CityPress - - News - NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA AND LE­BO­GANG TSEBETSEBE ntombizodwa@city­

The an­nual Vo­da­com Dur­ban July has trans­formed from being the must-go-to en­ter­tain­ment event to an ex­tra­or­di­nary net­work­ing op­por­tu­nity for pa­trons.

How­ever, this op­por­tu­nity doesn’t come cheap. One has to cough up thou­sands of rands to be on the ex­clu­sive VIP guest lists in the mar­quee vil­lage. Mar­quee vil­lage co­or­di­na­tor Ed­wina Brown told City Press this week that for most peo­ple this event has be­come a busi­ness-and-plea­sure oc­ca­sion. “It is not just one of the coun­try’s big­gest horse rac­ing events with at least 55 000 guests,” she said.

This year, more than 30 mar­quees will be con­structed on the race­course’s sprawl­ing lawns, with each promis­ing a unique ex­pe­ri­ence.

At this year’s event, which is themed The Colour of Magic, Um­lazi town­ship’s fa­mous shisa nyama, Eya­dini lounge, and Ga­gasi FM will also have their own mar­quees.

City Press spoke to some or­gan­is­ers.

Ma­bala Noise En­ter­tain­ment’s mar­quee is one of the most talked about and will be hosted by busi­ness­man and ANC Youth League trea­surer Reg­gie Nk­abinde.

It is an ex­clu­sive in­vite-only mar­quee ca­ter­ing for celebri­ties and so­cialites. A pre-launch con­cert will be held at the Greyville Race­course on the eve of the race on Friday. On Satur­day guests will rub shoul­ders with in­ter­na­tional stars Robin Thicke and French Mon­tana. Pop­u­lar Nige­rian artist ex­pe­ri­ence comes with a com­pli­men­tary bar, a mouth-wa­ter­ing gourmet food se­lec­tion, Mang­wanani spa, make-up room and pri­vate betting fa­cil­i­ties.

Guests will be served French cham­pagne Moet and Ciroc Vodka. There will also be a Nescafe cock­tail bar. Their celebrity guests list in­cludes Somizi Mh­longo, Jo­hanna Mukoki, Thando Tha­bethe and Ra­pu­lana Seiphemo. DJs on the line-up will in­clude Ma­jor League, DJ Siyanda, DJ Chy­na­man, Vetkuk vs Ma­hoota and oth­ers. Last year, big names who graced this lounge in­cluded Deputy Min­is­ter Bheki Cele and Min­is­ter Fik­ile Mbalula. Jack Daniel’s BoomTown mar­quee tar­gets hip-hop lovers and whisky drinkers. It prom­ises vis­i­tors an al­ter­na­tive Ten­nessee ex­pe­ri­ence with American South­ern food and popup bar­ber sta­tions and a make-up sta­tion. Grac­ing Un­cle Jack’s stage this year will be Mafik­i­zolo, AKA, Cassper Ny­ovest, Riky Rick, Nasty C, Black Mo­tion, Shek­inah, DJ Fresh, DJ Shimza, Glen Lewis and more. The mar­quee of­fers VIP, VVIP and The Plat­inum Tower hos­pi­tal­ity. Afro­tain­ment


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