Long Street transformed into festival zone

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pretoria - Cape Town's Long Street has been transformed into a festival zone ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final Draw.

Over 15 000 revellers are expected to gather in Upper Long Street for the festival on Friday.

The Final Draw, which will take place in front of some 3 000 international guests at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC), will be broadcast live to an estimated audience of 150 million viewers in 200 countries.

The live broadcast from the CTICC will be relayed on huge television screens in the pedestrianised area between Buitensingel and Dorp Street.

The festival stage is an exact replica of next year's FIFA Fan Fest stage on the Grand Parade.

The star line-up will include well-known artists like FreshlyGround, Jimmy Dludlu and Flat Stanley. The stage acts will be complemented by carnival characters and animal stilt walkers for the festival that will kick start from midday.

According to city's Director of Communication and 2010 World Cup spokesperson, Pieter Cronje, although Upper Long Street will be closed to vehicles from 1am on Thursday, businesses will operate as usual on Friday.

"The only difference will be that everyone entering the pedestrian zone will be subjected to access control measures similar to airport security checks."

City's 2010 Operations Director Lesley de Reuck said street parking and public parking garages which are within easy walking distance to the festival area will have ample space for party-goers.

"People can also park at the Grand Parade and follow the sign-posted route up Darling Street, via Adderley Street to Wale Street where they can enter the festival terrain. Once the parade parking is full, volunteers will direct visitors to some 3 000 alternative parking bays in the CBD," said de Reuck.

The city has also assured the public that law enforcement agencies have partnered with private security staff agencies to compile a comprehensive safety plan, and will be able to deal with any contingencies.