The MTV Presents Levi's Jeans Staying Alive Concert in Association with YouthAIDS, staged at Cape Town's Green Point Stadium on November 23, 2002, proved a huge success, with over 20,000 people witnessing the event live and billions catching an edited version on television channels the world over.
Three of the world's most successful urban music stars headlined the event, which was held to create awareness of HIV/AIDS as well as encourage tolerance of those affected by the disease. Alicia Keys, Usher, and P. Diddy were joined by homegrown stars Mandoza, Zola, 101, Danny K, Bianca Le Grange, and DJ Ready D, on a night that was regarded by all who attended as truly inspirational.
Gearhouse South Africa was contracted to provide lighting, sound, structures, audio-visual, rigging, and power. The SABC (South African Broadcast Corporation) filmed the show on behalf of MTV. The concert was filmed to be included in the MTV Presents Levi's Jeans Staying Alive Concert In Association With YouthAids 90-minute commercial free special. The special premiered on MTV globally on World AIDS Day (December 1) as well as on SABC 1 and more than 60 other broadcasters around the world.
Gearhouse director, and one of the country's top live production designers, Tim Dunn was behind the controls while the company's Johannesburg and Cape Town branches supplied all the equipment along with the technical team to run the show.
Visually, the stage was impressive and focused on the theme of HIV/AIDS awareness. Backdropped by a huge red AIDS ribbon set against a white background (which was constructed locally to international design specification), two massive daylight screens were mounted prominently on the stage. Generally these screens are located to the sides of the stage. It proved to be wonderfully effective with those in the crowd able to keep their focus right on the stage whenever the stars were in performance. A long side stage was also provided, which most artists used—in particular Usher.
Another daylight screen was mounted behind the engineers' setup and being a delay screen with delay speakers, it meant that those not in the golden circle were able to be well and truly part of the action—even on a surprisingly blustery and cold Cape summer's evening.
Lighting requirements were extensive and featured—amongst others—50 High End Systems Studio Spots, 12 High End Technobeams, 300 PARs, and much more. On the audio side, the setup was impressive: 64 Stacks Turbosound Flashlight, eight Stacks Turbosound Floodlight, MC + BSS Amplification, XTA System Processing, and other audio equipment. Structures supplied by Gearhouse SA included a 25x18m (82'x60') Stageco stage/roof system with PA wings.
The response from the audience was overwhelmingly positive and those MTV representatives at the concert—which included Bill Roedy, president of MTV Networks International and chairman of MTV Networks Europe—were thrilled, and spoke very positively about the South African event.