Mzansi weighs in on R1,900 VIP package to watch Durban July from home

19 June 2020 - 09:36 By Unathi Nkanjeni
The annual Vodacom Durban July is set to take place on July 25.
The annual Vodacom Durban July is set to take place on July 25.
Image: Supplied

VIP prices for this year's virtual Vodacom Durban July experience have been met with mixed reactions online.

The annual horse racing event is set to take place on July 25 at Greyville Racecourse in KwaZulu-Natal, and will be streamed digitally due to the restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Gold Circle’s marketing executive, Steve Marshall, said there will be inevitable adjustments to activities on the big day, and multiple scenarios were being considered.

He said the traditional three-month fashion programme that is synonymous with the build-up to the event will be affected, and more emphasis will be placed on the race day fashion programme this year.

“The Vodacom Durban July Young Designer Award is a critical part of that programme, and it is already being worked on as part of the syllabus at many fashion design colleges and technikons,” Marshall said in a statement.

“This pandemic has forced all South Africans to rethink the way we go about our daily lives. We will be doing the same with the fashion programme and embracing digital technology as best we can to keep the important elements of the fashion programme going without compromising any of our support for the national regulations in place to fight this virus,” he said.

Although the event will be live-streamed on YouTube and bet365, the Pegasus Lounge is offering viewers a VIP virtual experience that will set them back by R1,900.

The VIP packages include “canapés and hot food delivered at your door”, a bottle of Tanqueray gin and a bottle of whisky.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Marshall said the VIP fee was not part of Gold Circle or the Vodacom Durban July, but rather of an independent hospitality provider.

“It has nothing to do with us. The Pegasus Lounge is offering people a stay-at-home experience. Due to the pandemic, as a third-party the marquee is offering their clients some sort of hospitality for that day.”

TimesLIVE made several attempts to get a comment from The Pegasus Lounge. At the time of publishing this article, a response had not been received.

On social media, many questioned why would people pay R1,900 to watch the races online.

Here is a snapshot of some reactions.