Vodacom Durban July may be happening behind closed doors this year, but the fashion and glamorous parties would have to take place in the comfort of your home. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Vodacom Durban July may be happening behind closed doors this year, but the fashion and glamorous parties would have to take place in the comfort of your home. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Pricey ticket ad causes a flutter

By Reeshni Chetty Time of article published Jun 21, 2020

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AFRICA’S biggest horse racing extravaganza, the annual Vodacom Durban July may be happening behind closed doors this year, but the fashion and glamorous parties would have to take place in the comfort of your home.

While the Covid-19 pandemic might have thrown a spanner in the works for fashionistas and social butterflies, this year’s event, scheduled for July 25, will go ahead, just not on the parade ring.

While the fashion theme is “butterflies” and it’s not quite clear how designers and socialites will showcase their glad rags, it was a tweet of an exorbitant party package that had social media in a tizz this week.

Twitter was abuzz when a screen shot of an advert for a VIP party package for two showed that it would cost almost R2000.

The image, which many believed to be a joke, was confirmed to be “100% true” by Sazi Ngcobo, director and co-owner of Rusco Experiential.

The package includes a bottle of Tanqueray gin, a bottle of whiskey, 12 mixers, a six-pack of Heineken as well as an “upscale” menu, delivered to your door for R1900.

“What was cropped out of the picture was our VIP lounge’s name. It should’ve said ‘Pegasus Virtual Lounge’ at the top but it didn’t, so many people believed it was a ticket for the Durban July itself,” said Ngcobo.

“It (the package) will arrive in a large hamper either on the day of the event or the day before; it all depends on the amount of packages ordered. We want to encourage sharing during this event. I mean, you can’t finish all those drinks on your own, you know. Invite friends, dress up and just have fun!” said Ngcobo.

Pegasus Lounge has been a trackside marquee at the Durban July for the past 10 years. The glass-fronted marquee is built on a raised deck offering racegoers a lounge experience from a vantage point.

“This package is a scaled-down version of our generic Pegasus offering at the Durban July. Our package offers generally start around R4900 for the event,” he said.

As an added perk, Pegasus Virtual Lounge ticket buyers can also tune into Rusco Experiential ambassadors online to learn how to mix the drinks that come in their package.

“This is not a money-making scheme; we are a small business trying to elevate and pivot during this time. We want to keep our lights on. Thankfully, our robust and loyal clientèle have already started purchasing tickets,” he said.

However, those just interested in the serious business of betting can put their money down from Monday, June 29.

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