Remainder of Ballito Rage Festival 2021 cancelled after 36 COVID-19 positive cases

Rage Festival Covid
Image credit: Rage Festival

The remainder of the Ballito Rage Festival 2021 has been cancelled after 36 revellers tested positive for COVID-19.

The event’s organisers made the announcement in a statement issued on Wednesday (1 December).

Ballito Rage Festival 2021 cancelled

“We take the safety of all our customers, staff and suppliers extremely seriously. It is for this reason that the event organisers have taken the decision to cancel the remainder of Ballito Rage Festival 2021,” the statement said.

The cancellation comes just a day after the event opened on Tuesday – and despite “unprecedented” COVID-19 protocols in place. These included mandatory vaccinations for all staff and guests as well as pre-arrival tests for all guests.

Although 122 of the event’s staff tested negative on Monday, four tested positive on Tuesday. A further 32 guests tested positive on Tuesday out of 940 staff and guests.

“After further exhaustive review this morning (Wednesday, 1 December 2021), consultation and guidance from the local and provincial Departments of Health and other key stakeholders, the decision was collectively made to cancel the event going forward based on the data now available to us,” the organisers said.

‘Unprecedented times’

“Whilst we understand the disappointment that this causes for those who were looking forward to enjoying the festival, these are unprecedented times,” they added.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support. Ticket holders will receive further information in the coming days via email. We strongly urge all ticketholders who choose to stay in the area and/or travel during the holiday period to continue to be extremely responsible, stay safe and play their part in fighting the spread of COVID-19.”

The number of COVID-19 cases has picked up in recent days, especially in Gauteng. A new variant, dubbed Omicron, has also emerged and is reported to be more transmissible especially for the unvaccinated.

In his address to the nation on Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged the public to postpone end-of-year parties and matric year-end celebrations such as the Rage Festivals.

However, Rage organisers said the festivals will go ahead, citing COVID-19 safety precautions that are “well beyond those mandated by the government.”

It is unclear at this stage whether the other festivals will go ahead or not. Earlier this week, Plett Rage Festival organisers said they expected it to proceed as planned from Friday until 7 December.

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