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A village of tents has risen from the ground, white and sparkling in the glorious winter sunshine. Next week they will play host to Durban’s party of the year, the Vodacom Durban July.
The revamped R150-million Greyville race track has been completed.
The marquees have gone up, while trucks and vans are delivering equipment.
And, with a week to go before the biggest horse-racing event in Africa, workers at Greyville are busy around the clock to ensure that they produce another successful Vodacom Durban July (VDJ).
The famous tent town has been a hive of activity since renovations began earlier this year, but it has been busier in recent weeks as final preparations for the R3.5m event are put in place.
Racegoers will once again be spoilt for choice with more than 16 catering companies and hospitality related businesses setting up marquees.
General entry tickets to the premier race cost R200. There will be special hospitality options available for affluent racegoers, punters and socialites.
All 16 companies that have set up tents at Greyville offer a variety of hospitality packages at varying prices for the 55 000 punters who will converge at the racecourse next weekend.
Ticket demand, said organisers, had picked up earlier this month, with some companies announcing that their VIP tickets had already been sold out.
Lifestyle Oasis Village has sold all its tickets. Guests at the marquee will be entertained by afro-pop sensation Zahara, cross-over dance band Micasa, and Durban pop musician Zakes Bantwini.
It will be a battle of the country’s biggest hip-hop artists at the Boomtown marquee. Hip-hop star A K A will share the stage with Khuli Chana, Reason, Durban’s Dreamteam and K O.
Tickets into the marquee, which will open at 11am, range from R490 for general to R2 500 for VVIP options. The VVIP package includes an upscale buffet lunch, late night snack, and private betting facilities.
The Afrotainment Playhouse will arguably be the most sought after marquee, with a line-up of the country’s biggest stars.
In collaboration with Metro FM, SABC 1, Amstel and Red Bull, the Fact Durban Rocks crew will boast a wide rang of entertainers, including Big Nuz, DJ Cndo and house music legend Black Coffee. Metro FM deejays will also be broadcasting live from the tent.
Tara Cahill said tickets ranged from R1 750 for the cocktail package, which includes three complimentary drinks and snacks.
VIP treatment, which includes drinks, snacks and a buffet will set you back R3 250.
Urging racegoers to use the Ride To The races Park and Ride option, Gold Circle spokeswoman Gill Simpkins said parking tickets were sold out.
With about 4 000 parking spaces available at the old Durban Drive-In site for R50, the option has been popular with racegoers because of its efficiency.
“For R50 you get parking, as well as a lift to the racecourse and back to the parking at the end of the day for you and your passengers,” she said.
Tickets will be sold at the site on race day.
People buying tickets to the marquee have been urged to stick to the Big Screen theme.
The glamorous movie theme means that racegoers can draw inspiration from Hollywood, Bollywood, the Indian movie industry and the Nigerian movie industry, commonly known as Nollywood.
There is no official VDJ afterparty, but there will be several pre-and after parties in the city, including the 5FM party at Gateway on Friday.
It will feature Jeremy Loops, The Kiffness and DJ Fresh and Euphonik. 5 FM drive time DJ Roger Goode will broadcast live from the venue.
Tickets cost R50.
- Independent on Saturday