Port Elizabeth inner city comes alive with diverse sounds and tastes

The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) recently embarked on an ambitious new initiative aimed at fusing culture, food and the arts to bring vibrancy and light up the inner City of Port Elizabeth. This celebration of heritage and arts brought together the City’s iconic landmarks, the Campanile, City Hall/Vuyisile Mini Square and the Feather Market Hall, a first for the Bay. Creative Feel spoke to Luvuyo Bangazi, Marketing and Communications Manager and Spokesperson at the MBDA.

     The initiative from the MBDA was made possible through a partnership with Baakens Food Truck Company and the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra. This all culminated in a two-day family orientated unique combination of music, art and artisan food on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 March.
     The Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra is renowned for many successful symphonic orchestra concerts held at Victoria Park with leading musical performances. ‘This year, the orchestra moved into the inner city at the Feather Market Hall bringing with it new opportunities,’ says Bangazi.
     ‘The move by the orchestra gave us the opportunity to create a multicultural and diverse programme that culminated in front of City Hall, incorporating performances such as the Campanile Bells chiming out songs such as the legendary “Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrica”, live music acts on stage, a live screening of the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the ever popular Baakens Food Truck Funday contingent,’ adds Bangazi.

     ‘The Baakens Food Truck village offered the popular array of speciality foods and drinks that they are renowned for. Bay citizens who weren’t able to attend the orchestra were able to watch a live stream of the performance on screen at Vuyisile Mini Square, making sure that those on the square did not miss much. During the orchestra breaks, the Campanile Bells were played by Professor Troskie, offering an array of musical performances, a first as far as we know,’ concludes Bangazi.
     The exciting programme started on Saturday the 17th at 14:00 with live bands on the Vuyisile Mini Square stage and concluded at 21:00. The action continued on Sunday from 11:00 with live performances on the square, from the Campanile Bells ringing out before the orchestra programme kicked off inside the Feather Market.
     On Sunday the weather was great out on the square with the Bay really showing off the last days of summer. The executive mayor, Athol Trollip, was among the crowd assembled on the square enjoying the orchestra sights and sounds. The mayor made a brief appearance on stage saying, ‘I spend days inside the building behind me, pointing to City Hall, working hard every day to create a City we can all be proud to live in and enjoy. It gives me pleasure to sit amongst you on this square as every citizen should, the inner city belongs to all of us and initiatives like this that bring it to life need all of us to get behind them.’
     In and among the musos was a group of crafters who were there to exhibit their wares. Judging from early feedback, it seems that the crafters, food vendors and patrons all had a great time. Bring on #Movetothemusic2019 #Route67 #TheCampanile #VuyisileMiniSquare #Sharethebay