MJ Event Gear opens outdoor music venue
Tuesday, 17 November 2020
graeme-watkins-projectThe Graeme Watkins Project on stage
South Africa - MJ Event Gear has created an outdoor music concert environment at The Local Bar and Kitchen in Kyalami, no. 66 on the R55 Main Road, for those who want to enjoy good music in a space that strictly complies to the COVID-19 safety regulations. MJ has also set up a venue incorporating sound and lighting at the Bryanston Country Club.
The Local has JOC approval and has been given the green light by the SAPS and the fire marshal. The venue has various seating options available and includes paramedics on-site in case of an emergency, while all tables and chairs are sprayed and sanitized by Gary Love and the Viral Shield team. Patrons entering the venue will walk through a humidifier tunnel (not spray) and endure the usual hand sanitization and a temperature check, while face masks are sold on site.
Mike Jones, the owner of Johannesburg technical supply company MJ Event Gear, explains how the projects came about. “I’ve always wanted to build an outdoor concert venue and it’s something I’ve thought about for the past two or three years. Sven Hansen of 4 Plus 3 Productions and I had been looking at different venues where we could put up a roof on a more permanent basis, and then lockdown happened, and nobody could work.”
When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in September that South Africa would move to Level 1 in regard to eased restrictions to allow 500 people at outdoor gatherings and 250 people at indoor gatherings, at a 50% capacity. Mike approached the Bryanston Country Club. “They allowed me access to build a venue to comfortably handle 250 people. It’s an indoor area with a small outdoor overflow and is kitted out with lighting and sound.
“Because we don’t have the usual set up and strike costs, I have been able to offer this solution at a reduced rate. We’ve run a show there already and it was well attended.”
Next, Mike chatted to Sven Hansen with an idea to build a 500-seater outdoor venue, and they approached Martin Vermeulen, owner of the Local Bar and Kitchen in Kyalami, formerly known as the old Croc Inn. The initial thought was to make use of a large field at the back of the venue to erect a stage, but it would require portable toilets and having to cart drinks back and forth with each show. Instead, the decision was made to use The Local Bar and Kitchen’s existing infrastructure including the bar, a partially roofed terrace and the necessary toilet facilities.
MJ Event Gear built a stage/ground support in level with the terrace’s concrete slab. With ample space on either side of the stage, Mike created two VVIP areas, each consisting of a 8m x 5m deck, covered with a stretch tent supplied by Gary Coleman from Sahara Tents, and each equipped with comfortable furniture, its own PA system and private bar
The main stage has been equipped with a lighting rig consisting of 12 Robe LEDWas600s, 16 Robe LEDBeam 100s, four Phillips Showline SL Nitro 510, 18 Longman battens and 28 LED up lighters and truss toners complimented with a hazer and all running off an Avolites Tiger Touch console.
The audio consists of a Q-Series d&b system with two side-fills for the VIP decks, a front-fill, and left and right PA. Behind FOH is a speaker delay to cater for the audience under the trees. The bands who have performed to date have loved the system. While MJ Event Gear supplied the monitoring front of house, mics and DI’s, Marius Oosthuizen from Music Junkies has seen to the backline while Andre Wagener from GPA Elite supplied the generators. All companies have come on board at risk.

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