09 Jul

Ballito’s Willards beach proved, yet again, to be the perfect and ever-obliging host of this year’s Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival which, along with the Mr Price Pro Ballito PRIME ASP World Tour surfing has been labelled as the biggest surf, beach and lifestyle event on the African continent.

Picture left: Mr Price Pro Ballito 2012 Mens Runner-up Nathaniel Curran(USA) and The Mens Champion Glenn Hall (Ireland)

With gorgeous weather for the majority of the week, the event saw in excess of 70 000 people flock to the North Coast beaches over the seven days. With the combination of cultural, retail, lifestyle and sports entertainment from an amateur to a professional level, there was something here for everyone to enjoy while listening to MCs like the popular TV personality, Liezel van der Westhuizen.

Whether browsing around the retail section which offered everything from clothing to art, jewellery and food, or relaxing with a massage before heading to the Hunters Cider Garden, festival-goers had a constant stream of entertainment on the Mr Price Pro Beach Festival Entertainment Stage.

Gemma van Zyl (Ballito), Slippy the Seal and Ashleigh van Zyl (Ballito)

The festival boasted to be an all-inclusive family event, including children, with the Kid’s corner and Ushaka Mascots interacting with the children and teaching them about marine conservation along our beautiful coast line.

Night entertainment kept locals and holiday-makers busy as well. Thursday evening kicked off with the well-attended Film Night, ‘The African Project’, while shoppers were also able to browse through the night market under the stars while enjoying live entertainment.

Friday turned up the heat with the first night of the Mr Price Ballito Free Music Concert which was held on the Salt Rock beach. People – young and old – flocked on to the sand to rock out to South Africa’s top local bands – Gangs of Ballet, Wonderboom, Ard Matthews Trio, Shadowclub, aKing, Crash Car Burn and Flash Republic. With picnics, coolerboxes and blankets in hand, the crowd appreciated South Africa’s finest bands as the sun set.

Saturday night saw massive crowds joining in the festivities ready to dance under the stars…and were not disappointed. South Africa’s best local house and dance artists – Toya deLazy, Lloyd Cele, Iscreamstix, Locnville, Pascal & Pearce, Goodluck and Dino Bravo – each put on an explosive performance which had crowds chanting for more despite the icy winds.

The festival also saw an array of extreme sports which had the crowds going for hours with the formal competitions on Friday and Saturday. This year was the first and certainly not the last to host the Professional Parkour competition which was definitely a crowd favourite. For more information on Parkour follow the link on www.streetsutd.com.

Thalente Biyela warming up for todays Skate contest at the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival

The Skating and BMX competitions were advertised on an amateur basis but still saw professional and sponsored athletes such as George Van Bleak and Martin Stoffberg pull through and truly impress the crowd. Darren Oatley scored a double win by coming out on top of both the Best Trick and Best Run competitions in the BMX finals. Kalvyn MacMillan wowed the judges with his ‘backside 180 down the stairs’ which earned his first place in the Best Trick skating competition while crowd favourite and local, Thalente Biyela, won the Best Run.

The surf competition saw underdog entry Glenn Hall from Ireland winning first place. South Africa had both Jordy Smith and Travis Logie knocked out after the quarter finals by Nat Young and Nathaniel Curran respectively.

Collette Bundy was immensely pleased with the results of the event and said: “I believe that this year has shown that the Mr Price Pro Ballito Beach Festival has finally established itself as what we hope to be a permanent annual fixture of the KwaDukuza calendar for many years to come. Many thanks must be said to all of our sponsors including Distell, ABI, Red Bull, First Resort and Independent Newspapers whose hard work and dedication have resulted in the immense success of this event.”

Click here to see more images (all images above by Ryan Janssens)

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