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Expectation vs Reality: The Sunshine Cup

Pictured: Ayra Starr and Tamy Moyo ; Source: Hidden Culture

1. Introduction

The rains in Harare came on Monday in full force. This just hours after one of the most event-packed weekends of the month.

Most notably, the African Throne World Tour made a stop at Alexandra Sports Club and Ayra Starr's first headline tour made a stop at the Sunshine Cup (Borrowdale Racecourse).

Each event brought an audience of its own, but the latter was not without serious faults.

In this article, we'll be discussing the Sunshine Cup. Stay tuned for an article coming later this week where we interview Paintafresco, one of the artists who performed alongside Nasty C and Cassper on Saturday.

Table of Contents

2. What is The Sunshine Cup?

The Sunshine Cup was first introduced to Harare in 2022 as the brainchild of Zimbabwean DJ and Creative Director of Hidden Culture, Jason Le Roux.

In initial social media posts, the event is advertised as a Fashion, Food, Music, and Racing event, with an emphasis set on the music aspect.

However, for avid horseracing spectators, the name of the event itself and the logo was enough to indicate the true nature of the event. The Sunshine Cup is Harare (the Sunshine City)'s own version of the Pegasus World Cup, Ascot Gold Cups, Saudi Cup, etc.

3. The Promoter: Hidden Culture

Hidden Culture is an event production and ticketing agency that has been organising and promoting events across Zimbabwe for almost 20 years.

The company is known for its strong marketing team, and for the team's ability to sign-on major international artists like Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, and Omah Lay to local events.

4. Who are Ayra Starr, Tamy Moyo, and Rax the DJ?

Ayra Starr is a 21-year old artist from Nigeria. Her debut album released in 2021, and was received with incredible listenership across the world. In two years, she has managed to garner 11.4 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

Her most popular song is "Rush" with over 267 million streams on Spotify.

Tamy Moyo is a 25-year old artist and actress from Zimbabwe. In the 10+ years that she has been publicly active, she has released over 30 tracks that have been well-received locally and abroad. Her most recent release is a feature on Bryan K's track "Hakuna", which also features Kayflow.

Rax the DJ is another Zimbabwean musician who has been on the scene for some time. He regularly plays shows at Pabloz VIP & Deck at Sam Levy's Village. He also is known for the festivals he plays around the city.

5. The Downfalls of the Event

With a lineup like this, there was excitement from fans in Harare and hope that this would be the festival event of the summer. The billboards that could be seen across town sporting larger-than-life photos of Starr, Moyo, and Rax only increased the hype.

But in this marketing lied the first hurdle that the event would have to face.

At the same time that Hidden Culture was pushing this event, promotion for the African Throne World Tour was going on. While Hidden Culture had only released details of 3 musical artists performing, ATWT seemed to be releasing details of a new supporting artist every week.

Source: FiestaFiesta

Ticket buyers waited patiently for "the rest" of the musical lineup to be released. On Thursday, when the official Sunshine Cup schedule was released, there were 6 horse races listed, 2 hours of DJed music, and an hour of live performance each for the headlining artists.

Had the marketing been clear that the event was not a music festival, this would not have been an issue.

The realisation that the Sunshine Cup was an event with live music, and not a live music event likely drove many ticket buyers who were on the fence to TAWT which boasted 10+ live artists, and about the same number of DJs, including the same Rax the DJ.

The #MNews team planned to attend The Sunshine Cup after successful completion of the Media Accreditation application. But as the days passed between approval and the actual event, the tickets never arrived. When we reached out to the Hidden Culture team, we were left waiting for a response all day and wondering who to contact to resolve the issue.

Zimcelebs then went on to share videos of a half-empty general admission area in front of the stage. This leaves more confusion as to what happened to the press tickets.

At the end of the day, Ayra Starr performed for roughly 30 minutes. Videos posted of the event seem to show the Nigerian artist singing along to a full track, rather than a baking track or a live band like us expected of an artist of her popularity. But this information is not confirmed. Tamy Moyo also performed without a live band.

6. Conclusion

While the marketing for the event was enough to generate hype, when the day came, hype was not enough to cause the event to be a success.

The low attendance was in-part through no fault of Hidden Culture's own. The Fiestafiesta team made an offer many young Zimbabweans could not refuse by bringing Nasty C, Cassper, Holy Ten, Bling4, Denimwoods, and a host of other local artists to their event.

Perhaps the team would have found more success if they had not tried to compete as a music event, but rather leaned into the true nature of the event.


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