Covid-19 robs revellers of outdoor entertainment

Big events, theatre productions have not happened this year

Maduvha Madima entertains revellers in honour of Zimbabwean, Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi at the 20th Cape Town International Jazz Festival which took place on Friday 29th March and Saturday 30th March 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Over 40 international and local jazz artists perform over a 2 day period in 5 stages.
Maduvha Madima entertains revellers in honour of Zimbabwean, Oliver Tuku Mtukudzi at the 20th Cape Town International Jazz Festival which took place on Friday 29th March and Saturday 30th March 2019 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Over 40 international and local jazz artists perform over a 2 day period in 5 stages.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER

While the Coronavirus continues to live among us, it has also robbed us of lots outdoor entertainment fun with major events being cancelled or postponed to 2022.

Some big events and theatre productions have not happened this year due to strict Covid-19 regulations that did not allow a big gatherings. One of the biggest misses of the year was the Cape Town International Jazz which normally takes place in April. 

The event had to be moved to 2022 due the lockdown. Cape Town International Jazz features both local and international acts and is a getaway for many jazz and fun lovers who get to spend the whole weekend in Cape Town. 

Its postponement was announced in March when the country had sunk into the second wave of Covid-19. The 2020 show was also cancelled. 

“This decision was accompanied by an optimistic view to host the festival once again in 2021. Sadly, we now find ourselves in the midst of a dreaded second wave of Covid-19 infections, the impact of which, by all accounts, we will feel deep into 2021,” said the organisers earlier this year in a press statement.

“The health and safety of everyone involved with the festival is of paramount importance. It is for this reason that we have decided to postpone the festival to 2022,” further read their statement

Another big event that failed to launch in past two consecutive years is the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (MACUFE), which is hosted annually around October.  It is another most loved entertainment event that attracts a huge number of people to Bloemfontein while boosting tourism and hospitality industries around Mangaung during its weeklong duration. MACUFE normally has 8% of the line-up being local stars and one international act.

For arts lovers, a year is not complete without the National Arts Festival in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. It happens around July and the freezing weather in Makhanda is just a cherry on top. For the past two years it has been hosted virtually, and arts lovers missed the 10 day of music, theatre, exhibitions and dance.

When it comes to theatre, musical productions suffered a lot this year because they feature a number of people and are expensive to stage for few people. Many theatres who continued to open in 2021 could only stage two and three productions due to the Covid-19 regulations.

Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein was forced to postpone dance show Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Bolero by Gregory Maqoma twice this year because the show features a big number of dancers. Secondly, it is expensive to stage for a small audience.

The production was scheduled to take place from August 27 to September 5 2021 and was postponed to  January 2022, due to the changes in the Covid-19 regulations. Existing ticket holders will be contacted directly by the theatre’s box office with regards to ticket exchanges.

The biggest all-white party in SA was also affected. The Sisonke We Are One All White Experience scheduled to take place at Engadini Lifestyle GOG Gardens in Protea, Soweto, last week, was also postponed to March 2022. The event featured international acts like Glenn Jones, Howard Hewett, Eric Darius, Alexander O’Neal, Wilson B Nkosi, Ntando and Vusi Nova.

Funeral parlours and insurance companies could be faced with a bleak festive season as we delve deeper into the fourth wave of the pandemic. Many families have policies with these businesses and are cashing out for Covid-19-related deaths and insurance payouts.

Festive seasons generally already bring an increase in accidents and road deaths, adding Covid-19 deaths to the mix means many businesses are battling to keep above water. Things are so bad that the SA Funeral Practitioners Association recently went on a campaign to convince people to get vaccinated against Covid-19 because of the alarming amount of deaths they have seen since 2020.

However, it was not all doom and gloom for others who took opportunities that the virus presented. 

One of the sectors that has grown across the world in the past two years is the delivery business. Whether it's takeaways, groceries or medicines, many entrepreneurs have joined the furore and will continue to coin it during the fourth wave in the festive season.

With petrol prices continuing to increase, some customers may see the value of using cheap delivery services as an alternative to using their own vehicles.

 

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