These were some of the stand-out marquees at the Hollywoodbets Durban July

Published Jul 6, 2024


For years, the Hollywoodbets Durban July has been one of South Africa’s most revered sporting events.

One of the main attractions for thousands of race-goers though, are the various marquees on offer and the entertainment it provides.

This year, attendees were spoilt for choice with a variety of marquees waiting to cater for them with top-of-the-range food, beverages and entertainment.

Here are some of the marquees that the Independent Media Lifestyle team - Lutho Pasiya, Alyssia Birjalal, Thobile Mazibuko and ZamaNdosi Cele - checked out.

Saso’s Brunch Marquee

Founded by hip-hop star Lusaso "Saso" Ngcobo and perfectly situated at the winning post, Ngcobo made history as the youngest black male to host his own marquee.

Inside the Saso Brunch Marquee. Picture: Lutho Pasiya

Hosted by radio presenter Minnie Ntuli, the marquee set an unforgettable experience that combined the allure of live entertainment, delectable cuisine, and a stylish ambience.

On the menu, there was the harvest table. Guests were also treated to fine cuisine of mini caprese salads, sticky chicken winglets, roasted baby potatoes with garlic aioli and chives, slow-roasted rosemary leg of lamb, vegetarian and seafood pasta and a lot more with a variety of side dishes.

As a first-timer at the Hollywoodbets Durban July, Ngcobo said he was excited and anxious at the very same time.

“I’m very nervous, but that comes with doing big things. It's a huge step for the brand. We've been working very hard and could not wait to host our guests," said Ngcobo.  

“At the marquee, entertainment was provided by the likes of Oscar Mbo, Major League DJz, Sjava, Blxckie, DBN Gogo, PH, Sphectacula & DJ Naves, Kweyama Brothers, DJ LeSoul, and other incredible local talents.

Discussing the line-up, Ngcobo said, "The most important element to any event is the music line-up.

“The team and I put in the hard work and secured the biggest acts that we knew would set the stage alight. It was important for us to listen to our people and give them exactly what they asked for."

Malibu Marquee

The Malibu Marquee is the brainchild of the team behind Umhlanga-based Malibu Restaurant.

This premier entertainment venue offers a captivating blend of elegance, luxury, and unforgettable experiences, and that is exactly what they brought to the marquee.

With this being their first time at the Hollywoodbets Durban July, entertainment spokesperson Marvin Pretorius said they felt their presence was needed at this year's HDJ as they are among one of the best restaurants in Durban.

"When the Durban July opportunity came about, we decided to enquire more about having our own marquee, and the rest is history.

What makes this day so special for us is that we did not have any sponsorship, but we managed to sell it out. This goes to show how much people love the brand," said Pretorius.

When it came to entertainment, he said, "They brought in their restaurant DJs to make people dance. At Malibu, we don't really go massively out, so we brought our residents DJs to make people dance."

Guests were treated to dishes like chicken wings, vegetarian meals, samoosas, and spring rolls. There was also a pizza bar, a spit braai lamb and milk tart, and ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert.

On whether they will be coming back in 2025, Pretorius said, "Hopefully, because we need to be better than what we've done here this year."

Afrotainment Marquee

Afrotainment Marquee at the Hollywoodbets Durban July 2024.

Durban music producer DJ Tira once again hosted his marquee at the event which catered for 400 people.

Decked out in flowers, comfortable dining table and chairs and couches, and an elegant design, guests were cosy, well fed and fully entertained.

On arrival, guests were welcomed with a harvest table, cheese straws and a fruit table among other things.

For lunch, chicken curry, battered hale and legs of lamb were on offer. For supper, pork, chicken and beef.

The best of local entertainment was also on offer creating an unforgettable night of fun for those who attended.

Durban Tourism Marquee 

Being a sponsor and the host city of the Hollywoodbets Durban July, Durban Tourism, responsible for the marketing and promotion of Durban put its best foot forward. 

A lounge set up for Durban Tourism guests. Picture: Thuli Dlamini

According to Durban Tourism Acting Deputy Head, Ntombenhle Dlamini, they leveraged the Hollywoodbets Ride the Wave theme, to create their own theme for the marquee, Durban Tourism Marine Oasis. 

“The decor is based on our interpretation of ride the wave. As Durban is the warmest place to be, we offer tourists an amazing tourism offering of marine and ocean life.

“Thus we created the Durban tourism marine oasis to showcase Durban's marine life with colours of blue and white,” said Dlamini. Durban’s tourism promotion agency said that Durban ICC’s Executive Chef Clinton was responsible for the delicacies served on site. 

“Menu inspiration comes from this year's theme riding the wave as it takes me to my childhood memories, having picnics at the beach and collecting sea shells,” said Chef Clinton. 

He said that the desserts and treats are reminiscent of his twin brothers celebrating their birthday parties on the beach.

“This menu and event theme itself back my childhood days back to life,” he said.

 Not just a food destination, the Durban Tourism marquee also had an impressive line-up for entertainment featuring the best of Durban’s musicians. 

Local emerging artists, DJs and household names in the entertainment industry such as Khaya Mthethwa, Micasa, Nomfundo Moh, MaWhoo, Sjava, Young Stunna, KO, Dj Happygal, Dj Cndo, Dj Sphe and Naves, Dlala Thukzin, Dj Tira, Dj LeSoul, Morda and many more, were on the bill.

According to Dlamini, this event is a culmination of hard work, dedication, and collaboration among various tourism stakeholders. 

“For us, it is an incredible honour to host the iconic Durban July. We're thrilled to showcase our city's vibrancy, beauty, fashion extravaganza, experiences, and warm hospitality to visitors from far and wide,” said Dlamini.

She added that they are proud to be a part of the event and we can't wait to share the essence of Durban with the world.  

“Today, we celebrate our city's excellence, creativity, and passion. It's a day to remember, and we're grateful to be at the forefront of it all,” said Dlamini. 

Beluga Hospitality Lounge

This lounge, which also caters for Dove, was all-inclusive and the colour theme matches so well with the brands that booked in, which include Bidvest.

The interior of the Beluga Hospitality Lounge. Picture: Thobile Mazibuko

The atmosphere was welcoming as it also featured live performances from DJ Cyclops.