Last week saw the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival take over KwaDukuza’s Willard and Salt Rock beaches with the event drawing a bigger turnout than ever. More than 100,000 people attended the Festival during the course of the week, with new aspects like the Coastal Living Bru extravaganza proving hugely popular. The event, which ran in conjunction with the Mr Price Pro Ballito surfing competition, achieved its goal of providing a showcase for the uniquely laidback and creative culture of the KwaDukuza municipality and surrounding areas.
Events organiser for the municipality, Collette Bundy, was thrilled by the support that the Festival received from attending visitors and the local community alike. She said that “the interest and support from the international and domestic visitors at the Mr Price Pro Ballito 2013 festival has been phenomenal. The event has been a resounding success and we are pleased to have been able to offer new and emerging audiences activities and entertainment, such as the main market concert on Thursday and the inaugural Coastal Living Bru food and wine exhibition. We thank our partners and sponsors for their contributions and participation and look forward to another fantastic event in 2014.”
The highlights of the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival catered to an exceptionally wide range of tastes and interests. During the daytime, awe-inspiring extreme sport displays kept visitors entertained, with the weekday demonstrations culminating in parkour, BMX and skateboarding competitions held on Saturday and Sunday. The winners of the competitions were as follows: in the parkour, Mike Makings, Mark Modimola and Ian Stock took first, second and third place respectively in the style run, while Ian Stock, JoseChung and Mark Modimola took podium positions in the speed test. In the skateboarding, the prize for best trick went to Martin Stoffberg, while Khule Ngubane took best run, and Julian Wooldey scooped the title of best youth participant. Malcolm Peters won the accolade for best trick in the BMX competition, withDarren Crew taking the prize for best run.
The beachfront also provided a location for a myriad of other entertainments, including touch rugby, soccer and volleyball programmes, dance displays and daily fashion shows.
This year’s event saw the launch of the Coastal Living Bru – Food & Wine Exhibition, which was received to great acclaim by the public. As well as incorporating a fine wine auction and showcasing the wares of local gourmet restaurants and chefs, the exhibition hosted the ‘So You Think You Can Cook Ballito Style’ cookery competition. The event, which comprised of teams of professional and amateur chefs pitted against each other and the clock, proved to be a great success and kept spectators on their feet and rooting for their favourite culinary geniuses. The results for the competition were as follows: Simbithi Country Club’s Gerard van Staden and amateur chef Steven Sawyer in first place, The Boat House chef Cornelius Barnard and Doreen Fomison in second, Crawdaddys’ Corne de Jager and Shavaun Lindsay in third and in fourth place, Boulevard 44’s Sylv ester Nair paired with pro surfer Matt Bromley.
The Coastal Living Bru event also staged a cookery competition showcasing the skills of younger chefs, the winners of which were Luke Fisher, Abigail van der Linde and Chrystal Munisamy respectively for each of the three days of the contest. As if the culinary side of the exhibition weren’t enough, guests were also treated to the Miss Ballito beauty pageant, and a surfboard shaping showcase attended by shaping legends Graham Smith, Spider Murhpy, Mike Larmont and Peter Daniels.
On the evenings of July 4, 5 and 6, the famous Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival free concerts rocked Salt Rock Beach until late into the night. Attendance for the festivities was better than ever, with crowd numbers peaking at over 12,000 party-goers on the Friday night. Thursday’s music was proudly African themed, with Kwaito and hip hop artists ruling the stage. Performers included AmaWrongTurn and DJ Tira, and headliners Big Nuz and Mafikizolo ended the evening in spectacular fashion. On the Friday, music fans were treated to rock artists, including Shadow Club, aKing and ISO. Prime Circle filled the closing spot for that night, and more than ably showed why they have enjoyed such long-term success in South Africa. The final night of the concerts was dedicated to techno, dance and DJ music and as such it was no surprise that guests were kept dancing all night. Saturday’s highlights included iScream & the Chocolate Stix, Gangs of Ballet and Pascal & Pearce, with Dino Bravo bringing the concerts to a fittingly uproarious close.
Proceeds from the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival went to the the RedCap Foundation. The Foundation carries out invaluable work with South Africa’s youth, ranging from early childhood development to young adults up to the age of twenty-five. They focus specifically on improving the nation’s education system and tackling unemployment among young people. Their aim is to engage, enable and inspire the children who will grow up to become the orchestrators of social change and of a positive future for South Africa.
Images: Ryan Janssens/ Mr Price Pro Ballito