This past Saturday, the music channel that created stars, unearthed talent, and consistently gave fans the biggest hits first, celebrated 20 years of existence at the Channel O 20th birthday festival, in Newton Park, Johannesburg.
In true Channel O style, the festival was all about the music, and the music legends who’ve been on the journey with them.
Touted as the live event of the year, the birthday celebration took fans on a 20-year sonic journey in true Channel O style. The time-warped music festival kicked off at 12PM and featured music from stars of yesteryear and the future.
The party, positioned as a “festival-meets-awards-show” honoured artists from the last two decades, beginning with live DJ sets from legendary mix-maestros Ready D, DJ Shimza, PH and DJ Sandiso.
Live stage performances then began with themed music sets split up by eras from the past 20 years:
Era 1 started at 5PM with a Throwback feel, featuring opening performances by the quintessential legends of Channel O: Skwatta Kamp, Busiswa, Riky Rick, and HHP.
Era 2 known as the Old School leg, featured legends who’ve, in partnership with Channel O, popularised kwaito on a global scale: Trompies, TKZee and Thebe
Era 3, the Tribute Segment featured popular hits from beloved industry heroes who have passed. Songs by Brenda Fassie, Flabba, Mandoza, Lebo Mathosa and many others were covered by contemporary artists in the set.
The Present Era, featured artists “we just can’t ignore”, who are currently making waves in the industry like: Frank Casino, Nasty C and Benny Maverick.
The Final Era, the “Artists of the Future” included superstars who’ll take Channel O to higher levels over the next 20 years and beyond. Artists like Okmalumkoolkat, Kwesta, and Cassper Nyovest headlined in the closing act.
M-Net’s Director for Local Entertainment Channels, Reneilwe Sema commented on the event, “In true Channel O style, we’ve pulled out all the stops for our 20th birthday tonight! Two decades at the forefront of music entertainment is a remarkable feat, and we’re dedicating this milestone to the artists, presenters, record labels and industry leaders, who’ve enjoyed this journey of success with us; but most of all it’s for the fans – music lovers past and present, without whom Channel O would not be the mega brand it’s become today.”