First-time user’s guide to the Durban July

Durban July. Picture: Pierre Retief / Gameplan Media
Durban July. Picture: Pierre Retief / Gameplan Media

Navigating the melting pot of activity that is the Vodacom Durban July is a herculean task for even the most skilled of high society revelers.

The day of the July is hard enough without having to deal with all the logistics of finding a place to party.

From finding the right accommodation, to purchasing all the different tickets to get around the venue, finding the right outfit and making sure it stays pristine for the 12-hour event and then of course the pre and post festivities ... it’s enough to put any inexperienced July-goer off.

We reckon that the last thing you should be concerned with is what to do or where to eat, drink or party.

Thankfully, the Durban July has a slew of hospitality venues to choose from, all catering to a different vibe for different people.

The hospitality packages and after parties all need to be booked separately in addition to your main racecourse ticket.

Here are the places we think you definitely need to check out if you’re not sure which hospitality marquee or after party to choose from:

  • The Afrotainment Marquee is a staple of the July. Serving a young, urban crowd with an appetite for the finer things in life. This year’s lineup will include DJ Tira, AKA, BET award-winning artist, Sjava, Distruction Boyz and many more.
  • If you’re looking for a more grown-up vibe, give the Chaise Lounge a try. The marquee will cost you in the region of R5 000 for full day of trackside marquee, complimentary bar, all-day gourmet menu, in-house private betting stations, Mangwanani spa and make-up room and of course live performances.
  • The Mabala Noise Kings & Queens Marquee promises to be one of the most talked about of the weekend, boasting a line-up of AKA, Mafikizolo, Nasty C and Babes Wodumo. The guest list includes Lerato Kganyago, DJ Maphorisa and of course the rest of the Mabala Noise crew – it is sure to be one for the books.
  • The all-new Amstel BoomTown is in its tenth year at the July and they are going all out. Amstel brand ambassadors DJ’s Shimza and Maphorisa will naturally keep guests entertained, alongside Bongo Maffin, Babes Wodumo, DreamTeam and many more.
  • The Glenlivet Jazztown Marquee promises a day of top class cuisine, fine whisky and a world-class original local jazz line-up with headline acts Ringo Madlingozi and Thandiswa Mazwai, in a luxurious marquee environment. Speaking to City Press about her performance, Mazwai said: “It’s going to be special. You can expect so see a piece of my soul.”
  • Finally, if you feel like splurging, be sure to end your night at the Black & Gold Durban July afterparty. With tickets ranging from R10 000 to R25 000, this party promises to be the height of luxury partying.
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