Rage, rage against the dazzling of the lights – with apologies to Dylan Thomas
Excited school leavers spend up to R10 000 for the Plettenberg Bay student festival week
Freedom comes at a price and quite a hefty one if you are a school leaver attending the Plett Rage student festival this year.
A quick survey by Knysna-Plett Herald this week revealed that most students and parents forked out between R6 000 and R10 000 for the week-long festival ending on 7 December. This includes tickets, travel, accommodation, and food and drinks.
While it might sound steep, the price tag not only includes performances by top artists and a tourism experience in one of the country’s premier coastal holiday destinations, but is also a massive economic boost for Plett, a town that relies heavily on a seasonal influx of visitors.
Similar spend over years
Plett Rage organisers confirmed a similar spend following feedback from students over the years, which showed that each person who attends the festival spends between R5 000 and R8 000 over the festival period on transport, accommodation, food and retail. This means close to R50-million boost for the town in just a week.
Aby Swanepoel (18) from Pretoria said she paid R2 300 for accommodation, about R2 000 for a festival ticket, about R1 000 for flights plus budgeted a further R2 000 for food and drinks. “It is all worth it. We rented a house as a group of friends and if you think about it, it is R2 300 per person for the entire week, so that is not bad,” she said.
Swanepoel added that she was thankful that her parents covered most of the costs involved.
Cara van der Walt (18), who spent a similar amount, said she had to save all her hard-earned money to make the trip to Plettenberg Bay.
Matthew Johnston (18) from George said he had spent about R2 000 on a Rage ticket, but had to fork out more for daytime entertainment. “Rage students pay R50 a day for entrance to the beach venue, Bikini Beach, while other students without tickets have to fork out R150 per day,” Johnston said. This he said was an additional R350 for the week.
Saving on travel costs
He added that he was lucky to live close by, so he saved on travel costs and also packed enough food from home to last him the week.
Erin Erasmus (18) said although they were lucky enough to get free accommodation from a local friend, her Rage ticket cost R3 200. She and a few friends drove from Cape Town and split the travel costs,
expected to come to R600 per person return. She added that food and drinks cost them about R400 a day, totalling about R3 000 for the week.
Nienke Geldenhuys (18) from Cape Town said while it was difficult to part with so much money, it was teaching them a life lesson.
“We are taking our first steps to independence. We have to look after ourselves for a week and make sure we spend our money wisely. It is somewhat of a challenge, but still a wonderful experience,” she said.
One of the most exciting new aspects of this year’s Plett Rage, said organisers, was the decor and large number of artworks made especially for the festival, as well as a party that students could attend by invite only.
In terms of the artwork, Plett Rage spokesperson Ashley Brown commented, “One is an art piece of blue petrel birds built by Mouth2Mouth from recycled plastics. These birds are highly affected by pollution and our goal with these types of installations is to shed light on issues that we believe should be addressed by the future leaders of South Africa – the youth.”
He added that another new addition is an exclusive, invite-only party called The Oasis hosted at Grand Africa Rooms & Rendezvous in the town’s Main Street, limited to 200 people a day in a three-part series, allowing for a total of 600 lucky Plett Ragers.
On the entertainment front, organisers put together a variety of activities including performances by some of South Africa’s top music acts as well as VIP parties and other entertainment, taking place during the day at what is being called Bikini Beach just off the town’s Central Beach and at night at the outdoor festival grounds dubbed CoCo Valley just outside town.
Keeping youngsters safe
A detailed safety plan put in place involves the cooperation between police, local law enforcement, local and provincial traffic departments, private security companies, the Plettenberg Bay Crime Prevention Association (PBCPA), local neighbourhood watch groups and volunteers.
PBCPA chair Bruce Richardson said some of the highlights of the safety plan include police support from outside of Plettenberg Bay including specialist units from George.
Find out more
For more information on their safety and security measures visit https://plettrage. co.za/2018importantinformation.
Plett Ragers have been in full party mode since Friday 30 November. See more photos at www.knysnaplettherald.com
From left: Matthew Lazenby (21), Nathan van Muylwyk (21), Arusha van Assen (19), Zhante van Muylwyk (18), Kellie Tinkhof (18) and Daniel Cloete (21) – all from Johannesburg – enjoyed some beach games before the official Plett Rage entertainment got under way.