One of my favourite pastimes is attending a live show. There’s nothing like the rush, hype and adrenaline you feel every time a belting note reaches your ears. Even though every live show is filled with highlights, the absolute best part is that moment right before the headlining band hits the stage. Everyone’s been standing for hours, headbanging to the beat of a local band’s tunes. Right after the final opening act you can feel the tension and anticipation. The crowd starts chanting, hoping it will give them what they want, but it’s futile. Suddenly the lights go out, a single moment of silence falls over the arena, and then, suddenly, that first note yields the crowd into a thunderous roar.

I live for these moments and, thanks to the awesome team of Jam Packed Productions, I have seen three of my favourite international bands right here in Cape Town. In 2018 Jam Packed Productions announced that they will be bringing five major international acts to South Africa. Our Last Night, Secrets, Fit For A King, Hands like Houses and Dance Gavin Dance. I was shaking with excitement. So far we have seen the first four bands perform in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. Dance Gavin Dance will be performing in Cape Town and Pretoria on 28 and 29 February 2020. You can even get a chance to meet the band by buying a VIP ticket or entering one of Jam Packed Productions’s competitions, so just keep an eye out on their Facebook and Instagram page.

Meeting the guys from Hands Like Houses

But there’s more to the story than just a regular night of live music. Jam Packed Productions is not doing all of this just to make rock and metal lovers like me happy. They have a much bigger agenda: calling attention to the rhino-poaching epidemic. The poaching epidemic began around 2008 and South Africa has lost more than 7 900 rhinos since then. South Africa is known for our famous big five, referring to five extraordinary animals that can only be found in a few countries in Africa. Thousands of national and international tourists visit game reserves each year to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. TravelGround offers numerous accommodation options for travellers who want to go on safari and feast their eyes on the magnificent sights. Which is why we can’t ignore the fact that so many of these animals are endangered ─ especially our rhinos.

Pilanesberg Private Lodge | TravelGround

Genevieve Olivier and Craig Atkinson are the founders of Jam Packed Productions and they are doing amazing things for rhino conservation along with the rest of their team. During each band’s tour of South Africa, Jam Packed Productions gave them a proper South African experience. They took them to Askari Game Lodge & Spa in Gauteng to go on a game drive where they got to see the big five, to Ezulwini Game Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal and to the Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary in Hartbeespoort.

Jam Packed has made these band members fall in love with South Africa. A few of them even got tattoos to show their love for our country and this cause:

Trevor Wentworth from the American band Our Last Night:


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Matt Parkitney from the Australian band Hands Like Houses:


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Jam Packed Productions rarely mentions that they are raising funds for rhino conservation, but with every post about these tours they add at least this one hashtag: 1millionforconservation. They aim to raise one million rand for rhino conservation efforts.

Marulani Bush Lodge | TravelGround

So far they have raised R100 000 to The SanWild Wildlife Trust, a non-profit animal-welfare trust, to support animals in need. They release all their animals into a protected sanctuary where they can be monitored. SanWild also provides a free emergency wildlife rescue wherever there is a wild animal in need. They have veterinarians all over South Africa to help with rescue missions. You can contact them on +27 83 459 4913 or send an e-mail to [email protected] if you need help to rescue an animal.

If you want to be part of this project, you can buy tickets for the next show they have lined up in February 2020, featuring Dance Gavin Dance as the headlining act. Webtickets also gives you the option to make a donation to SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary where you stand a chance to win awesome prizes if you do. 

There’s no reason to miss out on these events! Just book a stay at one of our lovely establishments in Cape Town or Pretoria:

Cape Town stays near Mercury Live

Pretoria stays near Platteland

If you still need some convincing as to why we need to save the rhinos from the poaching epidemic, pay a visit to one of our numerous game reserves and experience these magnificent creatures for yourself:


Be sure to keep an eye on Jam Packed Productions as they continue this noble fight.

Feature image: Unsplash

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