Tag Archives: Tweede Nuwe Jaar

Colourful Cape Town day, with two long-standing events: Cape Minstrels and Cape2Rio yacht race!


It’s an exciting day in Cape Town today, being the second New Year’s Day and proclaimed as a public holiday, the city showing its colourful side with two events.

The traditional Tweede Nuwe Jaar Cape Minstrel Carnival takes to the streets between Bo-Kaap and the Grand Parade this afternoon, with thousands of minstrels expected to participate in the procession. Continue reading →

Cape Town tourists miss out on Cape Festive season Minstrel Carnival highlight!

minstrels+xxxWhat a shame that the many visitors to Cape Town missed out on one of the city’s annual and unique highlights over the Festive Season.  The ‘Tweede Nuwe Jaar’ Minstrel march traditionally takes place on 2 January, but was postponed to 5 January (originally cancelled due to religious reasons, but then delayed again due to lack of parking, bus transport, and VIP seating), and then to 10 January (but this date clashed with the ANC 103rd birthday celebrations held in Cape Town, at which some Minstrel troupes participated).  Now the date of the Minstrel march appears to be set for Saturday 17 January, a date on which a minimal number of local and international tourists will still be in Cape Town!

In the last few years the minstrel parade association Continue reading →

South Easter blows up Cape Town New Year celebrations!

On Monday evening an über gale force South Easter affected the New Year’s Eve celebrations of a large sector of the Cape Town population, as well as of tourists.   The wind was said to be gusting at over 100 km/hour, and created havoc at the V&A Waterfront, and in the city centre it led to the cancellation of the traditional late evening Cape Minstrel procession!

The annual New Year’s Eve 5FM party was cancelled at 22h20 on Monday night, after the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management declared the risk too great to host the function in a marquee, of which a section had already collapsed.  Ticket holders appreciated the concern for safety, but were furious that they had to queue for two hours in the V&A Waterfront so late at night, to hear from the company about whether the event would be hosted or not.  The company’s Tweeter appeared to tread water, and was very quick to absolve the Waterfront from any responsibility about the cancellation of the event, her inane Tweets wishing for a reduction in the windspeed!  Any Capetonian would know that the South Easter blows at its peak late at night, and might only ease off at midnight, which was not the case on Monday evening.  Any event organiser planning an outside event will know that the wind is a factor to be contended with in Cape Town, and that a Plan B alternative should be organised as a back-up.  The weather forecast would also have provided an estimate of the windspeed for the evening.   The absence of the entire top management of the V&A Waterfront from their company, all being on holiday since before Christmas, worsened the disaster, lacking management direction.   All of yesterday the V&A Waterfront was asked via Twitter and Facebook about the refunds for the 5FM party, which was organised to be staged in tandem with a party in Ballito, with Pete Tong (described as an ‘icon in the dance world’) flying from Ballito to Cape Town. The Waterfront Tweeter kept passing the buck, and referred ticket holders to the event organiser G&G Productions and RK Events, which posted this message on their website, with an update only expected today:

It is with great regret that the NYE Live City Linkup at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town has been cancelled. Unfortunately due to extreme weather conditions it is not possible for the event to take place. G&G prioritizes the safety and well-being of the public and made this decision on the advice of The City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management. We appreciate your understanding.  Please check back here on the 2nd of January, for more information”.

It was clear that the V&A Waterfront’s Tweeter Emma Jackson was out of her depth with a disaster such as the 5FM New Year’s Eve party cancellation, not being good generally with critical Tweets aimed at the Waterfront.  She usually skips those, and only responds to praise and only ReTweets positive Tweets.  It was the V&A Waterfront’s image that has suffered as a result of the cancellation, and not the unknown event organisation company.  Yesterday she had to deal with a tourist (Wilkes McDermid) allegedly having gone missing in the V&A Waterfront, and quoted ‘protocol’ , and Tweeted that her Marketing department is not able to deal with the missing person: ” : Bernard, we are sorry for your frustration but this is not something that we here in Marketing can help you with”, she Tweeted. Interesting is Ms Jackson’s Tweet on her personal account after this interaction: “I may have to give up working in social media one of these days. Listening to people complain all day is going to cost me in therapy bills”! Cape Town Tourism, ‘official supporter’ of the event, stayed silent on Twitter about the cancellation of the 5FM New Year’s Eve party.

The wind also led to the cancellation of the traditional Cape Minstrel Carnival parade, which usually commences at 22h00 on New Year’s Eve.  The wind was so strong that the parade was cancelled, something that has rarely happened in the history of the Minstrel Carnival.  Cape Town Tourism also did not Tweet the cancellation, nor post the information on its website! Today the parade will be held on Tweede Nuwe Jaar, a tradition that commenced in the 19th century. The parade will commence in the Keizergracht in District Six, and then proceeds into Darling Street, Adderley Street, Wale Street, Rose Street in Bo-Kaap, and then ends in Strand Street.

While many saw the strong South Easter as nature’s way of blowing a tough 2012 away, it is a reminder that the strong summer wind is an integral part of Cape Town.  Any event organised outdoors in summer should have a Plan B – the New Year’s Eve party was badly organised, and its communication to ticketholders was unprofessional, reflecting negatively on Cape Town as a Festive Season Festival city!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio:  www.whalecottage.com Twitter:@WhaleCottage