With less than seven working days to go, Out the Box Productions was appointed by the Department of Arts & Culture to produce the National Freedom Day Celebrations in Pretoria. Similar in scope to the Presidential Inauguration last year, the brief seemed fairly standard. But as we know, anything can happen in production. In addition to the concert on the South Lawns at the Union Buildings we also supplied a variety of artists as well as some of the backline for the National Orders Awards that same evening at the nearby Presidential Guesthouse. Both events were a resounding success, with client & artists and audience members all walking away from the day with a huge amount of satisfaction. The day started at 5am for some, hard at work with preparation of the artist area. The first people trickled in slowly just after 7am, hesitant to brave the overcast, threatening weather. Shortly before 9am the stage kicked off and the morning programme progressed. The latter part of the morning was taken by the formal programme, including a welcome address by the Premier of the Gauteng Province, messages of support by National Leaders of political parties in Parliament, remarks by the Minister of Arts and Culture, a vote of thanks by the Executive Mayor of Tshwane, and a speech by the President of the Republic, Jacob Zuma. View the event gallery At 1pm the stage, once again, came alive with performances by the likes of Bug Nuz, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Jack Parow, Selaelo Selota & Rebecca Malope to name but a few. Meanwhile, just over the hill, our team was hard at work in rehearsal for the soon to be televised National Orders Awards. The programme was MC’ed by Ms Gcina Mhlophe with performances by The Wits Choir, Steve Kekana, Siphokazi & the Gauteng Jazz Orchestra. The day flashed past at a phenomenal pace, the show progressed as smoothly as was expected and by 10pm the OTB team toasted another successful event.