Over 500 people representing the South African chapter of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel (BDS) movement demonstrated outside the GrandWest Casino, where Pharrell was due to perform.

The activists were unhappy with the star's new deal with Woolworths, insisting the retailer supports the oppression of Palestine, "a country that is the new apartheid state".

Placards read "Pharrell is welcome if Gaza is free" and "Pharrell and Woolworths have blood on their hands".

Williams was recently named Woolworths' style director and he is also helping the company raise funds for its education initiatives.

Reports suggest the actual concert went ahead as planned without any problems.