For the next week Plettenberg Bay will be a playground for thousands of the country’s matrics celebrating their new-found freedom at the 14th annual Plett Rage festival, which kicked off in the coastal town yesterday.
Thousands of matrics are expected to flock to the festival – one of the biggest events of its kind in the southern hemisphere – until next Friday.
Plett Rage has become synonymous with partying, fun in the sun and some of South Africa’s top music performances.
It has also become one of the town’s biggest economic injections, bringing in approximately R50-million over the eight-day period.
And this year expectations are no different.
“We anticipate about 12 000 students to make their way to Plett over the coming week and we estimate that on average a student will spend about R10 000. This will be on accommodation, food, drink and area activities.
“This not only starts our summer season, it also encourages additional employment in both the retail and tourism industries,” Plett Tourism spokeswoman Patty Butterworth said.
Butterworth said the festival went beyond the statistics and economic boost – it was also an opportunity to showcase the many amazing tourism products on offer.
There are several new additions this year.
The biggest change is the festival capital at The Meadows. This year some of South Africa’s biggest music stars will be performing at the new venue about 3km outside Plett towards Wittedrift.
They include music industry legends like Goldfish, Sketchy Bongo, PHFAT, Grimehouse and popular DJs Roger Goode and DJ Fresh.
Assistant project manager Ashley Brown said another addition was the launch of the Rage Village situated at the Forever Resort about 6km from the town centre.
It will offer youngsters a campsite with self-camping, “glamping” and chalet accommodation options.
“With the aim of creating the best user experience and combating drinking and driving, we’ve created free bus and taxi routes for Plett Ragers,” Brown said.
“Our hop-on, hop-off transport system gives Ragers the ease of accessibility to flag down Plett Rage buses and taxis to get to all major accommodation resorts and parties.”
He said all venues had medical personnel and medical support offering 24-hour assistance.
“All venues also have an experienced security team as well as close ties to law enforcement.”