From the news desk

Festival organisers to meet with stallholders

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VOC’s festival convening team will meet on Monday evening to discuss concerns raised by stallholders after the cancellation of the festival yesterday. In an unprecedented move, organisers called off the festival at Vyigeskraal stadium due to the risks posed by gale force winds, which had damaged marquees and parts of the stadium stand. The festival committee said they had no other choice but to shut down the event, after the City of Cape Town’s disaster management officials declared the venue unsafe for public use. Festival organisers said if they had failed to adhere to the city officials warnings and continued with the event, it would have have been a criminal offence.

Subsequently, many aggrieved stallholders have complained over their loss of income as a result of the cancelled event. The convening team is set to meet with stall holders this week, once a final decision has been made.

“We understand the frustration expressed by our stallholders. Many of them lost a lot of money and are sitting with stock. Most of them have been supporting the festival for years and were looking forward to it.  Yesterday, we spoke to them after our decision and many of them couldn’t understand why, but others were amenable,” said festival convenor Gasant Frydie.

Frydie said many vendors were angry that they were not informed about the decision before hand.

“We had 120 stall holders and it was just too time-costly to call each of them up individually. We decided to make an announcement on radio, knowing it would reach a wider audience,” he responded,

“We will continue to engage with our vendors. We again want to apologise to all our stallholders for this massive setback,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, there was some relief after an alternative venue was secured for VOC’s Sunday breakfast at the festival, which had to be called off. Coordinator Achmat Jacobs said the event will now take place at Ghousia Manzil hall in Rylands Estate this Tuesday at 6.30pm and will be a supper. The event is open to all festival-goers who bought tickets for the breakfast. The Legend Tours Turkey competition draw will take place at the event. Tickets are sold out.

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