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Garden of Lights organiser responds to backlash over 'disaster event'

18 November 2019 1:06 PM
Tags:
Stellenbosch
Christmas lights
complaints
Event
Christmas market
Christmas Brilliance
Garden of Lights
David Huni

David Huni, the organiser behind the Christmas Brilliance Garden of Lights event in Stellenbosch, was asked to explain himself.

Dozens of Cape Town residents have been left with a bitter taste in their mouths after attending the Christmas Brilliance Garden of Lights event in Stellenbosch over the weekend.

The Christmas lights and market event was advertised as an outdoor interactive lighting experience but didn't live up to the hype.

UPDATE: Garden of Lights event organiser must issue refunds, says WC consumer watchdog

Capetonians complained on social media and called CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies to share their experiences on Monday.

Complaints

Festival-goers have reported waiting in four-hour-long queues because the event was oversold.

There were apparently not enough toilets or food stalls or vendors at the market.

Some claim that the event was also not wheel-chair friendly and many of the marketed attractions were not available.

An attendee has told CapeTalk that the event page has deleted posts and removed the comments from Facebook after people shared their negative feedback.

Organiser responds

Event organiser David Huni says problems with queueing are common for events of this nature.

Huni says he had no control over what the vendors sold at stalls at the market.

Safety called into question

Event services consultant Annemarie StormBuys says she was initially appointed by Huni as the event's safety organiser but withdrew prior to the event after discovering many red flags.

She says the original event application was planned for 300 people per day but was later changed to 1,900 per day.

I handled the application on his behalf with the Stellenbosch municipality... I could not do the presentation on his behalf because I did not have a site layout plan and there was no electrician appointed.

Annemarie StormBuys

What went wrong?

Cape Town resident Jacko says the event was an absolute disappointment and Durbanville local Tanya said the light show was appalling.

Below are some calls and social media complaints.

It was just really badly organised.

Jacko, Cape Town resident

The safety for the people at the event was hugely comprised because the organisers did not have any foresight.

Jacko, Cape Town resident

The abysmal queues were the least of it. The actual light show itself was absolutely appalling.

Tanya, Durbanville resident

Listen to a string of complaints and the organiser's response on Today with Kieno Kammies:


18 November 2019 1:06 PM
Tags:
Stellenbosch
Christmas lights
complaints
Event
Christmas market
Christmas Brilliance
Garden of Lights
David Huni

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