South Africa

Ballito Rage — no vax, no entry and mandatory rapid tests

Ballito Rage — no vax, no entry and mandatory rapid tests

Matriculants who want to attend this year’s Rage Festival must be vaccinated.

The organisers of Ballito Rage, G&G Productions, on Tuesday announced it would host the festival “safely and smartly” from November 30 to December 5 with a necessary condition — no vax, no entry.

The production company said all attendees will be required to show proof of their government-approved Covid-19 vaccination certificate, which the organisers will verify through the department of health’s EVDS health passport.

Attendees will also have to undergo rapid antigen tests on the first, third and final day of the five-day festival.  

The organisers believe a vaccination and smart testing strategy will ensure the festival receives the green light in line with regulations at the time.

“The team is working tirelessly on the Ballito Rage 2021 safety, Covid-19 mitigation and operational plan. The Covid-19 mitigation tools at our disposal in 2021 are incomparable with 2020,” said G&G Productions CEO Greg Walsh.

Last year’s post-matric event in Ballito was identified as a super-spreader event after nearly 1,000 cases of Covid-19 were linked to it.

Walsh said on Tuesday the organisers intended to to use the festival as “a vehicle for positive mindset change and encourage young people to do the right thing and get vaccinated”.

All staff and attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated, and everyone will be regularly tested
G&G Productions CEO Greg Walsh

“All staff and attendees will be required to be fully vaccinated, and everyone will be regularly tested. With these strict measures in place, we hope our young Rage fans will be able to enjoy an amazing, safe experience with us this December.”

He said if the national response to Covid-19 required that the festival could not have a suitable gathering size, sell and serve alcohol and operate until a reasonable hour or deliver, the festival will be cancelled, and a 90% refund will apply to all ticket holders.

“Further, the organisers have amended their refund policy to make it much more flexible for attendees, allowing a 90% refund if they test positive for Covid-19, even up to the day before the festival commences. We want to send a clear message: if you have Covid-19, do not come. We will refund you. We’re going to pick it up when you arrive anyway so do the right thing and isolate.”

He said last year the organisers assisted the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) to help communicate with, source data for and ensure all relevant attendees were isolated.

“A report issued by the NICD found at least two people had come to the festival in 2020 having recently tested positive for Covid-19 and had given false information in their daily screening to the organisers. The 2021 testing strategy will ensure this is not possible. Each day the festival opens, everyone will be vaccinated and will have tested negative prior to entry. This is a first for any event in SA.”

TimesLIVE