The UP Beats Festival will no longer be taking place this month.
According to special programmes coordinator Dr Rina Wilken, the festival will not take place because the Rag committee did not apply in time to have the event approved. Dr Wilken said that new legislation for big events has been introduced and categorisation of the event needs to be applied for well in advance.
The annual UP Beats Festival typically takes place the night before the Rag Procession at the Rag Farm to kick off the Rag weekend. This year, the Rag committee decided to move the festival to March in order to accommodate all students and not bombard them with all the activities taking place in the first few weeks of class.
Rag Chairperson Phatludi Modiba said that the committee was not made aware of the fact that they had to apply several weeks in advance. According to Modiba, new legislation requires that the plans for an event be brought before the City of Tshwane Joint Operations Committee (JOC) eight weeks before the event. He said that in the past they have never had to meet with the JOC.
Furthermore, Modiba said that the Rag committee went to the JOC the week before the Rag Procession and they had allowed it to take place. However, they are now applying the rule with UP Beats. “It really pains me as the Rag members are the ones that are fighting for all traditions to be kept alive and all student-based activities and yet the general public is under the impression we are not doing any work,” he said.
According to Modiba, not all changes necessarily come from the committee. “There are a lot of things that are said to us and we just obey the laws.”
The current Rag committee ends its term of office at the end of March. Rag Queen Dassie Persaud-van der Westhuizen said that the new committee will decide if they will plan a UP Beats Festival later in the year.
Modiba urges students to support Rag. “We’re here for the students and all the things we do and all the initiatives, everything we do, is mainly for the students.” He said that students who have questions or queries are welcome to contact him.