The festival opened on Tuesday with unprecedented Covid-19 protocols in place, including mandatory vaccinations for all staff and guests and pre-arrival Covid-19 tests for all guests. A testing facility was located near the event site and staff testing began on Monday, and of the first 122 staff tested, zero presented positive.
“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,” organisers said in a statement on Wednesday.
Organisers said on Tuesday that all remaining staff and all guests underwent Covid-19 tests at the testing centre near the event site before entering the event.
“Between 2pm and 10pm, 940 guests and staff were tested and 32 guests and four staff presented positive results. The Department of Health was on site and worked together with our team to conduct contact tracing and ensure isolation of positive individuals and staff as per government protocols.
“After further exhaustive review this morning, 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,” organisers said.
They added that it is their responsibility to “do the right thing based on facts, collaboration and the resources and tools we have available”.
“We highly commend and sincerely thank our partners at the KwaZulu-Natal and Illembe Departments of Health, local municipality, SAPS, Chamber of Commerce and all others who have worked with us daily from the beginning to deliver the safest event possible in these extraordinary times,” they said.
“While we understand the disappointment that this causes for those who were looking forward to enjoying the festival, these are unprecedented times. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support. Ticket holders will receive further information in the coming days via email. We strongly urge all ticket holders who choose to stay in Ballito further to continue to be extremely responsible, stay safe and play their part in fighting the spread of Covid-19,” organisers said.