MyCityByNight: It’s kind of weird for us to be chatting to you as an ULTRA South Africa co-founder again, after having danced many a night away to your jams when you were ripping dancefloors around the country, but we’re really happy that we are. Let’s get right into it:
MCBN: With Ultra SA just a few weeks away, we’re really starting to get excited about what is surely the biggest event of the local electronic music calendar. Do you expect sell-out shows for Cape Town and Jozi?
Shaun Duwe: The excitement is most certainly building and we are without doubt looking forward to our most successful festival yet! In terms of sell outs, we are looking really good, in fact so far our biggest year of sales. I don’t want to jinx it just yet but make sure you get your ticket now before its too late from www.ultrasouthafrica.com
MCBN: How did you first cotton onto the idea that South Africa was missing a big International dance music festival and why did you decide to go with the Ultra brand?
SD: After touring a list of big name acts including the likes of Deadmau5, Swedish House Mafia, Avicii, Hardwell, Carl Cox, Steve Aoki and more as solo tours, we felt the need to bring an International festival into the market that hosts all of these names on 1 stage. At the time of bringing out these acts, we got very close to a bunch of different managers and big global players from around the world, including the Ultra family. (We) Automatically clicked and the rest is history.
MCBN: We’ve always been big supporters of local music here at MCBN, how do you go about unearthing talent to support the big International acts?
SD: SA has got the most incredible artists who are now being recognized on a global level. Choosing the support talent isn’t always easy because we have such an incredible list to choose from. But we need to take into account, which acts are relative to the market at the time, who is making waves in the underground and club scenes, who is turning heads and ultimately who will fit best within the sound of the International artists and market and support the festival.
MCBN: Speaking of Internationals – how on earth do you choose who’d be a great headliner each year?
SD: Haha, pretty much similar to the above, but a bit more calculated. Taking a look at global trends is important, knowing who to book, who will still be hot within a year of the booking is important, how many times has the artist played the country, what was the reaction the last time they played, plus breaking new artists and talent is very important as well.
MCBN: The Ultra Angels are quite nice to look at, any chance you could share them with us for a special Ultra edition of Monday Mooiness?
SD: Absolutely check out @ultraangels on Facebook and Instagram 😉
MCBN: For anyone that hasn’t been and is still umming and ahing about whether to grab some tickets, what can we expect from this year’s two gigs?
SD: A whole ot of magic! Cape Town is now at the Iconic Green Point Stadium (Cape Town Stadium), which is going to be EPIC! And Johannesburg we are going bigger than ever with more stages, lights, pyro’s, fireworks, lazers and good times. You will just have to come and see it to believe it!
MCBN: Thanks for taking the time to catch up Shaun, we’ll see you at Ultra South Africa.
SD: One Love