The Johannesburg International Comedy Festival has announced a rescheduling of the event due to student protests in Braamfontein, Johannesburg where the various shows were meant to take place.
Festival director Takunda Bimha says this is a necessary step to ensure the safety of festival goers and comedians and to ensure a successful incident-free event.
The event has now been pushed out to early March 2017 and will still take place in and around Braamfontein. Exact dates will be communicated soon.
Takunda Bimha’s official statement on the rescheduling is as follows:
“Last weekend we saw the protests spill over into the streets of Braamfontein and while no one was critically harmed, there was severe damage to property including one of the venues earmarked for the Festival.
Given that most of the Festival venues are in Braamfontein, adjacent to Wits University, the ongoing nature of these protests and with only two weeks left until the event, we’ve had to make the unenviable decision to postpone the Festival. This was a difficult decision to make but we firmly believe that we’ve taken the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of all parties involved, including the international contingent of talent that will be traveling to our shores.
Despite the current circumstances, we stand firm on our decision to host the Festival in Braamfontein. These are very unique circumstances that are not a true reflection of the narrative that exists in one of the most culturally vibrant nodes of the city. We firmly believe that the area will return its true self once tensions have subsided and calm has been restored.”