The Ebubeleni Festival™ is a music event with a picnic theme hosted annually on the last weekend of the year in Nelson Mandela Bay. The festival has grown over the years and is now a flagship cultural event which sees Festinos from all over the country trek down to Port Elizabeth to enjoy the festival.
Last year the festival was expanded to a three day Music and Comedy cultural extravaganza to encourage visitors to stay longer and plan their festive season holidays in the Bay. The 2018 events were lit and as predicted were BIGGER and Better seeing the Main Event sell out for the very first time. 24 000 music lovers filled the B & C training fields over-spilling to Imatu Park at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The Comedy was almost sold out with the event selling 85% and the Urban Festival was also well attended for the first year with just over 3000 youth who came to witness the battle of the two genres (Hip Hop & Gqom). This festival has from its humble beginnings grown from strength to strength and has undoubtedly reached a national event status.
Over the 7 years of Ebubeleni’s existence the festival can pride itself for contributing immensely to the economy of the City and Province through visitors attending the event increasing tourism numbers, creating temporary jobs and the use of event Services (Technical, Security, Catering, Hiring etc.), providing a platform for local artists to showcase their talents and also earn some money whilst bringing entertainment to the people of the Bay during festive season.
Ebubeleni means a friendly place, PE is known as a welcoming friendly city because of the hospitality of its people towards strangers hence the name “Ebubeleni”. The Bay has reclaimed its ‘Friendly-City’ status because of this event.
Eastern Cape former Premier Phumulo Masualle during his State of The Province Address in February 2019 mentioned Ebubeleni as one of the major cultural events that contributes to the Province’s economy and tourism.
The main objective of the festival is to use Arts and Culture not just as a means of entertainment but as a catalyst for domestic tourism, local economic and social development in the following areas:
- Socio-economic impact such as Job Creation, Alleviation of Poverty etc.
- Advancement of Tourism and Investment (tourism development by marketing the city and the province as a must visit destination increasing visitor numbers and length of stay)
- Creating business opportunities for PDI’s, SMME’s and Entrepreneurs
- Empower young and marginalised musicians, performers, arts and culture services
- Skills transfer and development through workshops
- Social Cohesion and Nation Building