By Kaya 959 News
After providing entertainment and helping to create memories for the last two decades, the Ticketpro Dome will close its doors.
“This is another devastating blow for the exhibitions, events, and entertainment industry due to COVID-19. The ban on public gatherings has meant that during 2020 and now 2021, the Ticketpro Dome has been unable to operate,” said Carol Weaving, MD of RX Africa.
She said the sale is extremely disappointing and heartbreaking for the industry.
“The Ticketpro Dome has been home to many international concerts and events in South Africa, and this will undoubtedly leave a huge void. Unfortunately, as we are only the managing company, we were unable to change the outcome of Sasol Pension Fund selling the venue due to force majeure,” Weaving said.
“The Dome opened on 8 April 1998 with a concert by Diana Ross attended by over 15 000 people with a special guest appearance by the late former President Nelson Mandela.”
Global music superstars
Weaving said over the years, “the venue has played host to top international music artists such as Pink, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Lauren Hill, Pharrell Williams, Celine Dion and Michael Buble”.
“On the local front, artists such as Prime Circle, The Parlotones, Lira, Tonya De Lazy, Black Coffee, and Soweto Gospel Choir has graced the stage. South African rapper, Cassper Nyovest become the first local artist to sell out the Dome. Some 20 000 tickets were sold even before the event, suitably billed ‘Fill Up The Dome’.
“On the exhibition front, the Dome has been home to many consumer and trade shows such as Homemakers Fair, Rage, Mama Magic Baby Show, Fire and Feast Food Festival, Mediatech Africa and Africa Automation Technology Fair,” Weaving said.
The NBA Africa Games were held at the Dome in 2017. The WWE International and Disney on Ice were also staged at the venue.
In 2020, the Ticketpro Dome launched the successful Hybrid Studio in response to the global pandemic.
“Our sector has been extraordinarily innovative in transforming our offerings to accommodate online participation, but a hybrid event incurs two sets of costs, one for the online component and one for the in-venue aspect. Attendance capacity restrictions make in-person events unviable, and online does not carry the same appeal,” said Projeni Pather, Chairperson of the Association of African Exhibition Organisers.
Pather said the Ticketpro Dome is the latest casualty of not being able to operate and the consequences of its closure will have a ripple effect on the South African economy.
“It is too late for the Ticketpro Dome but may its final curtain call be a sober reminder that there needs to be drastic rethinking on how the South Africa government views our industry.
“The official handover of the venue will be on 7 September 2021. The Ticketpro Dome has now been sold by the owners, Sasol Pension Fund, to a third party which does not operate in the event space,”Pather said.