Jazz fest: ‘casino too strict’

2016-03-11 09:45
The red-brick road around the City Hall.

The red-brick road around the City Hall. (Jonathan Burton)

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Pietermaritzburg - Organisers of the Pietermaritzburg Jazz Festival have complained, saying the Golden Horse Casino — the usual venue for the event — is “too strict”.

Starlight Promotions, owned by Maritzburg United spokesperson Brian Zuma, said the midnight cut-off time for the event is too early, and people should be allowed to bring their own alcohol to the festival.

Zuma said in a report to the council’s executive committee yesterday that they are looking at venues outside of Pietermaritzburg for the next event.

“The midnight cut-off time is a big turn-off to festival lovers. Festivals generally have fun until as [late] as 4 am the next morning,” he said.

Zuma added that Golden Horse — “as suitable and convenient as it is” — was not amenable to hosting a show beyond midnight, due to the relevant by-laws.

Being too strict on people coming in with their own alcohol was “another big turn-off”.

“It is way cheaper to bring in your own booze than to buy at the venue, which is often very expensive,” said Zuma.

According to a financial assessment by Clive Coetzee, of the infrastructure management and economic services unit in the KZN Treasury, last year’s jazz festival ran at a significant loss.

“It’s not surprising given the fact that events in general take a number of years to break in,” he said, adding, however, that a number of local businesses had benefitted from the increased exposure and marketing.

“Increased expenditure into these local businesses could have saved a job or two,” said Coetzee.

The city’s executive committee noted the reports in council yesterday.

• kailene.pillay@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  event  |  festival

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