All Rage Festival events postponed 'until further notice'

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All Rage Festival events planned for 2020 and 2021 have been postponed following a Covid-19 outbreak after the Ballito Rage held from 27 November to 4 December.

The Joburg Rage had been scheduled for 12 and 13 December, the Plett Rage for 29 January to 6 February, and the event in Jeffreys Bay from 15 to 22 December.

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According to Darren Sandras, a spokesperson for the event organisers, amended refund policies will be communicated over the next few days.

"Tickets for Plett Rage have been paused with immediate effect. This is to ensure all necessary further consultation with the relevant officials and stakeholders can take place. For now, all further Rage Festival events are postponed as we consult further with the relevant officials and stakeholders. More details can be shared as they become available," Sandras said.

"We continue to communicate with all stakeholders. Every event at the festival was deemed compliant and the full go-ahead was given by the local health department and the Durban Events Department.

"We are devastated that despite all efforts before and during the festival and at all Rage-controlled venues, some attendees still contracted Covid-19. We are [cooperating] fully with all authorities and stakeholders and will continue to do so as required and we are making whatever resources available as needed." 

Attendees to quarantine

On Sunday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize urged attendees of the Ballito Rage Festival to get tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate after attendees and staff tested positive.

"We confirm that we have now identified a number of Covid-19 confirmed cases arising from these super-spreader events. This therefore means that if you attended any of these Rage events, you are now regarded as a contact," Mkhize said in a statement.

"We now urge all the Rage attendees to immediately go into a 10-day quarantine period as per the Department of Health Guidelines on Quarantine and Isolation. We also urge that all Rage attendants test for Covid-19."

Mkhize also encourage parents to take their children who had attended the festival for testing as soon as possible.

Rage festival organisers confirmed to News24 that four staff members at the event have tested positive, while a Hillcrest-based doctor confirmed another 20 cases.

The medical scheme group Discovery also sent out an alert, warning its members that it is "detecting high rates of positive Covid-19 tests in students returning from the post-matric celebrations in KwaZulu-Natal".

'Significant safety measures'

Large events had the potential to quickly spread the virus to multiple people. A super-spreader event is classified as when a single person passed on the virus to more than eight people.

"Despite all efforts before and during the festival and at all Rage-controlled venues, we regret that we have received reports that some attendees have subsequently tested positive for Covid-19. In addition, we are aware of four staff working on behalf of suppliers who have let us know directly they have tested positive," Greg Walsh, CEO of G&G Productions, which hosts the festival countrywide, told News24 on Sunday.

He added the organisers had added "significantly more health and safety measures" this year to comply with Covid-19 regulations.

"Our full Covid-19 plan was submitted (an 86-page document) to the local health department and the Durban Events Department prior to the event. We had to comply with more than 20 additional regulations in order to obtain approval," he said.

Among these were pre-screening, daily temperature checks, strict mask-wearing protocols, hand sanitising facilities, cashless payments, limited venue capacity and PPE for staff.

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