Anger at music festival shambles

EASTERN Cape revellers have bemoaned this festive season’s instalment of the popular Buyelekhaya Music Festival in East London as shambolic and badly organised.

Some partygoers have even threatened to boycott the Countdown Music Festival, scheduled to take place tomorrow to ring in the new year, because of their bad experience at Buyelekhaya.

Stampedes, fights, pushing and shoving, booing and ill-discipline greeted pleasure seekers at the Buffalo Park Stadium during the concert. The Countdown Festival will be held at the same venue.

To add insult to injury, Buyelekhaya is said to have been plagued by poor sound quality.

Disgruntled revellers have taken to social media to air their grievances, and painted a sorry picture of chaos. Pandemonium is said to have broken out after an unruly crowd at Buffalo Park became disenchanted with the organisers because there was barely space to move at the crammed venue.

BayFM presenter Vuyo Nyembezi, who attended his second Buyelekhaya, said he would think twice before returning next year.

“There was no space to move backwards or forwards. I saw guys and women relieving themselves in full view of others because there was a lot of difficulty moving about.

“The security at the venue was poor. [Event organiser] Nomahlubi Mazwai in a radio interview blamed the chaos at Buyelekhaya on duplicate ticket sales. I can tell you that my ticket was not checked when I went into the stadium,” he said.

As a result, Eastern Cape revellers said they were petrified of buying tickets for the Countdown festival.

“It is different organisers, but people now associate the venue [Buffalo Park] with Buyelekhaya.

“This is so unfair, though, to other organisers. If you visit the Countdown Facebook page, you will see how people are saying they are not going because of what happened at Buyelekhaya,” Nyembezi said.

Charismatic radio personality Putco Mafani, who was one of four hosts booked for the show, said he had had a good experience during his late-night slot.

“I arrived straight from PE, went on stage and worked. I had the 9pm until morning slot. I would say this was one of the best-attended shows and the vibe was good,” Mafani said.

“That is not to say people had a good experience right through.”

Efforts to reach Mazwai for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.

Some of the scathing Facebook comments read:

Zandile Mtywaru: “I have been attending since 2010 but after what happened, I will never attend the festival again #disappointed.”

Nokhanyo Nkohla: “Nibenzile ububhanxa.” (You did an awful job.)

Bathi Bathi Mankumba: “This event is a waste of money.”

Tandiwe Melikana: “Very very poor arrangements! No order at da entrances, sound system was very bad! Lousy MC! R180 was too much for that festive (sic).” – Xolisa Phillip

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