Marquees glam up Durban July

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Durban - Tent town at the Vodacom Durban July is set to transform into Tinsel Town with this year’s theme of The Big Screen.

Whether you’re going Hollywood, Bollywood or Nollywood, there is bound to be a “reel” theatrical or star-studded experience.

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Event World Paddock will be among the 35 marquees at this years Vodacom Durban July.   Picture: Puri DevjeeVodacom guests are sure to feel like Hollywood royalty in this red draped giant marquee.   Picture: Puri Devjee

Preparations are under way to glam up the 35 marquees, most of which are on the golf course.

One of the most exclusive will be the King and Us Experience July Invitational presented by Lebo M (Morake) of Lion King fame.

The South African composer teamed up with Phindani Nene of Durban Stars, a sports and marketing firm, to create a venue fit for the 500 expected “power circle” guests.

Welcoming the dignitaries at this marquee will be Premier Senzo Mchunu. “This will be the first time the premier will be able to host chief executives, directors, other premiers, MECs, director-generals and heads of departments in his own space,” said Lebo M.

For these high-powered guests, the musical maestro will be presenting a cultural experience complete with performances by Afro Soul and Junior Mambazo.

The members of the isicathamiya group are the sons of Ladysmith Black Mambazo leader Joseph Shabalala. They feature in the Hollywood romantic comedy Blended, starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, released at cinemas today.

There will be no shortage of Hollywood stars at the Event World Paddock hospitality tent. The likes of Clint Eastwood, James Bond, Charlie Chaplin and Humphrey Bogart will grace the sold-out marquee – as table centrepieces, that is.

Tasked with bringing the old Hollywood theme to life is Tami Lutchman of Function Décor.

“The guests will feel like they are at the movies. Everything has the movie theatre feel, from the red and white striped tablecloths to the popcorn,” Lutchman said.

Taking Hollywood glamour to “the next level” will be the team at the Afrotainment marquee. The brainchild of record label founder DJ Tira, the tent will host the who’s who of the entertainment industry.

Event co-ordinator, artist manager and DJ Tira’s sister-in-law, Ntokozo Khathi, said the change in design companies was bound to bring a “new vibe” to the popular marquee this year.

“We are also excited to launch the Fact Durban Rocks clothing line. The luxury sports range came about because of the demand and the success of the T-shirts,” Khathi said.

Metro FM will be broadcasting live from the tent where Afrotainment artists will perform. VIP tickets sold out last week, while there were only about 30 of the 750 non-VIP tickets left as of on Thursday afternoon.

Working side by side with Khathi is Tara Cahill of Mr White Productions. For Khathi, the relief and excitement of watching the event unfold on the day – with all the elements of their planning coming together – outweighs the stress of planning this and the Fact Durban Rocks after-party to be held at People’s Park.

While she will glam up for the event, Cahill said she would still be in her T-shirt and jeans as the pair continue to oversee and manage both sites.

“We will only rest on Sunday,” Cahill said.



Catering for the throngs expected at this year’s Durban July is no mean feat, as evidenced by this catering list for the Gold Circle sit-down venues, at which lunch and buffet meals will be served. This does not include the picnic sites or private catering in the marquees.

15 000 meals

40 chefs

350 waiters

18 000 beers

25 000 cool drinks

2 500 bottles of spirits

600 bottles of wine

100 litres of fruit juice

600 litres of milk.

8 000 portions of curry and rice

750kg – yes, 3/4 of a ton of chicken!

150kg prawns

300kg crayfish

5 000 pies

2 000 hamburgers

7 000 bread rolls

350 loaves of bread

100kg butter

3 000 cups of tea

150kg mushrooms

30kg of coffee

20 pockets of sugar

120kg of cheese

3 000 eggs

80 pockets of potatoes

550kg of rice

350 litres of ice cream

25 000 serviettes

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