The most talked about marquee belonged to businessman Vivian Reddy. Picture: S'bonelo Ngcobo/ANA Pictures

Durban - If you think fashion is over the top at the Durban July, wait until you step inside the marquees. 

Each year, companies go all out to lavish their guests in all things luxury. 

From personalised bar's, photo booths and magical themes, these marquees have it all.  

It is only the best for guests forking out thousands to get entry to these marquees. The decor elements are sublime, with big chandeliers hanging from marquees to imported furniture. 

Video: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL Lifestyle
Video: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL Lifestyle

There were many new marquees at the July with the most glamorous pieces of decor sparing no cost. 

Guests at the Soweto VIP marquee were given the experience of the township.

One of the organisers, Matthews Baloyi, said 70 percent of the guests were visiting Durban for the first time. He said the decor was aimed at making them feel at home while enjoying the best of Durban. 

The tent was adorned with white and yellow. Vases of flowers and floral printed cushions were scattered around. 

Guests forked out R2600 for a ticket, which included an open bar and breakfast and lunch  buffet options.

Video: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL Lifestyle


Video: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL Lifestyle

Newbie group from Soweto  Kitchen Mess and Mo Flavour from Metro FM were among the top acts at the tent.

Another marquee that hosted for the first time was The Opulence Experience. The vision for the marquee was to create a superior service to guests with a tinge of opulence.

Organiser Lisa Modisane said 200 guests will attend. Tickets go from R3000- R6500. Platinum packages included a flow of champagne and whisky as well as free drinks at the bar.  

Guests enjoyed bite sized portions of food, from prawns to lamb.  The Harvest Table, filled with cheese platters, fruit, pastries, candy bar and nuts  to keep guests satisfied throughout the festivities.  

They pulled out all the stops, designing most of the furnishings.

“We created a modern themed deejay booth especially for the occasion and our chairs embedded our opulence logo,” said Modisane.

The most talked about marquee belonged to businessman Vivian Reddy, who earlier this week revealed that he will be hosting the entire Afrisun’s Sibaya Casino and Entertainment Venue. 

Video: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL Lifestyle

Video: Sacha Van Niekerk/IOL Lifestyle

Named “SVR” the marquee hosted 600 guests, including Miss South Africa Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and Mo Magic. 

The venue was flourishing with white roses and red anthurium flowers for that touch of magic. 

There were also special spa corner, nail station and make up counters for guests to enjoy. Desserts tables on each floor complimented the colours of the tent.  

But for those looking for something more informal or right in front of the horseracing action would enjoy hiring a table at the picnic site.

Tables start from R1290 to R9600, depending on the location and the number of guests. 

The Pieterse family has secured a particular spot for over 12 years. At spot 323, the family indulges in fruit flavoured gin and platters boasting sandwiches, mini burgers and desserts.

Etienne Pieterse said the July was a time to reconnect with family and get creative with their fashion. 

In fact, the ladies of the family spent many late nights designing and sewing their own outfits to fit the theme.

IOL Lifestyle