Ticketpro Dome to close

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TicketPro Dome
TicketPro Dome
Photo: Gallo Images
  • The Ticketpro Dome, located in Johannesburg, will close its doors on 7 September.
  • The event venue has been sold by the owners, Sasol Pension Fund, to a third party that does not operate in the event space.
  • Carol Weaving, MD of RX Africa, says: "The selling of the Ticketpro Dome is extremely disappointing and heartbreaking for our industry."


The Ticketpro Dome has been sold by the owners, Sasol Pension Fund, to a third party that does not operate in the event space.

The ban on public gatherings, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, has meant that during 2020 and now 2021, the Ticketpro Dome has been unable to operate. 

Carol Weaving, MD of RX Africa, says: "The selling of the Ticketpro Dome is extremely disappointing and heartbreaking for our industry. The Ticketpro Dome has been home to many international concerts and events in South Africa, and this will undoubtedly leave a huge void. Unfortunately, as we are only the managing company, we were unable to change the outcome of Sasol Pension Fund selling the venue due to force majeure."

"The Ticketpro Dome solidified global recognition with companies and promoters throughout several industries and will be remembered as an iconic venue across the events, exhibitions, and entertainment sectors," said a statement released by RX Venue Management.

The Dome opened on 8 April 1998 with a concert by Diana Ross attended by over 15 000 people with a special guest appearance by the late former President Nelson Mandela. Over the years, the venue has played host to top international music artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Lauren Hill, Pharrell Williams, Celine Dion and Michael Buble.

On the local front, artists such as Prime Circle, The Parlotones, Lira, Tonya De Lazy, Black Coffee, and Soweto Gospel Choir has graced the stage. South African rapper Cassper Nyovest become the first local artist to sell out the Dome. Even before the event, some 20 000 tickets were sold suitably billed "Fill Up The Dome." 

On the exhibition front, the Dome has been home to many consumer and trade shows such as Homemakers Fair, Rage, Mama Magic Baby Show, Fire and Feast Food Festival, Mediatech Africa and Africa Automation Technology Fair. 

In 2017, the NBA Africa Games were held at the Dome and WWE International and Disney on Ice has also been staged there.  

In 2020, the Ticketpro Dome launched the successful Hybrid Studio in response to the global pandemic.

Our sector has been extraordinarily innovative in transforming our offerings to accommodate online participation, but a hybrid event incurs two sets of costs, one for the online component and one for the in-venue aspect. Attendance capacity restrictions make in-person events unviable, and online does not carry the same appeal.
Projeni Pather, Chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EVENTS

The South African Events Council (SAEC) has been lobbying the government since its inception in 2020 to let the live events industry operate within Covid-19 safety regulations. If shopping centres can operate, so too should event and exhibition venues. SAEC wants- government to allow venues to operate at 50% capacity so that the industry can start rebuilding.

The Ticketpro Dome is the latest causality of not being able to operate, and the consequences of its closure will have a ripple effect on the South African economy. "It is too late for the Ticketpro Dome but may its final curtain call be a sober reminder that there needs to be drastic rethinking on how the South Africa government views our industry", says a statement released by RX Africa.

The official handover of the venue will be on 7 September 2021.




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