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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Spotify Wrapped party postponed due to ignorance of City of Joburg’s disapproval to host

The Spotify Wrapped party was to celebrate that South Africans listen more to local music than they did in 2022.

What was meant to be a celebration of South African music listeners’ taste of the year, the Spotify Wrapped 2023 Party was forced to postpone on Saturday after organisers disregarded the City of Johannesburg’s disapproval to host due to safety reasons.

“It was deemed unsafe to use because of non-compliance with Fire Safety By-Laws,” Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) Spokesperson Xolani Fihla told The Citizen. According to Fihla, the building which is in Marshalltown, was deemed unsafe to use by City of Johannesburg Emergency Management Services.

“The event organiser presented the event to the City JOC and it was not approved and the organisers continued to host the event without approval.”

JMPD’s Fihla directed The Citizen to EMS Spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi about the exact charges laid against the organisers.

“We don’t comment on the merits of our inspection the event organizers can share [that] if they want, unfortunately, from our side we can’t give further details,” said Mulaudzi.

​​The Joint Operations Committee (JOC) was established by the City of Johannesburg to ensure that all events held in Joburg are safe and that the event organisers comply with all by-laws and City regulations.

These events range from major ones such as music festivals to domestic ones such as weddings in townships.

The Citizen reached out to Spotify about these charges and reasons for disregarding the City, but the streaming platform only shared a generic statement.

“Spotify and its event organisers take the health and safety of its invited guests and artists very seriously, and it is therefore with great regret that the decision was made in accordance with South African safety regulation to postpone the Spotify Wrapped party in Johannesburg,” read a statement from the streaming platform.

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Growth of local music consumption

Spotify Wrapped is the platform’s annual thorough look into the music and podcasts that defined the year for South African users. Each year around this time Spotify users are informed by the platform about their consumption behaviours of that particular year.

One of the biggest take-outs from this year’s stats from Spotify is that South Africans listened to more local songs than the previous year.  Local music consumption has increased by 101% with Makhadzi being the most streamed South African female artist.

She was one of the artists set to perform on Saturday alongside Kabza De Small, A-Reece and Kelvin Momo.

A handful of patrons were already at the venue or were making their way there on Saturday and it’s unclear when a new date, venue and if the line-up will remain the same for when a new date is announced.

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