Intermittent rain, wind and cold couldn’t keep the crowds away from the 2012 Splash Festival, which was sponsored by ratepayers of the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
More than 65 acts and competitions held on two stages entertained the crowds from mid-morning late into the night on Easter Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the Easter Monday programme being cancelled due to rain.
Plans to move Zonke, the headline at for the 2012 Splash Festival, to the Nongoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton had to be cancelled with show organisers saying that there was not sufficient time to move sound equipment and prepare the hall for a quality and safe show.
The organisers apologised for any inconvenience and promised that Zonke will be back later in the year, instead.
Highlights, according to Greg Moses of organisers Go Big Events, include headline acts such as Snotkop, Micasa, and Brazilian group Napalma, as well as the Saturday night fireworks “which were the best ever”.
The Vibrations dance group from Kwanoxolo won the talent competition, which was a first for the Splash. Organiser Greg – O – Gee says the competition was such a success that there are plans to expand it.
Festival-goers also shopped till they dropped at over 180 stalls which lined the walkway at Hobie Beach.
Beach volleyball, tennis, rugby and soccer, as well as life-saving and surfing competitions and Round 3 of the City Lodge Hotels Group SA National Jetski Championships all added to the fun.
The whole festival was free of any major incidents thanks to a strong and visible police presence, according to Moses.
“While the rest of Nelson Mandela Bay was having fun, the women and men in blue were working hard to ensure that we had a safe beach-front,” he says.
Moses estimates that around 20 000 people attended Splash on the Friday, while Saturday night’s fireworks and entertainment had the beach-front packed along its length.
On Sunday, even sporadic rainfall and a chilly wind couldn’t keep the people away, and Moses estimates around 35 000 were at the festival.
Monday was washed out by the rain.
Initial results of research undertaken during the festival show that people came from throughout the Metro to enjoy the entertainment and the vibe.
Stall-holders also did brisk business on the three days on which the festival ran.
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