This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an extension to the lockdown, which rules out any opportunity for large outdoor or indoor gathering things.
As government rules currently stand, curfew is between 9pm to 5pm, with closing times for establishments 8pm.
The sale and transportation of alcohol is prohibited and so are all social gathering events, which are referred to as super-spreader events, meaning music festivals South Africans are used to enjoying in the first quarter of 2021 have been cancelled.
The popular Cape Town Jazz Festival, planned for March 2021, is one such event. Festival director Billy Domingo, posted on the festival’s social media pages that the event organisers had taken the difficult decision to postpone the event until further notice.
Domingo said: “The decision to postpone the 2020 Cape Town International Jazz Festival in March was one not taken lightly and made in the best interest of our valued festival-goers, sponsors, and corporate clients.”
Cape Town was an identified hotspot and organisers did not want to add to the problem of virus spreading. The festival is known to be a sell-out event that attracts crowds from the continent and overseas.
Further explaining the decision, Domingo elaborated: “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 until 2022.
“We trust that our valued sponsors and corporate clients will stand with us in caution and solidarity to play our part in minimising the spread of this virus.”
But all is not lost. The organisers have been working behind the scenes to bring a brand new series of online events and smaller live jazz experiences throughout 2021. One of them is titled JazzFix, which will be formally launched this year.
Karoo Festival postponed
Another popular festival on the art scene is the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival, which was due to take place in April of this year but has also been postponed. The festival, which started in 1995, is held in the town of Oudtshoorn and brings a bevy of art lovers to the town, meaning it is a huge economic booster for the small town.
In a statement released on the postponement, artistic director Hugo Theart said: “Although we are eager to celebrate again in early April 2021 the health risks and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic are still worrying factor.”
Last year’s festivities didn’t take place as the 2020 portion was cancelled just as Covid 19 hit South African shores and the country went into immediate level five lockdown
Revellers who have pre-purchased tickets have been referred to Computicket for all refunds. Karoo festival ticket refunds will be able as soon as possible, said the festival’s Crispin Sonn.
Festivalgoers are encouraged to keep an eye on social media platforms for updates.