HOT 102.7FM’s ‘Pilgrimage’ Party Hits All the Right Notes
Johannesburg, June 2023 – There were smiles and tears all round, as Johannesburg-based radio station HOT 102.7FM paid tribute to renowned broadcaster Mark Pilgrim by hosting the ‘Pilgrimage’ Party at The Sound Room in Kyalami on Saturday the 10th of June.
In the process, the station contributed R102 000-70 to the Reach for A Dream Foundation – one of Pilgrim’s favourite charities and an organisation he represented on many occasions.
The objective of the event was to celebrate the life and honour the legacy of one of HOT 102.7FM’s most respected and loved presenters and provide listeners with the opportunity to pay their respects to the man many knew simply as ‘Baldy’.
Pilgrim died in March at the age of 53, after a battle with cancer, but left his mark on the radio industry – in the hearts and minds of both its members and listeners – and it was no surprise that tickets to the Pilgrimage Party sold out in less than 48 hours, with over 800 partygoers packing out The Sound Room.
“Such an amazing evening and one I hope Mark would have been proud of,” says Lloyd Madurai, Managing Director of HOT 102.7FM. “An ‘Old Skool’ party dominated by classic 80s party tracks – the kind of party he was the star of on many occasions and just one of the ways we felt, as a station, that we could pay tribute to our friend and the impact he had on all of those around him.”
The evening kicked off with HOT 102.7FM’s Bunny Majaja leading the crowd in an emotional rendition of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ – the theme song from Pilgrim’s fight with cancer – before DJ sets from HOT 102.7FM’s Madurai and Shawny B, Mickey Pereira and Lil Dave, playing a selection of ‘Old Skool’ hits and all of Pilgrim’s favourite songs.
Partygoers were also treated to a variety of fun activations and stunts involving products and hobbies that featured prominently in the life of Mark Pilgrim, with Logan Woolfson, the Naked Cuber, on hand to build an amazing ‘portrait’ of Pilgrim out of 300 Rubik’s Cubes.
There were also versions of the ‘One-Second Challenge’, the ‘Hot Rewind’, and the ‘Anagram Game’, run by HOT 102.7FM presenters, in honour of the popular features from Pilgrim’s radio show, whilst partygoers also had the opportunity to write a dedication to him on an enormous memorial wall.
“These were things that were important to Mark and were part of the many things we loved about him,” says Madurai. “Whilst throwing this party in his honour doesn’t take away the pain of his loss, we hope it just provided another opportunity for those who loved him to pay their respects and say their goodbyes, in a way he would have appreciated.”
Pilgrim enjoyed a long and distinguished radio and television career, which culminated in him finding his ‘spiritual home’ at HOT 102.7FM, where he presented the award-winning Mark Pilgrim Show from Monday to Saturday, between 09h00 and 12h00.
In 2021 he was inducted into the SA Radio Awards Hall of Fame and will be remembered as one of the radio industry’s most accomplished presenters.