I, like I am sure a number of people who grew up in the 80s, got rather excited when I saw the Rewind Festival being announced for Centurion Park in November. Rick Astley, Human League, Belinda Carlisle and ABC? I will have a day and night of that, thanks!
Off I go to the ticket website. It just gets better - R350 to get it and enjoy? Bargain! Isn't that about half of what these American bands charge for concerts here? What a deal!
But then I read through the terms, conditions and rules. All the usual - you can't bring alcohol as they want to sell it to you, you may not bring anything likely to cause a nuisance and so on. Fair enough, pretty standard. But then along comes the last warning, in big letters - NEW LAW PROHIBITS SMOKING WITHIN THE STADIUM.
What? No smoking at all in an open air stadium? They can't even create a little section for those that wish to indulge?
It is, seriously, excellent that they wish to respect the well being of non-smokers. It's slightly less excellent, however, that the organizers are more than happy to send you home drunk from the event, but cannot fence off a small area for smokers.
I can guarantee that the smell and fumes from the portable toilets will be far more damaging than anything smokers could do.
It's a real shame that I will thus not be going to see some genuine legends of music. It is a delight, however, to see that the organizers believe it will be such a success that they can be selective with who gives them money to go.
I hope all the non-smokers have a fantastic day and night, and that the event is a success. I do not doubt for one moment that some smokers are going to turn up and light up anyway, but I prefer not to go to places that I am clearly not welcome.
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