical event which captured the imagination of a troubled nation. This was the Concert in the Park.
702 Music Radio, broadcasting on medium wave, called to action over 100,000 people, from all walks of life, to celebrate South African music and to demonstrate their concern for the country’s hungry people. So successful was the call that, as the day progressed, 702 had to send out appeals to the public to stop coming to Ellis Park because by late afternoon the stadium was jam packed and crowds were gathering outside.
There is no doubt that this was a significant political and musical milestone in South African history. — Solid Gold
Never before had such a huge crowd gathered for a music event.