Plett Rage cancelled after Covid concerns
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THE organisers of Plett Rage have pulled the plug on the event just a day before it was due to take place.
On Thursday afternoon, the organisers posted a message on social media to advise that the event - meant to take place from December 3 until 7 - was cancelled.
The announcement comes shortly after the Balito Rage was also cancelled after 36 people tested positive for Covid-19.
At least 900 revellers were expected to descend on Plettenberg Bay for the festivities. Those wanting to attend the festival had to produce negative a Covid-19 test result as well as a vaccination card.
But after a string of infections, organisers held a meeting on Thursday afternoon where the decision to cancel was taken.
“Almost all schools set to attend Plett Rage have positive cases. Based on the trajectory of this virus, this is only a tiny percentage of what we are now certain will show up.The numbers are only going to increase rapidly,” read the message.
“Although we, as organisers, have implemented the most stringent Covid-19 preventive measures, there was no way to pre-empt the devastation that the current surge of Covid-19 cases nationally would cause.
“The system we put in place regarding pre and on-site testing was our safety net to know what was happening prior to opening. To those who tested positive, thank you for letting us know.”
Plett Tourism chairperson Patty Butterworth said while the move was devastating, there was no other way around it.
“It is devastating, it wasn’t going to be a big festival compared to other years and the organisers had such stringent pre-testing measures in place but at the end of it tough decisions needed to be taken,” she said.
“There were a lot of kids testing positive before arriving for the event. And nobody wanted a situation like Balito where there was a possibility of cancelling on the day. While there are kids that are already here, the majority were only arriving tomorrow.
“It is very sad but with the resurgence of Covid all over the country, it was a tough decision all around. This will have an effect but these are the times we live under unfortunately.”
Organisers said the decision came after consultations with the provincial health department as well as the event’s partners in Plettenberg Bay.
“We are shattered. Our event site is built, all staff are ready to welcome you with open arms after months of not working. Our doors are ready to open but will sadly stay shut,” read the message.
“The situation is entirely unimaginable, but there is no doubt in our minds that this is the right decision. Whilst we understand the disappointment that this causes for those who were looking forward to enjoying the festival, these are unprecedented times.”