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Cash-strapped Durbs ditches Top Gear

2015-03-03 08:33

HEADED FOR JOZI? At the 2014 event, The Stig (inset) gets a ride to the Moses Madiba stadium courtesy of a friendly taxi driver in Durban. The 2015 Top Gear Live event could be held in Johannesburg. Image: YouTube, Top Gear

The Top Gear Festival will not take place in Durban, KZN, in 2015 after all, report the show's organisers.

They are now searching for an alternative venue.

The reason for the Durban cancellation? The city apparently has 'no money'.

'NO MONEY' FOR TOP GEAR

In February 2015, The Mercury reported that Durban's deputy mayor and chairwoman of the municipality's economic development and planning committee, Nomvuzo Shabalala, reportedly said the city did not have funds for the Top Gear festival, scheduled for June 2015.

Shabalala reportedly said that that the city did not 'have the money for Top Gear' nor the World's Route Forum scheduled for September 2015.

TICKET-BUYERS TOLD

Top Gear Live spokesperson James Cooke-Priest told Wheels24: “Durban was one of seven destinations selected for the 2015 international tour - South Africa has always been one of our favourite destinations.

“We have a particular fondness for the crowds we entertain here - they are always so loud and enthusiastic and return year after year to support us. Although we will not be in Durban we are taking steps to stage an alternative Top Gear Live event in Johannesburg and will announce those plans shortly.”

Fans who have already bought tickets for the Durban event have been contacted and offered alternatives.

UNHAPPY FANS

Top Gear Festival SA posted on its Facebook page: "Please note that due to reasons outside of our control, there has been a delay with our tickets going on sale. Thank you for your patience - we'll announce further updates in due course."

A fan replied: "Guys this is insane. You can't tell me the only thing you know is reasons out of your control? Surely you must know more? I don't want to sound rude but I am just so sad that my favourite show in the world is not going to be in my beautiful back yard anymore. Durban is the perfect venue! It just all seem so sudden....

"It will never be the same in Joburg or wherever they decide to move it."

Top Gear said that tickets will go on sale on March 20.

Organisers report that, over the years, the Top Gear Live events have enjoyed a great relationship with South African fans and in its statement thanked them for their understanding.

Updates regarding the alternative Top Gear Live event will be released in coming weeks.

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Read more on:    durban  |  south africa  |  top gear

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