Matric year-end bash in Plett draws crowds

THOUSANDS of matriculants  are celebrating the end of  school life and letting down  their hair at the annual 4U Rage Festival.

The festival, held in venues in KwaZulu-Natal and Plettenberg Bay  every year, pulls crowds from across  the country and is now running for  its 10th year.

Beginning November 25, for two- and-a-half weeks students enjoy non- stop day and night entertainment  featuringSouth Africa’s hottest  bands and DJs.

The 4U Rage Festival is hosted by  Johannesburg-based G&G Productions and this year has pulled a  crowd of about 35000 visitors to date.

Main sponsors for the festival are  Vodacom and BlackBerry, with other  sponsors such as Stimorol Infinity  and Marlboro adding to the mix.

The Daily Dispatch visited Plett  this week where thousands of  matrics have been partying hard.

Between 3000 and 4000 “ragers”  partied Wednesday night away at a  local club which boasted a VIP area  and five dance floors.

Renowned Afrikaans rapper Jack  Parow and popular electro-jazz  group Goldfish had the crowds in  awe with their performances .

Matthew Zinn , who wrote matric  at Edgemead High School in Cape  Town this year, said the rage experience had been amazing.

“Right now I feel terrible [from the  previous night’s partying] but it’s all  been amazing and definitely worth  coming,” he said.

A former Rustenberg High School  for Girls pupil, Claire Boswell, said it  was her second rage festival . “It was  amazing the second time around. It  was bigger and definitely had the  wow factor.

“We could go to more places, it  was safe and friendly with lots of  really nice people,” she said.

Managing director for G&G Productions Greg Walsh said support  for the festival had been phenomenal. “In 2003 we had three parties in  Plett with 600 people at each party –  no sponsors, no media coverage and  no DJs of any importance.

“Now, in 2011, we have 62 parties,  150 sponsor activations, nearly every  big DJ performing multiple times,  lots of media exposure, including radio like 5FM and TV like MTV.

“It’s been a long, upward, winding  road, but worth it all,” said Walsh.

Although some parents may be  sceptical about sending their children to the festival, organisers say  parents should rest assured.

“The message of the festival is to  have a responsible good time. Obviously one major concern is drinking and driving but we do not  condone it at all,” said Walsh. “To  avoid drinking and driving we have  44 branded buses which fetch and  drop the pupils to and from their  accommodations to the parties. The  environment of the festival ensures  maximum security for all pupils.”

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