South Africa’s 46664 Aids Benefit Concert

February 19, 2004

"Aids is no longer a disease, it is a human rights issue." - Nelson Mandela

Some of the biggest names in the music industry joined forces with Nelson Mandela in the fight against AIDS at a 46664 Mandela Foundation Aids benefit concert last November. 

Named 46664 for Nelson Mandela’s prison number on Robben Island where he was held for 18 years, the concert from Greenpoint Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa, was one of 2003’s most celebrated one-off events.

Gearhouse of South Africa supplied Martin MAC 2000 fixtures for the show through Martin’s South African distributor, Electrosonic SA, who also assisted as back up for all the Martin gear. Gearhouse supplied 18 MAC 2000 Profile E units as well as other automated and conventional lighting fixtures, not to mention the stage, roof system, video, audio, and more. LSD Fourth Phase pitched in with the remainder of the lighting including 55 MAC Wash and Performance units and other automated lights.

Lighting Designer for the show was Bruce Ramus whose task to provide lighting for 42 different numbers in five hours put great pressure on him to come up with one fresh look after another. No worries, however. With an arsenal of automated lights at his disposal, Bruce presented the 40,000+ audience with everything from small and intimate looks to grandiose impressions, and everything in between.

Bruce had many other aspects of the large 25 meter wide stage to consider including a dominant 10 meter tall bust of Nelson Mandela and large LED screens, as well as the fact that the whole show was being taped for television and upcoming DVD.

The show was a success garnering international attention for the Mandela Foundation and the fight against AIDS. Artists included both international and highly regarded African stars including Beyonce, Bob Geldof, Bono, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Eurythmics, Yusaf Islam (Cat Stephens), Youssou N’Dour, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Zucchero.

Lighting Designer: Bruce Ramus
Lighting Director: Bruce Ramus and Willie Williams
Lighting Programmer: Tellson James¨
Stage Design: Mark Fisher
Show Producer: Robbie Williams
Production Manager: Nick Levitt