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As you read this, the Durban July will be halfway through 72 hours of partying. Never mind the 24-hour party people, we’re doing it for three days! Bam!
This year, the coolest marquees are all ferrying their guests to and from the event, with some going as far as using helicopters. Rumour has it that this was initially started by our grandiose president and his ilk a few years back.
Last night saw parties in mansions by organisers like DJ Tira and his company Afrotainment with guests encouraged to sleep over before getting ready for Race Day.
He also offers the mother of all parties tonight at Moses Mabida’s People’s Park where over 10 000 people are expected for the MTN Fact: Durban Rocks after party.
This will include artists like Mahoota, Big Nuz, Professor, Magesh and Spikiri as well as a Red Bull dancefloor specialising in the best of DJs. Gates for this party close at 6am tomorrow.
Today, MTVbase Delasol Lifestyle Oasis offered a champagne breakfast at Hai.bo, a restaurant within walking distance of Greyville Racecourse. Their line-up for entertainment after the main race includes group of the moment, Mi Casa.
Not to be outdone are the official sponsors, Vodacom, who chartered flights from all over the country for their celebrity guests and competition winners. They were booked into a five-star beachfront hotel and were also invited to a pre-party last night.
Today, we will be treated to breakfast before being made up by professional makeup artists and hairstylists. Entertainment for tonight, post main race, will be Black Coffee with Arno Carstens and a virtual orchestra. Not to be outdone by this is Oskido and his DJU crew consisting of Greg Maloka, DJ Christos, Fresh and Vinny da Vinci. This week they held their annual South African Music Conference at the Olive Convention on Durban’s beachfront. Around this educational event they have built crazy parties and taken advantage of the myriad of great unwashed who cannot afford the elitism of the July.
Last night they held the Night of the Legends where they invited Trompies and Thebe to perform.
Tonight they host the Mother of All Parties with a mammoth line-up featuring the Kalawa stable of DJs like Vetkoek & Mahoota, Zinhle as well as Sox and Black Motion. This takes place at (wait for it) the Durban Ice Rink.
Then tomorrow Oskido and his record company Kalawa Jazmee throw the first download party ever. This will be held in conjunction with the Durban July. Basically, all one has to do is download a welcome song for R5 and entrance is free. Oh and you have to be a Vodacom subscriber. If you’re on other networks you have to pay R100. Very clever move on behalf of Vodacom and Kalawa. Here there will be performances by BOP, Mahoota, Spikiri, Professor, Character and Dr Malinga.
Let it not be said that Oskido doesn’t know a good thing when it stares him in the face.
And all this over a fantastically quick horse race featuring SA’s premium horses. Who would have thought that the July would attract more than 60 000 people to Greyville Racecourse. And, of course, that’s not forgetting the visitors who have come in for the Sharks versus Bulls Super Rugby game at Kings Park and the Mr Price Pro in Ballito.
It is fabulous chaos here right now, and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.