In a press release sent out to media after 5pm 2nd March 2015, it was announced that Top Gear Festival will not take place in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal this year. The organisers have confirmed they are actively looking for an alternative destination for a Top Gear Live event and hope to have more news very soon.
Whilst no official reason was given in the press release issued a close source to the event has shared that the decision is because the city does not have the necessary funding and has not been able to source the funding needed despite signing agreements to host the event last year. City spokesman Thabo Mofokeng and deputy mayor Nomvuzo Shabalala both alluded to funding issues in early February this year.
Mofokeng went on to say “It will happen, but we are waiting for the mid-term budget.” but clearly this was a little too optimistic as the announcement today sets gears in motion to move the event back to Johannesburg.
Over the years the Top Gear Live events have enjoyed a great relationship with their South African fans and in their statement they thanked the fans for their understanding following this announcement. “Durban is one of 7 destinations selected to be included in the international tour for 2015”. James Cooke-Priest, COO of Top Gear Live stated “South Africa has always been one of our favourite destinations on the tour. We have a particular fondness for the crowds we entertain here, as they are always so loud and enthusiastic and return year after year to support us. Although we will not be in Durban this year we are taking steps to stage an alternative Top Gear Live event in Johannesburg and we shall be announcing those plans shortly”.
Any fans who had already bought vouchers to attend this year’s event have already been contacted regarding their orders and offered alternatives.
Updates regarding the alternative Top Gear Live event will be made in the press in coming week.
This is another large loss for the city and will impact tourism significantly this year.